Thank you for coming. My name is Colleen Graham and I am the media coordinator at North Drive Elementary School. Today I’m going to introduce you to NC WiseOwl. This is an amazing resource which has really been underused, and it seems to be due to the lack of information about what it is, what it offers, and how to access the information.
Type “www.ncwiseowl.org” into the address bar of your web browser. If you’re using a school computer, you should get this page. If you are using a public or personal computer you will need the password to log in, and then you will see this page. Our county subscribes and all media coordinators know the password – it is the same throughout the county so even if you or your students were to transfer between schools, they would still have access to these resources. (Tell them the password.)
The first area of the portal I’d like to show you is Kaleidoscope. If you’ll click this button at the top that I’ve indicated here in red, we can begin.
As you can see, looking at your computer screen, Kaleidoscope is a web portal with a lot of resources. There are bookmark pages here just for convenience for staff members and students, but the actual fun part is for the kids. Kaleidoscope is geared towards 5th through 8th grade students, so it’s a little beyond what we have here at North Drive, but this is just so impressive, I’ve got to show you very quickly what we have here.
There are two aspects to this section. Kaleidoscope is a Web portal that encourages students’ creativity and self-direction, while developing twenty-first century computer and information skills. It also serves as a central location for all the available resources for everyone to come to.
This large, white area of the page are different categories of users who have access to NC WiseOwl. Whether you are a parent, a teacher, a counselor, or an administrator, NC WiseOwl has information available for you. Here they have divided them up to make it easier for you to find what it is you are looking for. For example, if you click on NC Educators, by the picture of the apple…
They have made it easier for you to locate Web-based resources that relate to the work you do every day. Right here there is TONS of handy information at your fingertips. But that’s not all. The page includes a form for submitting links or suggesting new content. You submit it, we’ll evaluate it, obtain any special permissions, and then add it to the page for you.There are currently resources for:Back to SchoolClassroom managementPositive expectations and successful experiences (self assessments, learner profiles, emotional intelligences)Instructional Delivery (memory boosters, puzzle makers, test-taking and studying tips)
There is a lot of great stuff in the resource area, so do take the time later to look through this in more depth. However, right now I want to talk about the Student Activities. You see the area I highlighted here in red. This will take you to the student tutorials. This is your job, done for you, in the form of 36-weeks of fun activities tied to the curriculum. The students will get test taking and study tips, memory boosters, learn how to find information for reports, get money making ideas, there are links to games, and LOTS more!As you can see, this covers 5th through 8th grade, so it’s beyond our own K-4 level, but this is just too good to not show you at all. Some of you have older children of your own, or may end up going to a higher level in another school sometime, or know someone who could take advantage of this. So, we won’t spend a lot of time on it, we’ll just take a quick look to make you familiar with it. Let’s start with 5th grade first.
5th graders visitTechKnow Park. As you can see, they get started at the Welcome Center, and they move around the park in sequential order, following the path. The activities are fun and they incorporate the 5th grade curriculum with the computer skills they need to learn, so this is a great use of their time and they will really enjoy it. Let’s go back now and I’ll show you what the middle school kids do.
6th, 7th, and 8th graders all do varying forms of “The Hovercraft.” Over the course of their tutorials, they are working their way around the cockpit of their space ship. Again, this is computer skills, test taking and study skills, researching, and Internet safety all tied directly into the curriculum so it’s a perfect integration activity and it’s fun for them.Let’s go back again, and I’ll show you the next area of NCWiseOwl.
The next area I want to talk to you about is the eBistro. This area is designed especially for professionals. There isn’t anything in there for the students. Please click on the eBistro link that I’ve indicated here in red.
Going back out to the homepage, the next thing I want to show you is the SAS Curriuculum Pathways. This is not anything that we use here in the elementary school, but the county does subscribe to this for the high school level. We won’t spend a lot of time on this, I just want to make you aware of it. Again, older children you know can be pointed in this direction, or high school teachers who may not know about this might be interested in finding out we have this resource.
Again, from the homepage, the next area we’ll go through is the Impact Guidelines.
There are several different areas on this page all relating back to these guidelines. Since you’re teachers, we’ll go over some of what they have to offer for you. If you would please click on “Impact for Teachers.”
You find yourself in a conference room. Here you see there are a wide variety of resources from curriculum mapping, to collaboration guides, to videos. You can also see by clicking on the various nameplates on the table, how everyone’s roles come together for our students’ success.
Right above that, we have the Media/Tech Zone.
Next up is the Professional Zone, for teachers and other staff members.
And finally, we have the Student Zones. They’re broken down by level: elementary, middle, and high school. Since we’re an elementary school, we’ll take a closer look at what we have here for our students to use. So, if you would, please click on “Elementary School Zone.”
And you should get a screen like this. Look at the options they now give you. From here, please select “Scientists and Inventors” on the bottom right with Albert Einstein there. This then brings you to a listing of names. Students can either be assigned a person, or can read through and choose someone they find interesting.Everyone please click on “Alexander Graham Bell.”
Going back to the home page of the Elementary Zone, the next tab is for Kids Search. It works similarly to the InfoBits, it’s just presented in a different way.
Next we have InfoTrac Kids. Again, this is just a little more “grown up.” Your upper elementary might prefer this to some of the other search engines offered just for the appearance. All of these are offered so that you and your students have more options. And they may get different results from the different searches, as well, since they’re powered by different databases. InfoTrac and InfoBits are both from Gale – students would progress from one to the other as they get older. Kids Search, and the next one we’re about to see, Searchasaurus, are both EBSCOHost databases.Speaking of which, let’s look at Searchasaurus now.
Again, this looks much like Kids Search, and both are EBSCO Host databases. This is just presented a little differently. The nice thing about this one in particular is the lexile levels. You can search specifically by their reading levels. And the kids like the dinosaurs. But you can see how the younger kids will like this while it might be too “babyish” for the upper elementary kids, right? They’d probably prefer to use the InfoBits or InfoTrac just for the way the material is presented. And again, you can sort through the results with all of these methods, just as we did with the InfoBits – everything comes up labeled with what it is, how easy or difficult it is, and by the resource type – whether it’s a biography or an image or a video, etc.
The next few resources are online encyclopedias. The kids will LOVE these! The first one on the list is the New Book of Knowledge. We have bright colors, cool graphics, videos, games, teachers’ guides, and more. These are really great resources to make use of and the kids will enjoy just spending time exploring, let alone researching.
Another encyclopedia is Grolier Online. Again – bright, vivid pictures, and the multimedia that captures their attention and holds their interest.
After that we come to our Amazing Animals of the World. Here kids can browse through by the type of animal they’re interested in or classification: mammals, reptiles, birds… Then once they pick on the classification, they pick the order, and finally the specific species they want. This then gives them a photograph, an encyclopedic entry, and links. This site also offers games, the feature creature, and teacher resources.
Similarly, we have Grzimek’s (“chimeks”) Animal Life. This is probably a little more difficult for the younger students, but there is just a lot more information here than on the Amazing Animals site. You can see how they offer resources that grow to fit the needs of students with different ability levels and they have offerings to suit a wide variety of interests and skills. It’s really just an incredible resource as a whole.
Anyway, the finally offering is a completely different resource. If you’ll go to the PBS videos… That’s exactly what these are – videos of shows from PBS. There are tv shows that teach math, reading, history. Masterpiece theater, documentaries. Just a plethora of information. Everything is high quality and safe to use with your students. You’re not going to have problems with inappropriate materials or language. And again, it’s easy to search or you can just browse through the collection.
So, now that you have seen what NC WiseOwl has to offer to you and your students, I hope that you’ll find the time to further acquaint yourself with these resources and begin to implement them with your students. It’s something that they will really enjoy and it will make your job so much easier.Thank you for your time and attention today. If anyone has any questions, please feel free to ask.
What is WiseOwl?<br />NC DPI initiative to bring quality resources into the reach of students and staff at all NC schools, regardless of economic standing.<br />A model of well-designed instructional technology resources.<br />
SAS Curriculum Pathways<br />This resource is an online partner for teaching the core curriculum in high school: <br />English, history, science, mathematics, Spanish<br />Learner-centered tools, lessons, and resources with measurable outcomes<br />Interactive components that foster higher-order thinking skills <br />Twenty-first century skills integrated into content <br />
Why Use NC WiseOwl?<br />Age/Skill appropriate materials<br />Prepare students with 21st Century skills<br />Wide variety of resources available<br />Constantly maintained: new materials added/outdated information removed<br />Convenient<br />Safe<br />FUN!!<br />