Instructional resources and assistive technology to enhance student learning
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Instructional Resources and Assistive Technology to Enhance Student Learning. Dr. Jann Leppien University of Great Falls [email protected] I like a teacher who gives you something to take home to think about besides homework. Lily Tomlin as “Edith Ann”. Workshop Agenda.

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Instructional Resources and Assistive Technology to Enhance Student Learning

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Instructional Resources and Assistive Technology to Enhance Student Learning

Dr. Jann Leppien

University of Great Falls

[email protected]

I like a teacher who gives you something to take home to think

about besides homework. Lily Tomlin as “Edith Ann”

Workshop Agenda

How Technology Supports Literacy Development

Resources to Support 5 Literacy Areas

Finding Alternative Lessons Using Professional Organizations

Think Like an Ologist-Process Support Tools

Graphic Organizers

Assessment Protocols

Telecollaborative Projects


Technology and Literacy

  • Provides students with opportunities to share experiences with other students

  • Assists teachers in locating curricular experiences to attend to student interest, readiness, and learning preference

  • Extends the application of lessons to real world

  • Simulates problem solving used by scientists, mathematician, etc.

  • Enhances text-based curriculum

  • Engages students in process-application activities

  • Find sources of information that are appropriate for students who may have difficulty reading. Some examples are visitations, interviews, photographs, pictorial histories, films, lectures, or experimentation. Remember, these children do not want the curriculum to be less challenging or demanding. Rather, they need alternative ways to receive the information.

  • Provide advanced organizers to help students receive and communicate information. Students who have difficulty organizing and managing time also benefit from receiving outlines of class lectures, study guides, and a syllabus of topics to be covered. Teach students who have difficulty transferring ideas to a sequential format on paper to use brainstorming and webbing to generate outlines and organize written work.

  • Provide management plans in which tasks are listed sequentially with target dates for completion. Finally, provide a structure or visual format to guide the finished product. A sketch of an essay or science project board will enable these students to produce a well-organized product.


  • Use technology to promote productivity. Technology has provided efficient means to organize and access information, increase accuracy in mathematics and spelling, and enhance the visual quality of the finished product. In short, it allows students with learning disabilities to hand in work of which they can feel proud.

  • Offer a variety of options for communication of ideas. Writing is not the only way to communicate; all learning can be expressed and applied in a variety of modes. Slides, models, speeches, mime, murals, and film productions are examples. Remember, however, to offer these options to all children. Alternate modes should be the rule rather than the exception.

  • Help students who have problems in short-term memory develop strategies for remembering. The use of mnemonics, especially those created by students themselves, is one effective strategy to enhance memory. Visualization techniques have also proved to be effective.


APA:Learner-Centered Psychological Principles

  • The learning of complex subject matter is most effective when it is an intentional process of constructing meaning from information and experience.

  • The successful learner, over time and with support and instructional guidance, can create meaningful, coherent representations of knowledge.

  • The successful learner can link new information with existing knowledge in meaningful ways.

  • The successful learner can create and use a repertoire of thinking and reasoning strategies to achieve complex learning goals.

  • Higher order strategies for selecting and monitoring mental operations facilitate creative and critical thinking.

  • Learning is influenced by environmental factors, including culture, technology, and instructional practices.

Cognitive and Metacognitive Factors

APA:Learner-Centered Psychological Principles

Motivational and Affective Factors

  • What and how much is learned is influenced by the learner’s motivation. Motivation to learn, in turn, is influences by the individual’s emotional states, beliefs, interests and goals, and habits of thinking.

  • The learner’s creativity, higher order thinking, and natural curiosity all contribute to motivation to learn. Intrinsic motivation is stimulated by tasks of optimal novelty and difficulty, relevant to personal interests, and providing for personal choice and control.

  • Acquisition of complex knowledge and skills requires extended learner effort and guided practice. Without learners’ motivation to learn, the willingness to exert this effort is unlikely without coercion.

APA:Learner-Centered Psychological Principles

Developmental and Social

  • As individuals develop, there are different opportunities and constraints for learning. Learning is most effective when differential development within and across physical, intellectual, emotional, and social domains is taken into account.

  • Learners have different strategies, approaches, and capabilities for learning that are a function of prior experience and heredity.

APA:Learner-Centered Psychological Principles

  • Learners have different strategies, approaches, and capabilities for learning that are a function of prior experience and heredity.

  • Learning is most effective when differences in learners’ linguistic, cultural, and social backgrounds are taken into account.

  • Setting appropriately high and challenging standards and assessing the learner as well as learning progress--including diagnostic, process, and outcome assessment--are integral parts of the learning process.

Individual Differences

Phonemic Awareness


PbsKids: Visual Sound Correlation

First Grade Skill Reinforcement

BBC Schools TV Series

Phonics Through Literature

Vocabulary Activities

Word of the Day

Clifford Interactive Stories

Text Comprehension

Story Builders

Book Reviews

Wacky Web Tales

Discussion Tools

Lessons and Resources


[email protected]

Microsoft Education: Lesson Plans

GradeOne Central

Student Tools

Kid Publishing

The Biography Maker

Communication Tools


Mosaic Listserve

Research and Reference Tools

Research It!

Noodle Tools

Ask An Expert

Word Central



Microsoft ebook Reader

Finding eBooks

Story Place

University of Virginia

Literacy Tools


Virtual Book Club

Reader’s Theatre: Aaron Shepard

Dictionary Toolbar

Content Area Literacy

SCORE Strategies

Literacy Matters

Instructional Strategies Resource

Reading Online

Misunderstood Minds

Literature Circles Resource Center

Content Area Literacy

Strengthening Reading and Writing Using Technology

Best Practices


Tools for Reading, Writing, and Thinking-Greece NY

Math Tools


Cool Math

A Plus Math

Count On

Math Tools

Create a Graph

National Library of Virtual Manipulatives

Math Forum

Java Programs,ALL,ALL,ALL/

Create Your Own Surveys


This software allows you to design professional online surveys.

Differentiating the Content:Finding Alternative Lessons Using Professional Organizations

NSTANational Science Teachers Association

Differentiating the Content: Finding Alternative Lessons

National GeographicXPEDITIONS

Differentiating Content and Process

Differentiating the Content: Finding Alternative Lessons

Differentiating the Content:

Finding Alternative Lessons

EyeWitness to History

Jann’s Sites to Support Differentiation

Mathematics, Science, History/Social Studies, Language Arts

Primary Sources and Document-Based Questions

Document-Based Questions

Teaching US History

Digital Support

The Importance of Visual Literacy

Thinking Like Ologists

Folklife and Fieldwork

The Story of Our Lives

Becoming Human

Mathematical Tools

Thinking Like Ologists

Thinking Like Ologists

StatsCenter Sampler

Thinking Like Ologists

On-Line Tools

The Pilgrim Story,1871,2486-196464-2-51602,00.html

Technology and Learning Support Services

On-Line Tools

United Streaming

Research Support

Online experiments in mechanics, density, genetics, etc.

A Hotlist on Research

Varying the Product:Real World Applications

Montana Heritage Project

The Art of Digital Storytelling“Digital storytelling takes the ancient art of oral storytelling and engages a palette of technical tools to weave personal tales using images, graphics, music, and sound mixed together with author’s own story voice.”Bernajean Porter

DigiTales: The Art of Telling Digital Stories

Electronic Text Center

A graphic organizer forms a powerful visual picture of information and allows the mind to see patterns and relationships.

Differentiating the Process: Graphic Organizers

Download graphic organizers and keep them in a file for student use.

Graphic organizers can be extended to make them more complex. On this graphic organizer have some students justify their selections and provide evidence of how these events have shaped our lives today.


Tools for Writing and Reading

Ocean Beach Elementary School

Assessment Resources

Assessment Protocols

Six Trait Writing Assessment

Math and Science Education Center

Chicago Public Schools

Differentiating the Content and ProcessWhat is a Telecollaborative Project?

A telecollaborative project is an educational project that involves sharing information with another person or group of people over the internet. Telecollaborative projects range from setting up simple keypal relationships between your students and another class to involving many classrooms and experts from around the world in an information-gathering project that requires a collaborative effort.

IECC (Intercultural Email Classroom Connections)

connects educators seeking classroom collaboration


Telecollaborative Projects

Blue Web’N

Classroom FeederWatch

Collaborative Projects

Global Schoolhouse


A WebQuest is an inquiry-oriented activity in which most or all of the information used by learners is drawn from the Web. WebQuests are designed to use learners’ time well, to focus on using information rather than looking for it, and to support learners’ thinking at the levels of analysis, synthesis, and evaluation. The model was developed in the early 1995 at San Diego State University by Bernie Dodge with Tom March.

A WebQuest About WebQuests

Click on the site below to participate in a WebQuest About WebQuests. Work in teams of four to examine five WebQuests from four different points of view. Select the grade level most appropriate for the grade you teach.

Differentiating the Content, Process, and Product

Uses of WebQuests

Learning Center Activities

Hook the computer up to your TV

to use as a station. Find WebQuests

that help students process the “Big

Ideas” in your curricular unit.

Tiered Assignments

Locate 3 different WebQuests at varying levels of complexity that help students apply the unit’s skills or ideas.

Anchor Activity for Research

Create your own Filamentality site to assist

students in carrying out their research.

An ideal WebQuest

would have (among

other things) these


1. Links are all working and up to date.

2. Pages are attractively laid out and free of spelling, grammar and technical errors.

3. The Task is engaging and requires higher level thinking.

4. What is learned aligns well with your standards.

5. The readability level and tone matches well with your students.

What Makes an Ideal WebQuest?

The Power of WebQuestsAccording to Bernie Dodge (1997), a WebQuest is an inquiry-oriented activity in which students interact with information gleaned primarily from resources on the Internet.

Check out the digital dozen and Filamentality

Webquest Design Patterns

Bones and the Badge Webquest

A Creative Encounter of the Numerical Kind

Other Webquests

Romeo and Juliet Webquest

Other WebQuests to Explore

Searching for Existing WebQuests

Where do you find good

WebQuests? Stop by the matrix

of examples on the SDSU

WebQuests site. Try it now.

Advanced Searching for Existing WebQuests

Tighten your search by clicking on the Advanced Search on Google.

The WebQuest Design Process

Analyze these design patterns to help you select

the type of activity that you are trying to create.

Use this site to design your own WebQuests.

What is Filamentality???

Filamentality is a fill-in-the-blank interactive website that guides you through picking a topic, searching the web, gathering good Internet sites, and turning web resources into activities appropriate for learners. It helps you combine the Filaments of the web with a learner’s mentality. Filamentality helps you spin pieces of the Web to design your own learning activities.

Activity Formats


Hotlist: The first step in using the power of the Internet for learning is linking to the sites that you find most useful. Doing this will save your learners hours of aimless searching (not an efficient use of class time).

Example:China on the Net


Scrapbook: If learners already have a general understanding of the subject (i.e., they've done some preliminary learning in class or with traditional resources), you might want their first web-based activity to be the exploration of a Multimedia Scrapbook. This format allows learners to dig through a collection of Internet sites organized around specific categories such as, photographs, maps, stories, facts, quotations, sound clips, videos, virtual reality tours, etc. Learners use the Scrapbook to find aspects of the broader topic that they feel are important. They download or copy and paste these scraps into a variety of formats: newsletter, desktop slide presentation, collage, bulletin board, Hyper Studio stack, or web page. By allowing students to "find themselves" in their interests (sparked by the web resources they encounter), the Multimedia Scrapbook offers a more open, student-centered approach.

Dinosaur Hunter's Scrapbook

Treasure Hunt

Treasure Hunt: To develop solid knowledge on a subject, you can create Treasure Hunts. The basic strategy is to find web pages that hold information (text, graphic, sound, video, etc.) that you feel is essential to understanding the topic. After you've gathered these links, you are then prompted by Filamentality to pose one key question for each web resource you've linked to. A smartly designed Treasure Hunt can go far beyond finding unrelated nuggets of knowledge. By choosing questions that define the scope or parameters of the topic, students discover the answers and tap into a deeper vein of thought--one that now stakes out the dimensions or schema of the domain being studied.

Black History Past to Present

Subject Sampler

Subject Sampler: Part of what makes the Internet so great is the quirky, passionate, real stuff that many people and organizations post there. You'll find things on the web that you'd never find on TV, newspapers, or magazines. Subject Samplers tap into this vibrant vein in order to connect students to the chosen topic. Subject Sampler present learners with a smaller number of intriguing web sites organized around a main topic. What makes this a particularly effective way to engage student buy-in is that first off, you've chosen web sites that offer something interesting to do, read, or see. Second, students are asked to respond to the web-based activities from a personal perspective.

Exploring Chinese Culture


WebQuest: When it's time to go beyond learning facts and get into grayer, more challenging aspects of the topic, your students are ready to try a WebQuest. Basically, a WebQuest presents students with a challenging task, scenario, or problem to solve. It's best to choose aspects of a topic that are under dispute or that offer a couple different perspectives. Logistically, all students begin by learning some common background knowledge, then they divide into groups. In the groups each student or pair of students have a particular role, task, or perspective to master. They effectively become experts on one aspect of a topic. When the roles come together, students must synthesize their learning by completing a summarizing act such as e-mailing congressional representatives or presenting their interpretation to real world experts on the topic.

Look Who's Paying the Bill!

Knowledge Network Explorer

Click here to locate Filamentality

Steps for Creating a Filamentality Website

  • Locate sites on the Internet that you can use for your Filamentality activity.

  • Open Word document and record the site location (URL), title, and a brief description. Find as many to complete this search.

  • Go to, scroll to middle of page and select, “Start a New Topic” and follow the directions.


Peace Makers and Breakers

Of Mind and Matter: The Mystery of the Human Brain

Eduscape’s List of Webquests

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