Monday, August 22, 2016

Sleep - A Student's Most Important Homework Assignment

Want to know how sleep "resets" your brain? How memories are formed and retained?  Then watch The Benefits of a Good Night's Sleep, embedded below, and learn how sleep balances and regulates the body's vital systems which, in turn, affects declarative and procedural memory.

This short TED-Ed lesson by Shai Marcu is an important topic as school starts and students will soon be staying up late or all night in order to cram for tests and other educational requirements. Marcu goes into detail describing the neurological importance of 8 hours of sleep, but the application is interesting as going to sleep three hours after memorizing math formulas (declarative memory) and one hour after practicing music scales (procedural memory) is the most ideal.

I'm left wondering what I might have accomplished if my sleep and learning patterns were consistent during my formative years...
    

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Think QR Codes are Static? Think Again!

All of the QR (Quick Response) codes that I have created are static QR codes which served one function and that was to take you to a certain website.

QR codes have definitely evolved over time so take a look at the article from Edutopia entitled QR Codes Can Do That? and find out how to:
  • Add your voice
  • Attach PDF files
  • Collect information
  • Send a tweet
  • Change locations

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Blended Learning and Career and Technology Education - Part IV: Implementing Blended Learning With Resources from the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education



In this four-part series, I’ll define blended learning, discuss the models of blended learning, the implications for career and technical education, and how the Curriculum, Assessment, and Digital Delivery (CADD) areas of the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education can assist in the implementation of blended learning.

Photo courtesy of the Clayton Christensen Institute
Blended learning is a shift to an online instructional delivery for a portion of the day to make students, teachers, and schools more productive, both academically and financially.  We all know there’s no single right approach to building the “perfect” model for blended learning as communities have different resources, classrooms, computers, schedules, and many other unique needs.  A school doesn’t always have the resources or the expertise to select and purchase a learning management system (LMS), design lessons, or write assessments, but there are available resources.

Did you know that the Curriculum, Assessment, and Digital Delivery areas of the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education can assist in the implementation of blended learning?  The National Technology Plan acknowledges the challenges of raising college and career-ready standards without a significant investment of new funding so check out our online catalog and search the following links for additional information and see how we can assist you in blending digital and teacher led instruction to personalize learning for each student.




Monday, May 2, 2016

Blended Learning and Career and Technology Education - Part III: Implications for Career and Technical Education


In this four-part series, I’ll define blended learning, discuss the models of blended learning, the implications for career and technical education, and how the Curriculum, Assessment, and Digital Delivery (CADD) areas of the Oklahoma Department of Career and Technology Education can assist in the implementation of blended learning.

Here are several ways that blended learning can have a profound effect upon career and technology education:

Personalized instruction – Blended learning allows for a more personalized and interactive learning experience by putting the student in charge of their own learning.  Taking the best of traditional education and blending it with the power of online learning will provide the teacher an opportunity to review data, in the moment, determine where the student is at and to form instruction for the next period or the next day.

Increased monitoring – The use of a student information, assessment, and gradebook systems that link to the LMS provides instant feedback on assignments and assessments.  This allows the instructor to spend time reviewing student data, adjust instruction, and provide additional classroom or individual instruction. 

Open entry/Open exit – Blended learning fits nicely with competency-based learning and the concept of open entry/open exit.  Personalized instruction and increased monitoring will allow the instructor to more accurately determine when tasks and competencies are achieved.

Increased enrollments – Depending on the blended learning model and the CTE program being offered, enrollments could potentially be increased.

Increased performance gains – “The Rise of K–12 Blended Learning - Profiles of emerging models” by Heather Staker profiles 40 educational entities. Not every school reported gains and some thought it was too early to verify results, but many posted positive gains when compared to the traditional classrooms within the same district.  For example:

“School of One - Students in summer 2009 acquired new math skills at a rate estimated to be
seven times faster than peers. Students in spring 2010 showed gains that, when
annualized, would equate to 1/2 to 2/3 of an additional year of gain. Students in
spring 2010 showed significant gains across all academic quartiles.”

Other potential benefits from this study include increased retention rates, an increase in teacher/parent contacts, increased course completion rates, a strengthening of curriculum offerings, and lower instructional costs.

As you can see, blended learning can have the potential to benefit the student, the instructor, and the parents in a careertech setting.  Again, I’m not aware of any research that helps decide if one model works better with any certain occupational area (if you know of any research in this area, PLEASE SHARE!!).

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

CIMC Introduces New Online Catalog

CIMC introduces the next generation of our online catalog, featuring curriculum and assessment products.

CIMC Online Catalog
CIMC is excited to offer our new interactive catalog which serves as a hub for the field to access agency products and services.  The only thing that has changed with the catalog is everything – users will notice a professional look and feel, enhanced graphics, links to resources, suggested products, and the ability to pay with a credit card, purchase order, or check.

We are thrilled to offer an improved and interactive experience that allows users to find their favorite products and services – the only thing that hasn’t changed.  As always, our skills standards, curriculum, and assessments create the perfect foundation for competency-based instruction, in Oklahoma and beyond.
Take a moment to discover the new online catalog and see how we've changed. We are committed to your satisfaction and welcome your feedback!
CIMC is part of the Curriculum, Assessment, and Digital Delivery (CADD) division of the Department of Career and Technology Education. For additional information on our products and services, please visit:
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