Humor that Inspires–for Teachers! Part IV

funny quotesIf you liked the last Humor that Inspires (Part 1, and Part 2 and Part 3), here are more to kick-start your day:

  1. “It is time I stepped aside for a less experienced and less able man.”
    - Professor Scott Elledge on his retirement from Cornell
  2. “Every day I get up and look through the Forbes list of the richest people in America. If I’m not there, I go to work.”
    - Robert Orben
  3. “The cynics are right nine times out of ten.”
    - Henry Louis Mencken (1880-1956)
  4. “There are some experiences in life which should not be demanded twice from any man, and one of them is listening to the Brahms Requiem.”
    - George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)
  5. “Attention to health is life’s greatest hindrance.”
    - Plato (427-347 B.C.)
  6. “Plato was a bore.”
    - Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)
  7. “Nietzsche was stupid and abnormal.”
    - Leo Tolstoy (1828-1910)
  8. “I’m not going to get into the ring with Tolstoy.”
    - Ernest Hemingway (1899-1961)
  9. “Hemingway was a jerk.”
    - Harold Robbins
  10. “Men are not disturbed by things, but the view they take of things.”
    - Epictetus (55-135 A.D.)
  11. “What about things like bullets?”
    - Herb Kimmel, Behavioralist, Professor of Psychology, upon hearing the above quote (1981)
  12. “How can I lose to such an idiot?”
    - A shout from chessmaster Aaron Nimzovich (1886-1935)
  13. “Not only is there no God, but try finding a plumber on Sunday.”
    - Woody Allen (1935-) Read more »
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Tech Tip #93: Auto-fill for Internet Addresses

tech edAs a working technology teacher, I get hundreds of questions from parents about their home computers, how to do stuff, how to solve problems. Each Tuesday, I’ll share one of those with you. They’re always brief and always focused. Enjoy!

Q: Is there a faster way to type internet addresses? All that h-t-t-p stuff–I keep making typos.

A. In fact, there is. Get the main part of the address in, say ‘google’ or ‘spellingcity’, then press Ctrl+enter and the browser will auto-fill the rest. What a time saver!

More tips on Windows:

Tech Tip #74: The Gadgets Menu Bar

Tech Tip #69:Change Size of Desktop Icons

Tech Tip #48: Quickly Switch Between Windows

Read more »

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Dear Otto: What’s a good Technology Acceptable Use Policy?

tech questionsDear Otto is an occasional column where I answer questions I get from readers about teaching tech. If you have a question, please complete the form below and I’ll answer it here. For your privacy, I use only first names.

Here’s a great question I got from D:

I have been a follower of Ask A Teacher site for some time and find the resources very helpful. I recently completed a MEd. in Technology Integration and am teaching technology as a tool to promote learning. I currently work in a 6-12 school in Nova Scotia, Canada where we have a Middle School within a High School. The school is struggling with establishing policy related to technology use, hand held devices, and social media. We teach digital responsibility and citizenship to our younger students with lesser success at the higher grades. Our administration, staff and parent council are requesting that we evaluate our current practices.

I am trying to locate examples and/or information related to technology policies in schools and was wondering whether you are aware of some particularly creative ones. Any suggestions or direction you might be able to point me in would be greatly appreciated.

Thank-you for your time and consideration

Let’s start with: Why have a technology Acceptable Use Policy? The answer is simple, and it’s the same reason why you establish any policies at your school: To inform stakeholders. How should they use the internet and digital devices? What’s appropriate for school that may be different from other locations? What are consequences if errant use? Why should the stakeholders care about using school technology appropriately?aup

There are many benefits to technology in education, but as many negatives. To truly serve the scholastic journey, technology–digital devices and the access to information–must become an effective and safe tool for student and teacher use. The way to communicate that plan is through a Technology Acceptable Use Policy (aka, AUP and Appropriate Use Policy). Design it, then share it. Make sure students understand what they’re agreeing to and why.

An Acceptable Use Policy revolves around three areas:

  • internet use
  • digital device use on the school campus
  • legalities

The trick to making guidelines effective and deliverable is to meet with your admin, teachers, and parents–and probably your legal representatives also. Find out what’s important to them and integrate those into the policy. Definitely, that list should include (find more detail from Scholastic):

  • instructional philosophies and strategies supported by Internet access
  • educational uses of the Internet
  • a list of the responsibilities of educators, parents, and students
  • a code of conduct governing behavior
  • consequences of violating the policies
  • a guide to what constitutes acceptable and unacceptable use of the Internet
  • a disclaimer absolving your school under specific circumstances from responsibility;
  • a statement reminding users that Internet access and the use of computer networks is a privilege
  • the need to maintain personal safety and privacy while accessing the Internet;
  • the need to comply with Fair Use Laws and other copyright regulations while accessing the Internet
  • a signature form for teachers, parents, and students indicating their intent to abide by the policies
  • treatment of other student’s devices
  • illegal activities
  • social media guidelines

Read more »

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Tech Ed Resources for your Classroom–Organize Your Classroom

digital classroomI get a lot of questions from readers about what tech ed resources I use in my classroom so I’m taking 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: Organizing your classroom


13 videos (more added as they become available), approx. 30 minutes per webinar, show how to set up your classroom to be tech-infused.

What’s Included

Do you wonder how to set up an effective, exciting, motivating classroom to teach tech? It’s not difficult–but there are steps you must take that are different from a grade-level or subject-specific classroom. Watch these videos at the start of school and often throughout the year to understand how to integrate tech into your classes and how to help students use tech to get the most from their education adventure. Webinars included:

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20 Websites to Teach Mouse Skills

One of the most important pre-keyboarding skills is how to use the mouse. The mouse hold is not intuitive and if learned wrong, becomes a habit that’s difficult to break. Here are some images to assist you in setting up your newest computer aficionados:


Here are 20 16 websites student will enjoy plus 3 you’ll like , including 3 for adults new to computers:

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Curriculum Companions Start August 18th–Are You Ready?

curriculum companionK-5, 32 webinars per grade (192 webinars), 9 months, 3 companion wikis

Start date for the 2014-15 school year: August, 18, 2014

Curriculum Companion Wikis (K-5 only) follow a tech professional as s/he teaches each lesson in the SL K-5 curriculum textbooks.  Presented this year via videos (10-15 minutes each), you can ask questions as the lesson is presented, start a discussion with other teachers using the curriculum, 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 (5th edition), you have free access to the grade-level wiki. Just look on the front page of the book for a code. If you don’t own the curriculum, you can purchase access on a yearly basis here.


  • Digital access: via video
  • Language: English
  • Length of time: one year
  • Access: Yearly fee covers K-5 (no discount for single wiki)

Use coupon code in each K-5 curriculum text to join for free. Or, click here to purchase.

Read more »

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Book Review: Common Core Literacy for ELA

Common Core Literacy for Ela, History/Social Studies, and the Humanities: Strategies to Deepen Content Knowledge (Grades 6-12)Common Core Literacy for ELA, History/Social Studies, and the Humanities: Strategies to Deepen Content Knowledge

by Katherine S. McKnight

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

View all my reviews

Dr. Katherine McKnight is an author, educator and consultant. She regularly publishes in professional journals and has written eleven books including titles like The English Teacher’s Survival Guide and The Elementary Teacher’s Big Book of Graphic Organizers--recipient of the 2013 Teachers’ Choice Award.

Three of her books are on Common Core, the latest being Common Core Literacy for ELA, History/Social Studies, and the Humanities: Strategies to Deepen Content Knowledge (Jossey-Bass 2014). When I saw this book on my Amazon Vine list, I was excited to read her thoughts on effective delivery of these far-reaching Standards.

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Tech Tip #92: Roll Back Windows Update

tech edAs a working technology teacher, I get hundreds of questions from parents about their home computers, how to do stuff, how to solve problems. Each Tuesday, I’ll share one of those with you. They’re always brief and always focused. Enjoy!

Q:Windows installed automatic updates and now my Outlook keeps freezing. What do I do?

A: I used to turn off the automatic updates, but then I missed some critical ones. Now, if I have a problem (like the above), I go into the updates list and uninstall the ones that have to do with whatever I’m having problems with.

Here’s how you do it:

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50 Special Needs Tools

rainbow-84829_640So much available to differentiate for every student’s special need. Here are 50 apps and websites:


  1. Chrome apps--download to the Chrome browser to assist with special needs students
  3. Disabilities—Google
  4. Disabilities—Google
  5. Disabilities—Macs
  6. Disabilities—Microsoft


  1. Autism browser—Zac Browser


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What’s the Classroom of the Future Look Like?

Education is changing. Teachers no longer primly lecture from the front of the class. Students don’t fervently copy the instructors words down, read  text, and memorize material for a test.

And the classroom itself has changed.

If these reforms have your head spinning, hold on to your sensibilities because lots more are coming. You thought Smartscreens at the front of the class linked to a computer, students storing schoolwork in the cloud rather than a personal file folder, homework submitted electronically, parents signing up to volunteer on something called ‘Sign up Genius’ was cutting edge? By the time your new born baby enters kindergarten, here’s what they’ll find at their school house:

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Categories: classroom management, education reform | Tags: , , , | 7 Comments