Archive for the ‘Technology Integration’ Category

A few years ago, while I served as an instructional technology director for a school district, I proposed the creation continuum after researching project based learning. The following link to my Prezi is an updated version of the presentation I shared on the subject…

http://prezi.com/embed/4dxykmcolwa9/

k2-_ba2833fd-2248-4cc1-a555-49e4013aea34.v3This is an update to my low end stab at furnishing my classroom with devices for student use (see other post here – Low end tech:  a solution?).

Along with several old laptops I have been utilizing some DOPO Android tablets that have served very well.  I was able to restore one device that was out of commision and that enabled me to utilize 8 of these tablets for a few months.  After a tragic drop of one of the devices a couple of weeks ago (an accident), I was back to 7 DOPO tablets.  Walmart had a good deal on these devices (upgraded versions for $39.99 each); so, I used some birthday money to order 5 more.  These devices have been stellar in meeting the needs of my students.  I have added cases for each and that has been a good investment in protecting the devices from day to day wear and tear.

I have had to adjust some of the tutorials (QUIA and ExamView activities – see weekly Agendas) that I create on a regular basis in order to bypass the lack of Flash availability on the Android devices.  The old laptops are holding up well, and Ubuntu has been a refreshing answer to the old Windows machines.  The Macs run well with OS 10.4+ and meet the needs of everything that is required for learning.  The Android devices, particularly the DOPO tablets, in addition to students being able to use their own phones and a few other devices via a BYOD network is allowing access for all students on a daily basis.

I have set up a separate Gmail account to manage the Android devices that I will begin using once the new tablets arrive this week.  I load each droid with the minimal browser and a few apps that enhance the classroom experience.  Power management is achieved via several power strips, and I am looking for an improved storage system, but we are making do with what we have.  Each of my students have a Google account via the school district that they can utilize as needed; so, my students are equipped with all the tools they need to be productive and to create on a regular basis (See our recent infographics projects).

The better solution would be if I didn’t have to pay for and support it all myself, but I have found a way for my students to be engaged, to learn, to remediate, and to be enriched on a regular basis.  If you are looking for a low cost device that is sturdy, reliable, and engaging I highly recommend DOPO tablets as a positive addition to your learning environment.

From OnlineUniversities.com…

Teaching With Tablets

SolutionsOkay folks, here are my solutions in a very troubling situation.  I am an instructional technology specialist and current classroom teacher that unfortunately has very little access to technology.  The spring semester this year was so frustrating, I began to bring my own devices to supplement the needs of my students in accessing the bare bones tools I provide online.  My solution this fall is to continue to use personal devices, resurrect old devices, and I’m going to try some discount devices that hopefully won’t cause my own children to starve from the money I am choosing to take from my personal budget that takes care of their welfare (I know I am taking a risk that these devices die as based on past experience).

What I have been using are two old laptops (HPs) that were assigned to myself and my classroom that I have installed Ubuntu on for a more reliable operating system.  I took my old Asus netbook and installed Ubuntu on it replacing Windows XP.  I have an old HP desktop that runs Windows 7, and I have resurrected 3 iBook G3s, 1 PowerBook Titanium, and a PowerBook Lombard.  I bring 4 of my kid’s DOPO devices (I had 5 but one crashed and burned – sorry Nicholas), and I have just ordered 3 more DOPO devices for a total of $119.  I also have an old iPad and old Kindle added to the mix; plus, I do have my teacher laptop that can be utilized as needed.  With this I have amassed 15 devices that will “work” in most instances.  I fortunately do have access to a BYOD network that students can utilize with various devices and some can use their phones if they choose.

The frustrating part of all of this is that I just don’t think this is how life should be for an educator in the 21st Century; however, it is in my case, and I am doing what I can to provide devices that will allow access to tools that I know will help my students succeed.  I have applied for grants, but the tech department in my district won’t approve affordable devices:  disappointing to say the least.  I am on the lookout for old laptops that can be revived with Ubuntu or some flavor of Linux, and that search will continue as the school days pass by (160+ more school days which turns out to be only 160 hours that my students spend in class for the year – time is short!).  I am trying to make the best of a difficult situation, but I’m not sure it is the best way.  I also don’t think this solution will last much longer.  I’m looking to go elswhere to find a place that will invest in the education of my students and children, and I know now that it is definitely not here.  Chime in if you have other ideas that may help.  Happy computing!

10-Signs-You-Are-a-Tech-Savvy-Teacher-Infographic
Find more education infographics on e-Learning Infographics

technology-enhances-learning-infographic

A Primer on Mobile Apps for Young Students Learning to Read

Great read on the educational game The Oregon Trail @ Mental Floss: http://mentalfloss.com/article/51930/legend-oregon-trail

oregon-trail-history

Screen Shot 2013-04-06 at 6.59.25 AMIt has been quite some time since I last posted here at HIT.  Since returning to the classroom last fall I have been busy educating the youth of America, at least those that set foot in Room 100 at Adams Middle School.  Our journey together is almost finished in terms of the school year, and we have some evidence to show for it online.  Our American History site can be found at oxpower.org in all its glory.  There are several student projects shared on the home page for your viewing pleasure.  The resources that we use on a daily basis are found mostly via the “Agenda” links in the right hand column, and here you can see all sorts of practice that has been going on on a daily basis.  I hope my students are ready to go to the high school.  I feel like they are getting there, but I also know it will be a whole new “ballgame” for them.  I think they are ready for high school social studies…

Interdisciplinary…is it a goal, a state of education, an action?  As I contemplate my new history course and the awesome math teacher I will collaborate with (Mr. Dan Smith), I am working my mind to find ways to accentuate math throughout the ages and to show how data is an important historical tool that tells great and interesting tales. In this process, I want to share an example of what I am getting at and some data resources that one can utilize with students to inspire their search for truth through data.

The following is a video clip of an older piece from Hans Rosling:  200 Countries, 200 Years, 4 Minutes:  a great example of combing data and history…

The next items are links to data resources that may be useful (in no particular order)…

Stat Planet http://hdr.undp.org/en/data/map/

KML Factbook http://www.kmlfactbook.org/#&db=ciafb&table=undefined&col=undefined&

Knoema http://knoema.com/

Many Eyes http://www-958.ibm.com/software/data/cognos/manyeyes/

Data First http://www.data-first.org/

2011 in 11 Graphs http://www.washingtonpost.com/business/economy/2011-in-11-graphs/2011/12/22/gIQA0HWJMP_gallery.html#photo=1

The Joy of Stats Video 200 Countries, 200 Years in 4 minutes http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jbkSRLYSojo&feature=player_embedded

Gapminder http://www.gapminder.org/

Google Think Insights http://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/insights/

Google Public Data Finder http://www.google.com/publicdata/directory

2010 Census Data http://2010.census.gov/2010census/data/

Find The Best http://www.findthebest.com/

Policy Map http://www.policymap.com/maps

Where Americans are Moving http://www.forbes.com/special-report/2011/migration.html

Any subject area teacher can and should create curriculum tools that can help students that require accommodations in their learning.  This is key to differentiated learning and instruction.  When I think of my content area of social studies I know that it can require a lot of reading.  Vocabulary is an important piece of knowledge that can help students make their way through the content, and I try to create or find activities that support vocabulary acquisition.

In the past I have utilized sites like Quia to create activities that build and reinforce vocabulary knowledge.  Quia activities like flashcards, matching, concentration, word search, and hangman are a few that present vocabulary in a fun way.  You can also create cloze reading activities with Quia that enable a user to read passages of text and identify key terms that complete a paragraph.  Online textbook resources also often have ready made vocabulary activities that can make it much easier for students to navigate text or take an active part in classroom discussions and projects.  Online textbooks are also interactive and most have an audio or read-aloud feature built into the text.

The following are several examples of vocabulary and reading activities that I have created or found and linked to that assist all students and especially those that may struggle with reading (especially see the flashcards, matching, concentration, word search, hangman, jumbled words, pop ups, and cloze activities).

American History Vocabulary and Reading Activities

World Geography Activities

Hokanson’s American History Quia Class Page

Help your students gain a better understanding of the content by accessing the reading tools that are all around you or create some today.  Technology makes for better and more complete learning, and your students deserve to utilize these tools.

In getting ready for a return to the middle school social studies classroom I have been considering projects I might start off with.  One I call “History A to Z.”  I see this as a beginning of the school year project to get students thinking about history, in a way where they can embed technology in the process, and to find out what social studies and technology skills they bring to my classroom (a diagnostic project if you will).

Students first would come up with words starting with letters of the alphabet and then find historical pictures that would match up with the words.  Students could use Photo Story 3, Windows Live Movie Maker, iMovie, iPhoto, or any digital photo storytelling program to piece together a sort of historical slideshow.  The slideshow could even be a personal history with pictures from their own lives to place another twist on it.

An extension of this project, that can be collaborative, would be teaching the importance of copyright, citing information, design, and you could even have students add narration to the story.  There are always many variations with a project like this, and that is why I like to provide students with an opportunity to try them.  The following is an example I put together…

Enjoy!

Five years ago I moved to North Platte, Nebraska to take a position as the educational technology director for the North Platte Public Schools.  I had taught for 13 years prior to that as a high school and middle school social studies teacher.  Upon my arrival in North Platte I soon found a lot of opposition to embedding technology into the learning process.  One of the first school board meetings I attended I heard one gentleman accuse me of being “only a teacher.”

What a great compliment!  That phrase sticks in my mind, and I couldn’t be more proud to be called such a name.  My career as a teacher has led me to many places and on adventures with many great educators and students.  I now go back to the classroom to teach, to work with students, to feel like what I am doing is worth something.  Worth more than gold or riches.  Teaching is a profession that literally reaches into the future.

I am a teacher, a great teacher.  If only everyone would be…

Nebraska Educational Technology Association (NETA) 2012 Resources & Information

Thursday April 26th, 2012

Keynote:  Trends, Tools, and Tactics for 21st Century Learning – Kevin Honeycutt

http://www.kevinhoneycutt.com

http://web.me.com/khoneycuttessdack/kevinhoneycutt.org/Downloads_files/Friends,%20Tools%20%26%20Tactics.pdf

Other presentations… http://web.me.com/khoneycuttessdack/kevinhoneycutt.org/Downloads.html

iPads in the Classroom – Tammy Worcester

http://www.tammyworcester.com/TWHandouts/TW_Handouts/Entries/2012/4/17_iPads_in_the_Classroom%21.html

http://www.tammyworcester.com

Equipment – iPad Doc Connector ($25); Belkin Flip KVM Switch ($29)

Before they Click – Kevin Honeycutt

http://web.me.com/khoneycuttessdack/kevinhoneycutt.org/Downloads_files/Before%20they%20click-CTE%3AHawaii.pdf

See eBook Preview on site http://web.me.com/khoneycuttessdack/kevinhoneycutt.org/eBook_Preview.html

Analog Twitter – How are you today?

http://www.rescuetime.com

10 Free Tools to use Tomorrow – Pam Krambeck

http://pk-neta.wikispaces.com/10+Plus+Free+Tools

http://pk-neta.wikispaces.com/

Blended Learning – Craig Hicks

http://bit.ly/I45IuX

http://portal.gnenc.org

http://learn.gnenc.org

Flipped Classroom Resources – Ginny Gustad

http://center.uoregon.edu/NETA/uploads/NETA2012/HANDOUTS/KEY_320912/FlippingtheClassroom.ppt

Camtasia Studio

Screencast.com

Show Me app

iAuthor

Other Presentation:   http://center.uoregon.edu/NETA/uploads/NETA2012/HANDOUTS/KEY_320863/iPadPresentation.ppt

Google is the New Angel – Janelle Coady

https://sites.google.com/a/nsdtitans.org/neta-2012-coady/

Totally integrated, public for students and parents can set things to private

Friday April 27th, 2012

Keynote:  It’s About TIME! – Tammy Worcester

http://www.tammyworcester.com/TWHandouts/TW_Handouts/Entries/2012/4/26_Teaching_for_the_21st_Century_-_Its_About_Time%21_4.html

Show Me

Postcard app

Going Digital – Travis Allen

http://ischolinitiative.com

List of apps and resources to solve education challenges (paperless, grading, gaming, tutorials, etc.)

Going paperless…

http://center.uoregon.edu/conferences/NETA/uploads/NETA2012/HANDOUTS/KEY_329885/GoingPaperless.pdf

Idea Sketch

Phone Drive

Cinex Player

Go Docs (Google Apps)

Paper Helper

Scratch Work

Cram Berry

Study Blue (Cross Platform)

http://quizlet.com

Sundry Notes

aNote (Awesome Note)

Achiever’s Writing Station

Gaming…there have always been distractions -> it’s about engagement…

Stealth Learning (Learning when you don’t realize it)

iAnnotate

PLC Tips for a Generative Environment for Peers – Dale Holt & Jarrod Rowe

http://tinyurl.com/neta2012

Red Cat microphone (portable mics)

10 Apps/Projects for Social Studies Classroom – Greg Miller

http://connectseward.org/edu/sms/miller/Mr._Miller_8th_Social_Studies/NETA_2012.html

Virtual Scrapbooks – time period journals

Roaring 20s Newsreels

Westward Infomercials

1960s-90s Event Glogster – recommend assigning fictional characters

Classroom Webpage/Interactive Activity Days

Fake Facebook Page – an event, person, etc.

Chrome Coordinates

Art Project by Google

Virtual Tours

Google Earth – flight simulator

Google App – Ancient History Encyclopedia

Google Apps – USE THEM!

Edmodo, Social Media & Classroom Management – Richard Gilson

http://center.uoregon.edu/NETA/uploads/NETA2012/HANDOUTS/KEY_319419/NETA2012.ppt

http://www.edmodo.com/

Have You Got the Itch for New Software?  Scratch! – R. (Dick) Gottner

http://scratch.mit.edu

http://learnscratch.org/

http://info.scratch.mit.edu/Video_Tutorials

Gamification Infographic

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