Kent has made countless contributions as a teacher, mentor, coach, and technology expert for those at his school,
throughout our district, and in the state.
Dimensions Academy is the alternative school facility for Norman Public Schools. Dimensions is
designed so that students with the support of educators can create a plan to finish high school and
implement it to graduate. The ultimate goal is to help students be successful in life. There are many
opportunities at Dimensions for personalized education. It is a unique and connected community.
Arriving at Dimensions Academy School in 1997, Kent immediately engaged students in a myriad of
opportunities that piqued their interest in academics, particularly social studies and computer
education. As an instructional designer, he has found ways to support the students’ goals and to
personalize their learning using technology. He works side by side with learners to support their
unique learning needs. Kent is a learner, always looking for opportunities to seek new strategies and
practices that deepen student understanding.
Kent is passionate about his subject areas and helps students connect to them in meaningful ways.
Most importantly, he shares his love of learning, government, social studies and technology. He is a
true collaborator and has developed rich partnerships with the Dimensions staff and has been integral
in creating a collective community that impacts the lives of all Dimensions students.
Kent has sought ways to embed technology into learning experiences for his students. Through careful
planning and innovation, he gives learners voice and choice. This supports their independence and
confidence; two traits necessary for success as students transition to successful citizenship.
Kent seamlessly weaves engaging, hands-on experiences into learning endeavors. Recently his
students engaged in an activity where Mr. Nicholson guided them in creating a fictitious
business. Kent taught students to use Weebly to design a website for their businesses. Learners
created logos for the website using Google Drawings. Learners used Pages or Word to make
brochures with a learner-created business letterhead. Next students used either their iPads or
Photo Booth on their Macs to make video and audio ads for their businesses using snowball
microphones to enhance sound quality. One of the students developed a stop motion video using
Koma for their ad. As an analyst, Mr. Nicholson uses data to inform his next steps with learners as he determines
what educational interventions will best suit each student’s learning style. Qualitative data is
particularly important when working with Dimensions Academy students and allows Kent to
make modifications and adjustments in real time.
As a citizen, Mr. Nicholson urges his students to contribute to the world in impactful ways. He
uses the Generation Citizen program that prepares students to be involved in democracy. In this
program learners research social issues using online resources to create a presentation explaining
how they would resolve a particular social issue. Kent guides students in their use of digital
sources. The students then share their presentation at the Oklahoma State Capitol. Last year one
of Kent’s students was named as the statewide Student Changemaker.
Kent purposefully facilitates the use of technology for learners that is both appropriate to the task
and integrated into the lesson. His role as a facilitator has resulted in meaningful and independent
student learning. In a recent unit, students created stop motion presentations using Koma Koma,
a stop motion creation app. They used their videos to demonstrate the difference between a
parliamentary and a presidential democracy.
Mr. Nicholson is a site, district and state leader. He has led the district in the use of augmented
reality. Mr. Nicholson has implemented a Cox Innovation in Education Grant at Dimensions that
allowed for the purchase of equipment and software for augmented reality. He has used Aurasma
to create a trigger by using a picture in the textbook that would then play a video related to the
As a leader, Kent is a member of the Dimensions Academy Project Based Learning Team and
the Dimensions Academy College and Career Readiness Team. In addition, he is a member of
the Norman Public Schools Social Studies Advisory. Kent serves as the head coach for both
Boys and Girls Swimming at Norman High School and Norman North High School. He is a
member of the OSSAA High School Coaches Advisory and the Oklahoma Coaches Association
All-State Selection Committee. Kent Has been recognized as NAA Coach of the Year.
Dr. Schroder is the principal of Arthur Elementary School in Oklahoma City Public Schools. Despite having more than 90% qualifying for the Free and Reduced School Lunch Program, the staff at Arthur Elementary engage in instructional practices whereby the pace of learning and instructional approach are optimized for the needs of each learner. As a result of her leadership, she has fostered the adoption of personalized learning using instructional technology as the conduit to maximize relevancy and student interests. Dr. Schroeder ensures a learner-centered environment and that students are equipped with 1:1 technology, digital learning resources, and differentiated support to meet the individual and diverse needs of all learners.
In addition, her school has the honor and distinction of being the singular Oklahoma State entity to receive the designation of Common Sense School recognized by Common Sense Education. She actively models and facilitates understanding of social, ethical and legal issues and responsibilities related to an ever evolving digital ecosystem. Digital Citizenship is a core tenet of Arthur’s mission statement in which students are expected to become digital-age citizens.
Moreover, Dr. Schroeder promotes and participates in face-to-face and online learning communities that stimulate innovation, creativity, educational advocacy, and digital age collaboration. This is evident by her leadership role in the yearly EdCampOKC event and her active participation in the weekly #oklaed Twitter chat, where she has served as guest moderator. Furthermore, she was a featured webinar presenter with the State Educational Technology Directors Association covering the topic of addressing the increasing problem of the homework gap.
Notwithstanding the fact that she has proven her ability to establish and leverage strategic partnerships to ensure equitable access to appropriate digital tools and resources to meet the needs of all learners, she also insists that all instructional resources meet accessibility standards for all students. To address the homework gap, Dr. Schroeder has fiercely advocated for extended learning opportunities by actively encouraging students to take devices home so that they can extend the learning environment beyond the 4 walls of the classrooms and extend the 6-hour day.
Professional Learning is one of her secret ingredients to ensuring maximum teacher effectiveness with both the integration of technology and the ongoing sustained efforts to continually acquire and hone pedagogical practice. In fact, Arthur Elementary has more hours viewed and activities completed in our district’s self-paced!
Professional Learning Management System than any other of our district’s 76 school buildings. Her teachers actively seek out new Professional Learning opportunities in order to better their craft of professional educators. In closing, I am confident that Dr. Schroeder will exceed your expectations and will carry this honor with class and distinction. She has my highest unqualified recommendation for this prestigious award. Please reach out should you require additional information regarding her capabilities as an instructionally innovative leader.
Twenty-four months ago we began talking about it. Twelve months ago we began piloting it. Six months ago “it” was in full swing. The big “it” in the room (literally) was integrating technology into every facet of teaching and more importantly, learning.
The conversation began with expected outcomes and what it would take to achieve them. We decided as a staff that we wanted to have data driven instruction delivered in small groups and individualized instruction. We decided the best path forward was to arm each student with their own device, upgrade wired and wireless infrastructure, and increase instructional technology diversity.
We began with infrastructure. We increased our internet connection to a 750 meg pipe feeding into 37 Ruckus r710 wireless access points. We devices with VLANs to increase speed and lessen cross traffic and bottle necks. We also added GoGuardian to monitor student movement and Catch On to monitor application access.
We spent an entire year testing and piloting different devices. We looked at interoperability with the applications and software we were currently using and hoped to use in the future. We put test devices in the hands of kids to get an idea of ease of use, durability and “feel”. The final tally was iPads in Pre-K and Kindergarten. While each student had their iPad, the devices stayed in the classroom and did not travel with the kids. First grade up received Chromebooks that stayed in the classrooms for grades first through fifth and traveled with students sixth through twelfth. HPS purchased a laser engraver and each device was etched with the Hennessey logo for easy identification. Devices are always under supervision with GoGuardian, even when the device is at the student’s home or possibly the town library.
Teachers all have a Windows 10 laptop with a detachable dock and a Chrome book or iPad for instruction. HPS was awarded a USDA Rural Utilities Services grant that purchased NewLine Trutouch 75” interactive panels with Polycom Real Presence 310 video conferencing units for the classroom. Teachers have the capacity to do anytime video connections in the classroom. The NewLine panels increase the instructional diversity by interweaving Android apps, Microsoft ink products and the internet into one display.
Finally, we approached the data directed decision making by looking at growth, mastery and teacher observation as three points of data that provided a place to start, identification of what our kids knew, and teacher observations you just can’t get from a test. We selected NWEA and Renaissance as our measurement tools and added four Reading and Literacy Specialists through a Striving Readers grant from the OSDE that focused on supporting teachers with data and strategies. We also hired a Digital Teaching and Learning person to assist the transition from teacher focused learning to student focused learning. Taking away textbooks, smart boards, and traditional teaching methods all at once was a traumatic experience, but one our teachers were prepared for. We began professional development early on in year one and continue to provide ongoing relevant PD. We have hosted three day teachnology boot camps in the summer and fall, conference-like PD in August (we have had Shannon McClintock Miller, Ken Shelton and coming this August Kevin Honeycutt), and weekly PLC opportunities.
Hennessey is blessed financially to be able provide the technology, the professional development and the support for teachers to implement a technology rich teaching and learning environment for our kids and staff.
The cornerstone of the Hennessey Public Schools one-to-one project was measurable student achievement. Due to the Striving Readers grant we have focused on reading and literacy with an emphasis on mathematics. HPS has established three points of data; teacher observation, Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) assessments, and Renaissance Learning assessments. NWEA is a student growth model assessment while Renaissance Learning is a student mastery model assessment. HPS hired a Digital Teaching and Learning Director this year to support teachers as they transition to digital teaching and learning as well as provide data in bite size chunks to the teachers, students, parents and administrators. Data is often ignored or overlooked because it is in a form that is not readily utilized and requires a great deal of time to glean through and find exactly what is needed. The Digital Teaching and Learning Director is responsible for working with teachers to determine what data is useful for directing instruction to the whole group, small groups, or individual students. In some cases, students may find themselves in a self-directed learner scenario based on data from NWEA and Renaissance.
Student devices are used to take and administer the assessments, facilitate learning, and produce artifacts. The process goes something like this;
the students take the assessments,
the data is distributed to the teachers, students, parents and administrators,
the teachers utilize the data to determine what each student will do,
determine what learning environment to deliver instruction,
work with students, parents and administrators to set performance goals, and
the process repeats itself three times per year.
All these processes use technology to meet the individual student’s needs. It would be virtually impossible to complete all the tasks in a timely manner without technology. Students have a familiarity with the device they are using to complete the tasks which alleviates data contamination due to students not understanding how to use the device rather than not knowing the correct response.
The technology compresses the timeline so students complete the assessment quicker, no waiting for the lab to be available or tests being sent off to be hand scored. The technology also speeds up the turn-around time for getting data from assessment results in the teacher and students hands, the quicker the results are available the quicker students are accurately applying the results to their learning needs. The one-to-one program puts more resources at the teachers and students’ discretion creating targeted learning opportunities. The technology speeds up all the processes allowing more frequent reviews of the instructional cycle.
HPS is using CatchOn software, https://www.catchon.com/, a comprehensive data analytics tool, to determine if a relationship exists between the software a student uses will increase scores on Oklahoma mandated tests. If HPS can determine a relationship exists, we can streamline our software offerings to students, thereby increase the likelihood students will score well on the Oklahoma state tests.
While each teachers level of comfort and skill varies, each teacher is expected and prepared to be proficient at using technology to meet student’s needs. Students at HPS all have their own device and the capacity to access school networks and the internet for academic purposes. HPS has board approved policies speaking to digital citizen ship. Students and staff alike are provided instruction related to digital citizenship.
Our first steps in articulating and forming our vision was to establish a facebbok page to engage our public. We communicate with our patrons, parents, staff, and students in many ways to make sure the vision is shared across all populations. It is difficult to share in a vision you have no real understanding of. We started and intensive professional development process that involved attending the Oklahoma Technology Association conference with staff and students to enlighten them as to the possibilities. That exposure was all it took to kindle the desire to move our vision forward.
An empowered leader is an informed leader. We have provided professional development to teachers and administrators to arm them with the tools that will empower and encourage our students. We send teachers and students to OTA each year so they can see the latest trends and applications of technology and they attend break-out sessions that inspire them with new ideas and insights. Every Friday we have time set aside for teachers to collaborate vertically and horizontally with their peers and administrators.
We have a “build your house on the rock” mentality when it comes to supporting our student and teacher technology integration. We have installed a large internet connection and robust infrastructure. We review the network performance regularly to ensure it is meeting current demands and project forward to anticipate future demands and prepare to meet them. We have board approved policies in place that address privacy and use expectations.
HPS continually provides professional development opportunities for staff. We regularly send staff to OTA, to visit other schools, attend webinars, and host subject matter experts on campus. Classrooms are connected through Polycom Real Presence 310 classroom devices mounted on New Line Tru Touch interactive panels. Student and teachers have infinite access to outside resources.
We would never be asked to provide evidence that we use a pencil throughout the curriculum, it is just accepted that we do because it is an everyday tool. Technology is an everyday tool to our students and teachers.
Students use their iPads or Chromebooks, iPads for Pre-K and Kindergarten and Chromebooks for first through twelfth, for assessment in all core subject areas, then use data from the assessments to direct their learning. Students use technology in the classroom to do research, store information, and produce content. Students also use their technology outside the classroom to listen to music, order lunch and interact with peers (many times while sitting at the same table). The students not only use technology throughout the curriculum they use technology throughout life. Traditionally we think of curriculum as the core subjects of math, language arts, social science, and science. HPS student also use technology to produce art that only resided in their minds or capture art existing in the space around them. In the time it takes a referee to blow a play dead, our players can come to the sidelines and see the previous play on the assistant coaches iPad and make a game time adjustment. Students in agriculture education use technology to connect their designs to a plasma cam and build products for industry, farming, and pleasure.
Teachers have 75” NewLine TruTouch interactive panels for whole group classroom instruction as well as Windows and Chromebook devices to develop teaching materials, deliver
instruction, interact with parents, students and administrators, and perform routine classroom management tasks.