Posts Tagged ‘Instructional Technology’

It has been quite sometime since I posted on this blog, and for good reason. I have been busy! Over 10 years ago I started this instructional technology site to share my learning from my master’s program at the University of Wyoming and my adventures as an instructional technology director for a school district. Life has thrown a few curves into my life’s plan along the way, but I still find myself in education but at the classroom level. Last summer, I gained new employment teaching world geography at Johnson Junior High School in Cheyenne, Wyoming. I was able to bring my family back to my home state and to leave the Sand Hills of Nebraska behind after almost a decade living there. My new exploits have brought me from teaching 8th grade American History to 7th grade World Geography, and I have spent most of the year developing a website and learning tools that can be found at http://oxpower.org (http://geosearcher.wordpress.com). I continue to use Quia (http://quia.com) for building most of my tutorials, the old and trusty Content Generator tutorial creator software, and make most of my presentations for students via Prezi (http://prezi.com). The summer, then school year, has flown by with a major move, and getting accustomed to a new school, students, and staff, but I feel right at home in my native state. The fall allowed myself and my family to attend almost every Wyoming Cowboy home football game, and we even caught a basketball game when the Cowboys were at home for the CBI tournament that they eventually won! I recently purchased a new computer (Mac Mini), and have been transferring and setting things up to keep rolling with technology (I shall share my adventures with that soon). So, there is an update for those that care, and for those that may have thought I had fallen of the face of the earth!

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I was recently asked for a list of free and cheap instructional technology resources that I have found productive for use on computers. Here is a list in no particular order. I will share an app list (iOS & Android) later…

Hot Potatoes (FREE quiz maker) https://hotpot.uvic.ca/

Quia (Subscription quiz maker) http://quia.com

Kahoot (Online quiz maker) https://getkahoot.com/

WordPress (FREE Web space creator) https://wordpress.com/

Wikispaces (FREE Wiki maker) https://www.wikispaces.com/

PBWorks (FREE Wiki maker) http://www.pbworks.com/

Delicious (FREE bookarkmarking service) http://delicious.com/

Diigo (FREE bookarkmarking service) https://www.diigo.com/

MOODLE (Open Source Learning/Content Management System) https://moodle.org/

GIMP (Open Source Image Editor) https://www.gimp.org/

Inkscape (Open Source graphics software) https://inkscape.org/en/

Open Office (FREE Productivity Suite) https://www.openoffice.org/

Audacity (FREE Audio Editor) http://www.audacityteam.org/

Kompozer (FREE Webpage Creator) http://www.kompozer.net/

Ubuntu (FREE Operating System) http://www.ubuntu.com/

VLC (FREE Media Player) http://www.videolan.org/vlc/index.html

Blender (FREE Digital Rendering Software) https://www.blender.org/features/

Scratch (FREE Programming Software) https://scratch.mit.edu/

InfranView (FREE Image Graphic Editor) http://www.irfanview.com/

PDFSAM (FREE PDF Manipulator) http://www.pdfsam.org/

Jing (FREE Screenshot/Screencast Software) https://www.techsmith.com/jing.html

 

I have had my students create infographic projects on World War II topics the past couple of weeks. Here is a link to the instructions and resources page Hokanson’s American History Infographic Project!

Two sites on YouTube offer thousands of historical videos…

AP Archive “AP Archive is the film and video archive of The Associated Press, one of the largest and most trusted sources of independent newsgathering.

View AP Archive’s videos via this channel – the collection offers 1.7 million global news and entertainment video stories, which date back to 1895. ”

British Movietone “British Movietone is arguably the world’s greatest newsreel archive, spanning the period 1895 to 1986.

Discover British Movietone’s newsreel archive, which contains many of the world’s enduring images and is rich in coverage of news events, celebrities, sports, music, social history, science, lifestyle and quirky, via this channel.”

 

There is a great article on assistive technology at Buzz Feed titled – How A Simple Apple Feature Called Switch Control Is Changing Lives

“For years, Christopher Hills’s cerebral palsy made it nearly impossible for him to use a computer. Now he’s editing video on one.”

As I shared some time ago, I have been embedding DOPO Android tablets into the learning process in my classroom.  My students and I have been utilizing the devices this school year without any major bumps in the road.  One was dropped and met its end, but the rest of the tablets have weathered heavy use.  One thing I miss is access to Flash; so, I installed the Dolphin and FlashFox browsers as a solution to run some of my Flash based resources (I do have alternative HTML versions as a work around too).  Yes, these browsers utilize the last version of Flash to run on Android (11…), but I’m not too concerned about a security risk as we spend most of our time in the walled garden of my classroom website.  Many of my students also use their own devices (a few tablets and mostly phones) to access my online resources.  I also reworked my classroom site, that runs via WordPress, with a more mobile friendly theme.  So, what will the new school year bring?  A continued effort in personally financed and low end tech that can follow me anywhere…

I am doing a trial of an LMS called Canvas.  MOODLE was a great open source solution but is no longer an option in my current district.  The following is a little history on the LMS for your perusal…

history-of-lms