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Oklahoma Technology Association


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2018 - Teacher of the Year

OTA Award Winner

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
still image.

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.
Kent Nicholson