169 Tech Tips: Email from MS Office

tech tipsIn these 169 tech-centric situations, you get an overview of pedagogy—the tech topics most important to your teaching—as well as practical strategies to address most classroom tech situations, how to scaffold these to learning, and where they provide the subtext to daily tech-infused education.

Today’s tip: #61–Email from MS Office

Category: Email

Sub-category: MS Office, Classroom management, Printing

Q: I was helping a colleague who couldn’t print a document (server problems) and wanted to email it to herself to print at home. She started going online to her web-based email account and I stopped her. There was a quicker method.

A: Click the email tool on the MS Office program toolbar. It automatically opens your email program. An email dialogue box will open. Fill it in and send.

Of course, if you’re in Google Apps, it’s already in the cloud which means you can access it from anywhere—like home

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Building Digital Citizens–the Class

If you have questions about how to build good digital citizens, questions like:digital citizenship

  • how DO you get students not to steal images from Google and how important is that?
  • what’s the best advice to students when they face cyberbullying?
  • how do you know if you are plagiarizing or if you’ve been plagiarized?

We have a new certificate class (with 18 ECUs) called “Building Digital Citizens” that covers thirteen of the most-common topics everyone should know about Digital Citizenship (they’re listed in the video below). Each section has an introduction and then three phases to help you scaffold learning: Introductory, Working on, and Mastered. Work through all phases in each topic at your own pace, in whatever order you’d like. It’s all online, self-directed, with lots of links, videos, and top-notch online resources to help you figure it all out.

Here’s what you do:

  • Sign up through this link. Be sure to include your email in Special Instructions.
  • Receive a Join Code for the class wiki.
  • Work through the units.
  • Notify us when you’re finished and we’ll send the Certificate.

It’s that simple. Here’s a video introduction:

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Great list of Top Education Blogs

top education blogs10Greatest.com has a comprehensive list of the top education blogs. It covers everything from grade-level resources to topic-specific. I’m proud to say that Ask a Tech Teacher is the first blog on the list–but we have a lot of august company, everything from Richard Byrne to Alice Keeler.

Here are a few:

ASK A TEACHER

LEARN LEAD GROW

COOL CAT

PBS PARENTS

LARRY FERLAZZO’S ENGAGING PARENTS IN SCHOOL

ED TECH FOR BEGINNERS

CAITLIN TUCKER

TEACHER TECH WITH ALICE KEELER

SCHOLASTIC

FREETECH4TEACHERS

PARENT CUE

THE EDUCATOR

If you’re wondering who to follow to be sure you are up to date on the latest in education, definitely check this list.

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20 Websites and 3 Posters to Teach Mouse Skills

Many of my most popular articles are about mouse skills. Every year, tens of thousands of teachers visit Ask a Tech Teacher to find resources for teaching students how to use a mouse. No surprise because using a mouse correctly is one of the most important pre-keyboarding skills. Holding it is not intuitive and if learned wrong, becomes a habit that’s difficult to break.

The earlier posts are still active, but I’ve updated this resource with more websites and posters to assist in starting off your newest computer aficionados.

Mouse Skillsmouse skills

  1. Bees and Honey
  2. Drawing Melody–draw in many colors with the mouse and create music
  3. Hover skills–drag mouse over the happy face and see it move
  4. Left-click practice while playing the piano
  5. Left-click with Bubble Wrap
  6. MiniMouse
  7. Mouse and tech basics–video
  8. Mouse practice—drag, click
  9. Mouse skills
  10. Mouse Song
  11. Mr. Picasso Head
  12. OwlieBoo–mouse practice

Puzzles

Kids love puzzles and they are a great way to teach drag-and-drop skills with the mouse buttons. Here are some of my favorites:

  1. Digipuzzles–great puzzles for geography, nature, and holidays
  2. Jigsaw Planet–create your own picture jigsaw
  3. Jigsaw puzzles
  4. Jigzone–puzzles
  5. Jigsaw Puzzles–JS

Adults

  1. Mousing Around
  2. Skillful Senior

Posters

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Categories: 1st, Kindergarten, Mouse skills | Tags: | 11 Comments

2017 Teachers Pay Teachers’ July Conference — Overview

One of the largest online marketplace for teachers is Teachers Pay Teachers. If you haven’t heard of this estore, you are either new to teaching or long since retired. This vibrant educator community hosts teacher-authors who wish to sell their original lessons and ideas to other teachers, district administrators, homeschoolers, and unschoolers. Since its start in 2006 by a former teacher, it’s grown to over 3.4 million teachers buying or selling over 2.7 million education-oriented Pre-K through High School lesson plans, curricula, videos, classroom activities, assessments, books, bulletin board ideas, classroom decorations, interactive notebooks, task cards, Common Core resources, and more. Teacher-authors have earned more than $330 million since TpT opened its doors with about a dozen making over $1 million dollars and nearly 300 earning more than $100,000. There’s no set-up charge, no cost to join, and no annual fee unless you choose to become what’s called a Premium seller.

TpT 2017 Conference Observations

Every year, TpT holds a conference to share ideas with teacher-authors on how to build their stores, develop their platform, and make money off of their passion. It’s more like an Amway convention than an IBM shareholder meeting. Or, if you’re a football fan, think Pete Carroll’s amazing college football success attributed in no small part to his high-energy positive way of motivating players, an approach that earned him the nickname “the poodle” from arch-rival Notre Dame.

This year, I trundled my way up to Anaheim, California, home of Disneyland and the National Hockey League’s Anaheim Ducks, ready to be wowed by the expertise of fellow teachers and eager to make a whole lot of new connections. I wasn’t disappointed. From start to finish, this event was a rowdy affair filled with energy and enthusiasm, networking and new friends. The first day, as we rode up the elevator to the Welcome event, the TPT folks cheered and high fived all of us teacher-authors. Buzzwords like “shout out”, “ecosystem”, “safe space”, “self-publishing”, “data analysis” were part of every conversation. A favorite phrase was “That’s OK”. Rarely was Common Core mentioned and never did politics come up (thank goodness!).  Teachers raved about their “unicorn husbands”, unbelievable spouses who did the housework, childcare, and cooking so their entrepreneurial wives (90% of the teachers I saw in attendance were female) could work on their TpT store.

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4 Great Alternatives to Google Classroom

Designed by Freepik

In today’s K-12 education ecosystem, most classroom management tools have moved online. This includes typical LMS (Learning Management Systems) functions like homework, classwork, schedules, quizzes, resources, and gradebooks so stakeholders–teachers and students–can access them from any location and any digital device. Because LMSs have a reputation for being complicated to understand and daunting to set up, lite versions that give up some of the robustness in favor of a more pleasant user experience have become popular. The first ‘lite’ option that most educators think of is Google Classroom. It’s easy to use, accessible from all devices, collaborative, and integrates with lots of education apps. You will find yourself most comfortable in the Google Classroom environment if the tools you use are aligned with Google Drive, your browser of choice is Chrome, and your digital device is a  Chromebook.

It turns out there are lots of other reasons schools and teachers don’t want to use Google Classroom:

  • It lacks many features that teachers want in classroom management such as syncing with popular non-Google apps and tools.
  • If you have an LMS you love, Google Classroom often won’t work well with it because it isn’t well-aligned with industry standards.
  • It’s only free if you have a G Suite for Education account.
  • It’s not well-suited if you use Microsoft Office programs.
  • It doesn’t allow a lot of customization. That makes it simpler to use but less adaptable to unique needs.
  • It’s too “googlish”. Toolbars and symbols are easy to understand if you’re into Google, not so much if you aren’t.

The biggest for many people: Privacy concerns continue, despite Google’s efforts to put them to bed. If you’re looking for a non-Google Classroom alternative, here are four:

Microsoft Teamsmicrosoft teams for education

Microsoft is late to the classroom management party but its Microsoft Teams is a worthy consideration. Its name doesn’t scream education though it is the sequel to the since-retired Microsoft Classroom preview. Once set up, the platform works hand-in-hand with OneNote Class Notebooks to provide a digital workspace where teachers can create collaborative classrooms, connect in professional learning communities, communicate with school staff, plan lessons, assign and grade homework, comment on work, and differentiate for student needs. Students can find and share assignments, receive feedback, and collaborate digitally. Overall, it offers similar features to Google Classroom in a different environment.

Free to schools who have Office 365 for Education, it is considered more user-friendly than Google Classroom by some while others disagree. What no one argues is that it works better with Office documents. If your school uses Word, PowerPoint, or Excel on iPads or PCs, this might be a better choice.

kiddom logoKiddom

Kiddom is a free standards-based classroom management platform designed to help teachers curate individual learning experiences. Its pages are visual and easy-to-understand, intuitive to set up, and agile in their responsiveness to varied student and class needs. With its rich analytic features, teachers can quickly determine how students are doing and where remediation is needed. Because many of the statistics are linked to foundational detail, teachers can quickly dig deeper without having to click around trying to find where that particular data lives.

If you are a Google school, you’ll like that Kiddom integrates with Google Drive. Teachers can share docs, sheets, and forms directly with students without leaving Kiddom’s ecosystem. In fact, with Kiddom, you get everything you love about Google Classroom as well as the features only Kiddom brings to learning such as:

  • the ability to plan, assess, and analyze via a free library of standards-aligned resources
  • quick lesson planning using an integrated curriculum planner that can personalize instruction
  • unlimited possibilities for student ownership as they submit work, track their own progress, and solicit feedback from teachers
  • standards-based lesson plans which allow teachers to track completion of skills
  • easy-to-read, actionable reports that help teachers understand individual student performance
  • a flexible curriculum planner that allows teachers to modify individual student learning pathways
Because Kiddom works with Google Classroom, this may be the best option for schools that like Google Classroom but need more.

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We Remember… 9/11

America, we love you.

Categories: History, News | 2 Comments

169 Tech Tip #126: 7 Tips to Differentiate with Tech

tech tipsIn these 169 tech-centric situations, you get an overview of pedagogy—the tech topics most important to your teaching—as well as practical strategies to address most classroom tech situations, how to scaffold these to learning, and where they provide the subtext to daily tech-infused education.

Today’s tip: #126–7 Tips to Differentiate with Tech

Category: Differentiation

Sub-category: Teaching, Pedagogy

Here are seven ways to differentiate instruction every day:

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Categories: Classroom management, Problem solving, Tech tips | Tags: , | 3 Comments

Tech Ed Resources–Certificate/College Credit Classes and Coaching

tech ed helpI get a lot of questions from readers about what tech ed resources I use in my classroom so I’m going to take a few days this summer to review them with you. Some are edited and/or written by members of the Ask a Tech Teacher crew. Others, by tech teachers who work with the same publisher I do. All of them, I’ve found well-suited to the task of scaling and differentiating tech skills for age groups, scaffolding learning year-to-year, taking into account the perspectives and norms of all stakeholders, with appropriate metrics to know learning is organic and granular.

Today: Classes

Ask a Tech Teacher offers a variety of classes throughout the year. These can be taught individually (through coaching or mentoring), in small groups (of at least five), or as school PD. All are online, hands-on, with an authentic use of tools you’ll want for your classroom.


online classesThe Tech-infused Teacher

Certificate

Group enrollment

The 21st Century teacher blends technology with teaching to build a collaborative, differentiated, and shared learning environment. In this course, you will use a suite of digital tools while addressing overarching concepts like digital citizenship, internet search and research, authentic assessment, digital publishing, and immersive keyboarding. You will actively collaborate, share knowledge, provide constructive feedback to classmates, publish digitally, and differentiate for unique needs. Classmates will become the core of your ongoing Personal Learning Network.

Assessment is project-based so be prepared to be fully-involved and an eager risk-taker.

Price includes course registration and all necessary materials.

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Curriculum Companions Start September 10th!

curriculum companion

Curriculum Companion Wikis (K-5 only) follow a tech professional as s/he teaches each lesson in the SL K-5 curriculum textbooks.  Presented via video (10-15 minutes each), you can ask questions, start a discussion with other teachers using the curriculum, and access additional resources. It’s your mentor, your sidekick, your best friend in the tech ed field.

If you own any or all of K-5 Structured Learning technology curriculum (6th edition), you have free access to the grade-level wiki. If you don’t own the curriculum, you can purchase access on a yearly basis here.

K-5, 32 webinars per grade (192 webinars), 9 months

Curriculum Companion Wikis not only include weekly videos, you also get:
  • comprehensive tech vocabulary
  • how-to skills used in lessons
  • a class Discussion Board
  • shared resources

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Categories: AATT Materials, Classroom management, Freebies/Discounts, Teacher resources | 1 Comment