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Thursday, October 27, 2016

Feeback on your Feedback (We Love Feedback)

Earlier in the year, I shared favorite lesson plans submitted as part of our end-of-year survey (click the links for posts on the elementary, middle, and high school lessons.) In that same survey, we asked for suggestions to improve the listserv and our service overall. We got GREAT feedback, which I will respond to over a couple of posts, so as not to overwhelm.

Contacts: Several of you asked for information on who to call/contact for different services.
  • Our main email is mhseducation@mt.gov. Direct inquiries here and we will make sure your request gets to the correct person. 
  • To talk with someone about footlocker reservations, call 406-444-9553. 
  • To talk with someone about tours, call 406-444-4794.
  • To talk with someone about the textbook, call 406-444-4740.
  • To contact our research center, email mhslibrary@mt.gov or call 406-444-2681. 
  • You can also always email me at mkohl@mt.gov and I'll do my best to get you to a person who can help you.
Remember our special learners: We can and should do more to help teachers with differentiation and to provide material for students with learning disabilities. 
  • Learning Ally offers Montana: Stories of the Land as an audiobook for students with learning disabilities.
  • If you have specific suggestions for what we can do to make our lesson plans and resources more adaptable, I'd love to hear from you.
Broken links: "Some of the websites no longer work." 
  • It is a constant struggle. We do our best to keep our links up to date but we could use your help. When you stumble across a broken link in one of our lesson plans, please, please email me
Difficulty finding things on the list: "I sometime get overwhelmed with so much information!  So I archive them so I can look back when I'm searching for new topics."
  • Even better than archiving posts yourself is using the tags and search functions on http://teachingmontanahistory.blogspot.com/. Look in the right hand column for a search box, a list of posts by date, and a list of tags. Click on a tag of interest (from "archaeology" to "worksheets") and see what comes up.
Navigating the Website/Finding Material: "I have struggled with finding things on the MHS website.  A tutorial would be great to better access and utilize materials."

No doubt about it, we have a lot of stuff--and that can make it hard to find what you need. We've tried to organize material intuitively--but what's intuitive to us may not be for you. As part of our Online Professional Development, we have two tutorials to help you navigate our site: 
  • Montana: Stories of the Land Companion Website and Teacher’s Guide Professional Development Training (Part 1 of this Camtasia presentation walks you through the website, with resources for all ages, not just for middle school. Part 2 walks you through the textbook site--this site is designed for middle school use but has resources useful to other ages as well.)
  • Montana Historical Society Educator Resources (This video features in more conversational style four of our resources: Hands on History Footlockers, Charlie Russell Lesson Plans, Montana: Stories of the Land, and the Women's History Project.)
  • If you are still frustrated, drop me an email. I'm always happy to help where I can.
More next week.

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