Teacher Appreciation Week is May 1st-5th

teacher in classroom with his little happy studentsTeacher Appreciation Week is May 1st-5th. In honor of these tenacious, creative individuals, here are some of our favorite humorous teacher appreciation articles:

10 Bits of Wisdom I Learned From a Computer

How to Talk to a Tech Teacher

18 Things Teachers Do Before 8am

A Website That Cleans Your Computer for You

Definition of ‘Teacher’

How to be a Tech Teacher

You’re a Geek Now

You Know You’re a Geek When…

10 Steps to Become a Better Geek

15 Ways to Get Your Geek On

21 Reasons Why You Know You’re a Teacher

You Know You’re a Techy Teacher When…

Just Another Day In Computer Lab

Dr. Seuss–Techie Style

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Categories: Humor, Teaching | Leave a comment

5 Resources to Gamify Student Writing

Ask a Tech Teacher guest blogger, Karen Dikson, has put together a collection of online gamified sites that will help your students with their writing: You think the textbooks for today’s generations of students are way more interesting than the once you had? Ask your students. They still think the lessons are boring. If you don’t do anything to make the studying material more appealing, you can’t expect great engagement and results in your classroom.

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Categories: Games/Simulations, Guest post, Writing | 2 Comments

Summer Online Learning Questions We’ve Gotten

In response to extensive interest from readers, Ask a Tech Teacher will be offering four Summer Learning Certificate classes with 18-24 CEUs:

June 19th through August 6th

3-4 weeks, lots of resources and hands-on help

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To help you make your decision, I want to share the most common questions I’ve gotten regarding sign ups:

Q: What is the cost to register?

The full program is $229. If you sign up by April 30th, you can enroll a friend for free. If you sign up with a group of 5, it’s $750 ($150 for each person). You can enroll through the PayPal button on the website or with a school PO.

Q: I don’t know which class to take.

Here’s a quick checklist:

  • If you want a broad overview of integrating technology into your classroom, start with The Tech-infused Teacher. Follow that with the sequel, The Tech-infused Classroom (offered sequentially) if you have time.
  • If you took The Tech-infused Teacher last year and loved it, take The Tech-infused Classroom. It’s the sequel and lets you dig deeper into what you learned last year.
  • If you’re looking for specific help on tech tools, take 20 Webtools in 20 Days. This covers webtools teachers use most often in their classes, or want to use.
  • If you’re looking for help specifically with using technology to add creativity and zing to your writing lessons, take Teach Writing with Tech.

Q: What if I can’t figure out how to use some of the tools during the classes? I’m not very techie.

Email the instructor at askatechteacher at gmail dot com throughout the week and/or bring up your question at the weekend Google Hangout.  That’s what this class is for–to get you comfortable with tech tools you want to use in your class. We’ll even set up a separate GHO with you to walk you through it. Plus, you can chat with classmates through the Discussion Forum. They’ll be able to share personal experiences they’ve had with the tools.

Q: Who are the teachers for this PD? And what are their qualifications?

The Master Teacher is Jacqui Murray. She’s been teaching K-8 technology for 15 years and K-16 for 35 years. She’s an adjunct professor as well as a Master Teacher. She’s the author/editor of over a hundred tech-in-ed resources including a K-8 tech curriculum that’s used throughout the world. She will be joined as needed by other teachers from the Ask a Tech Teacher crew.

Q: I want to sign up with several other teachers from my school. Is there a group discount available?

Absolutely! Use the group button on the sign-up page ($750). That will give you five enrollments for $150 each. Great discount!

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Categories: Teacher resources, Web Tools | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

How You Can Make Homework Easier for Students

why lms–this post was sponsored by itslearning, but the opinions are my own.

When I started teaching, homework always involved paper–a worksheet, a poster, a written essay, or something else like that. The problems associated with that approach were endless, including that students couldn’t find the assignment, lost their notes, wrote the assignment down wrong, left their notebook where they weren’t so couldn’t do it, the dog ate it. Even if they did it on a computer, I remember numerous before-school visits from students to use my printer because theirs was broken, out of ink–add your own dilemma to this list. Most of these reasons were true and I did feel for the students, but the end result was always the same: The student didn’t get the benefit of what s/he would have learned from the homework.

When I started teaching, homework always involved paper–a worksheet, a poster, a written essay, or something else like that. The problems associated with that approach were endless, including that students couldn’t find the assignment, lost their notes, wrote the assignment down wrong, left their notebook where they weren’t so couldn’t do it, the dog ate it. Even if they did it on a computer, I remember numerous before-school visits from students to use my printer because theirs was broken, out of ink–add your own dilemma to this list. Most of these reasons were true and I did feel for the students, but the end result was always the same: The student didn’t get the benefit of what s/he would have learned from the homework.

It didn’t stop there. Because students couldn’t access school-based materials at home (for reasons like no internet or no digital device), I had to assign homework that could be completed without school resources, by themselves. Group projects were nice, but getting everyone in the same library or house meant parents driving, schedules re-arranged, and time that could have been spent on learning was spent on making arrangements.

It seemed my biggest challenge–as well as my students–was managing workflow.

Thanks to Learning Management Systems, that’s changed.

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Categories: Classroom management | Tags: | 2 Comments

169 Tech Tip #82: How do I use a ‘Read Only’ Doc?

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: #82–How do I use a read-only doc?

Category: EDIT/FORMAT

Sub-category: Security

Q: The file I’m trying to edit say’s ‘read only’. What do I do?

A: A ‘read only’ document means you can’t edit the author’s work. Adapt to this by saving the file under a different name, say, ‘revised’, and then edit. There might be an amber bar at the top of the document asking you to do just that.

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Categories: Problem solving, Tech tips | Tags: | Leave a comment

3 Things You Could Learn This Summer to Infuse Your Teaching with Tech

This summer, Ask a Tech Teacher is holding five Summer Learning classes:

  1. Tech-infused Teacher (Certificate edition for CEUs or grad class for college credit)
  2. Tech-infused Class
  3. Teach Writing with Tech
  4. 20 Webtools in 20 Days (and the Structured Learning curriculum edition)
  5. the Differentiated Teacher

Most award Certificates at completion, for CEUs. The Differentiated Teacher and Tech-infused Teacher can be taken for college credit.  Here are three videos on concepts you’ll cover in the Tech-infused Teacher:Things

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Summer Tech Camp–Everything You Need

summer tech camp

by AATT banner

Summer Tech Camp Survival Kit

From Ask a Tech Teacher

Are you teaching a Summer Tech Camp to Kids? We have the solution:

Build Your Own Adventure

$230 value for $179

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Categories: Classroom management, Freebies/Discounts, Lesson plans, Subscriber special, Teacher resources | Tags: | Leave a comment

21 Great Websites and Apps for Earth Day

earth dayApril 22nd is Earth Day. Celebrate it with your students by letting them visit these websites:

  1. Breathing earth– the environment
  2. Breathing Earth YouTube Video–of CO2 use, population changes, and more
  3. Conservation Game
  4. Earth Day—NASA Ocean Currents
  5. Earth Day Printables
  6. Eco-friendly house
  7. Ecotourism Simulation–for grades 4 and above
  8. EekoWorld
  9. Electrocity
  10. Footprint calculator
  11. History of Earth Day–lots of reading
  12. My Garbology
  13. Starfall — Every Day is Earth Day
  14. Storyboard That! Earth Day lesson plans

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Categories: Geography, Holidays, Science, Websites | Tags: , | 2 Comments

A Pilot Test of Revision Assistant and What We Learned in the Process

Revision Assistant, part of the Turnitin family, is a comprehensive virtual writing assistant for students that allows them to digitally edit and rewrite documents for any class. Last year, Sammy Spencer, a High School English teacher in Southern California, ran a pilot program using Revision Assistant in her school. Here’s her story:

pilot programLast Fall, my El Camino Real High School colleagues and I set out to change the way we teach writing. We wanted to redefine effective standards-based instruction and assessment. By the time we were finished with a pilot test, we discovered that a technology tool helped us and our students in some unexpected ways. It changed our day-to-day writing instruction practices, gave students more power over their own learning, and happily, made writing exercises more real and applicable for other departments like social studies.

In 2016-17, I was the new English department chair at ECRCHS, which is a large public charter school in Los Angeles. We are fortunate in that we have a lot of academic freedom, but since this is an accreditation year, we have to be sure we have data to prove we are meeting our learning objectives.

This year, I needed to help our English department implement shifts in writing methods directed by the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). We also needed new pedagogical approaches that would yield data to measure progress. Our literacy coach and English teacher, Heidi Crocker, found a product from Turnitin – Revision Assistant – that used a powerful technology to assess writing and would turn the data it uncovered into feedback that students could apply to their essays immediately. We decided to give it a try.

We took a measured approach and piloted Revision Assistant in August 2016 with a small group of English and History teachers. At around the same time, our administration department asked us to align department objectives so that writing instruction reflected CCSS and the Smarter Balanced-style prompts. We needed benchmark assessments that would not only measure student achievement, but also able to drive instruction.

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Categories: News, Writing | 2 Comments

169 Tech Tip #20: How to Add a Link to MS Word

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: #20–How to add a link to MS Word

Category: EDIT/FORMAT

Sub-category: MS Office, Google Apps, Keyboarding

Q:  I want to link a resource in Word/Google Docs to a website. How do I do that?

A:  Follow these easy steps:

  • Go to the website you want to link to.
  • Copy the address from the address bar (Ctrl+C or Edit>copy from the menus).
  • Return to your doc (it’s waiting on the taskbar at the bottom of the screen or simply click Alt+Tab).
  • Highlight the words you want to link to the website.
  • Press Ctrl+K; press Ctrl+V; push enter.
  • The words turns blue with a line under them, showing it’s a link.
  • To use the link, Ctrl+click on the words.

There are sophisticated options that go along with adding links, but this is quick and easy.

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Categories: Tech tips, Word processing | Tags: , , | Leave a comment