browser icon
You are using an insecure version of your web browser. Please update your browser!
Using an outdated browser makes your computer unsafe. For a safer, faster, more enjoyable user experience, please update your browser today or try a newer browser.

Author Archives: Jacqui

About Jacqui

Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-8 technology for 15 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-8 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, CSG Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, CAEP reviewer, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, and a weekly contributor to TeachHUB. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.

9 Must-have Tools for Ed Conferences

digital note-takingIt’s summer, time for teachers to recharge their cerebral batteries. That could mean reading, going on field trips, spending time with online PLNs, or taking calls from family members who usually end up at voice mail. For many, it means attending conferences like ISTE and NEA to learn how the heck to integrate technology into their lesson plans. If you aren’t a veteran conference attendee, you may wonder what you should bring. That’s a fair question considering learning is no longer done sitting in auditoriums nodding off to the wisdom of a guest speaker behind a podium. These days, you might be asked to scan a QR code and visit a website, access meeting documents online, interact digitally, or use a backchannel device to share your real-time thoughts with the presenter. Besides a toothbrush and aspirin, what should you take to your upcoming conference? Here are five tools that will make you look and act like the Diva of Digital:

Besides a toothbrush and aspirin, what should you take to your upcoming conference? Here are five tools that will make you look and act like the Diva of Digital:

Google Maps

Some conferences take multiple buildings spread out over several blocks, and depending upon the number of attendees, your hotel may not be around the corner from the Hall. Bring the latest version of Google Maps on your smartphone or iPad, complete with audio directions. All you do is tell it where you’re going, ask for directions, and Siri (the voice behind the iPhone) will lock into your GPS and hold your hand the entire way. If friends are looking for a Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts near the conference, Google Maps will find one. If you want Chinese, use an app like Yelp to find one patrons like (although I’m becoming a tad leery about Yelp. Anyone have a good alternative?)

Conference App

Most educational conferences have one. I find these more useful than the conference website. They are geared for people who are manipulating a digital device one-handed, half their attention on the phone and the rest on traffic, meaning: they’re simple and straightforward. Test drive it so you know where the buttons are, then use it to find meeting rooms, changes in schedules, and updates.

(more…)

Categories: Teacher resources, Web Tools | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

ORIGO Stepping Stones 2.0–A Versatile, Easy-to-Use Math Program

Stepping StonesOrigo Education’s award-winning Stepping Stones 2.0 K-6 math program (with a separate program for pre-K) is versatile, easy-to-use, and nicely differentiated for varied learning and teaching strategies. It is available in English and Spanish with versions aligned with Common Core Standards or the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills. Its unique system of scaffolding lesson-to-lesson and circling back on important concepts not only reinforces learning but enhances student higher order thinking skills. Teaching materials include an abundance of resources, professional development, videos, and help. Lesson plans are delivered via a granular combination of rigorous critical thinking activities, real-world problems, and interactive digital games that make implementing the program easy and flexible for any type of classroom and fully supportive of a schoolwide goal of college and career readiness.

How to use Stepping Stones

(more…)

Categories: Math, News, Reviews | Tags: | 2 Comments

Top 10 Reasons to Sign Up for Summer Learning with Ask a Tech Teacher

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 (closed–only open for groups of five)
  4. 20 Webtools in 20 Days (for groups interested in learning webtools from the Structured Learning curriculum)
  5. the Differentiated Teacher (college credit)

Most award Certificates at completion, for CEUs. The Differentiated Teacher and Tech-infused Teacher can be taken for college credit.

If you’re still wondering whether to sign up for one of the Ask a Tech Teacher Summer Learning classes, here are the Top Ten Reasons to do that:

10. Tech ed is a change agent. You like change.

9. You’ll have a bunch of tech ed skills you can now say ‘I know how to do that’. Like TwitterChats. And Google Hangouts. And screencasts.

8. Your school will pay for it of you promise to teach colleagues–or show the videos.

7. Many of these webtools are candidate-driven. You tell us what works best for you in achieving the class goals; we’ll adapt to you.

6. You want to meet new people.

5. You’re technophobic, but lately feel like teaching without technology is like looking at a landscape through a straw: You’re missing a lot. You want to change that.

4. You want personalized help. With all AATT Summer Learning classes, you get as much time as you need with the instructor to mentor and coach–even on topics not included in the syllabus.

3. Technology in education is the greatest show on earth. Well, at least in the classroom. You want to be part of it.

2.  You get CEUs (Continuing Education Units)–between 18 and 24 hours, depending upon the class you select (where applicable). You also get a Certificate listing all the activities you completed.

1. Albert Einstein said, “The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.” Education’s fix requires technology. You’re ready for a new level of thinking.

 

(more…)

Categories: Teacher resources | Tags: , , , , , | 4 Comments

19 Ways Students Keep Learning Fresh Over the Summer

summer tech funTeachers have known for decades that ‘summer learning loss’ is a reality. Studies vary on how much knowledge students lose during the summer months–some say up to two months of reading and math skills–and results are heavily-dependent upon demographics, but the loss is real.

To prevent this, teachers try approaches such as summer book reports, but students complain they intrude on their summer time. When teachers make it optional, many don’t participate. The disconnect they’re seeing is that students consider these activities as ‘school’ rather than ‘life’. They haven’t bought into the reality that they are life-long learners, that learning is not something to be turned on in the schoolhouse and off on the playyard.

This summer, show students how learning is fun, worthy, and part of their world whether they’re at a friend’s house or the water park. Here are nineteen suggestions students will enjoy:

Math

  • Youngers: Take a picture of making change at the store. Share it in a teacher-provided summer activity folder (this should be quick to use, maybe through Google Drive if students have access to that). Kids will love having a valid reason to use Mom’s smartphone camera.
  • Any age: Take a picture of tessellations found in nature (like a beehive or a pineapple). Kids will be amazed at how many they find and will enjoy using the camera phone. Once kids have collected several, upload them to a program like Shadow Puppets where they can record audio notes over the picture and share with friends.
  • Any age: Pit your math and technology skills against your child’s in an online math-based car race game like Grand Prix Multiplication. They’ll know more about using the program and will probably win–even if you do the math faster. You might even have siblings compete.
  • Grades 2-5: Set up a summer lemonade stand. Kids learn to measure ingredients, make change, listen to potential customers, and problem-solve. If you can’t put one up on your street, use a virtual lemonade stand.
  • Any age: If your child wants to go somewhere, have them find the location, the best route, participation details, and other relevant information. Use free online resources like Google Maps and learn skills that will be relevant to class field trips they’ll take next year.

(more…)

Categories: Parents, Teacher resources | Tags: , | 2 Comments

15 Memorial Day Websites for Students

american-20835_640Memorial Day (May 29, 2017) is the time we remember all of those soldiers (and anyone in the Armed Forces) who gave their lives in the defense of American freedom. In war and peace, they made the ultimate sacrifice, and because of them we are privileged to live the American Dream.

Once a year, we honor them, their sacrifice, and those they left behind. Here are some activities to help students understand the import of this day:

  1. Folding the American flag
  2. In Flanders Field--poem
  3. Memorial Day Messages, Speeches, Oaths, Poems, Anthems, and images
  4. Memorial Day Poems
  5. Memorial Day Poetry–poems
  6. Memorial Day Prayer
  7. Memorial Day puzzle I
  8. Memorial Day Puzzle II
  9. Memorial Day DigitPuzzle
  10. Memorial Day Quiz
  11. Memorial Day Word Search
  12. Primary source recollections of War
  13. Quotes about Memorial Day/Wars
  14. Remember our Warriors
  15. Who you are remembering–Americans killed in action

(more…)

Categories: Holidays, Websites | Tags: | Leave a comment

Studying for Finals: 5 Collaborative Online Methods to Try in Your Classroom

study skillsIf you’re looking for new approaches to studying for finals that will excite your students, check out my article over on Hey Teach! I have a few ideas for you.

Here’s a sneak peak:

Studying for Finals: 5 Collaborative Online Methods to Try in Your Classroom 

I’ve stopped passing out worksheets to help my students prepare for finals. Instead, I like to push my students to collaborate with each other by using online tools. I’ve tried a number of methods that require students to evaluate information, think critically, and solve problems. Here are five methods to try with your students when they’re studying for finals. 

Read more…

(more…)

Categories: Guest post, Problem solving | Tags: | Leave a comment

3 Book Reviews about Anthropomorphized Computers

I know a lot of bloggers who are both geeks and authors. Often, their books including those techie topics I love to read (and ended up critical to my recently-published novel, Twenty-four Days). Here are a few I think you might like:

  • Digital Dick — an AI takes it upon himself to solve the murder of his creator
  • Little Computer People — an AI takes an interesting turn  as she attains sentience
  • Hyperion Web — Jack Crockett and an AI named Moses fight for what may be the soul of America.

(more…)

Categories: Reading, Teacher resources | Tags: | Leave a comment

2 Webtools You Can Learn This Summer to Differentiate Lesson Plans

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.  The following tools are part of what you learn in the Differentiated Teacher:


(more…)

Categories: Classroom management | Leave a comment

Can an AI Save the World?

twenty-four daysThis week, my wonderful efriends here in the blogosphere are helping me get the word out about my second novel, Twenty-four Days. What makes this exciting for us geeks and techies–and why I think readers of Ask a Tech Teacher will like it–is that the AI (artificial intelligence) Otto introduced in To Hunt a Sub is all grown up, now a mobile speaking android who plays a critical part in solving the mysteries and saving the world:

A former SEAL, a brilliant scientist, a love-besotted nerd, and a quirky AI have twenty-four days to stop a terrorist attack. The problems: They don’t know what it is, where it is, or who’s involved.

Kirkus Reviews had this to say: had this to say:

A blistering pace is set from the beginning: dates open each new chapter/section, generating a countdown that intensifies the title’s time limit. Murray skillfully bounces from scene to scene, handling numerous characters, from hijackers to MI6 special agent Haster. … A steady tempo and indelible menace form a stirring nautical tale…

I’ll be visiting blogs to chat about the book and answer questions like:

  1. Can science make a warship invisible? 
  2. Exactly how cool is Otto, the AI? 
  3. What is an ‘AI’?
  4. What pick-up line does the story’s geek,  Eitan Sun, use to attract his first wife? 
  5. Are there drones in this book? 
  6. Is the submarine’s invisibility shield like the cloak in Harry Potter? twenty-four days
  7. Do you have to read the prequel, To Hunt a Sub, to understand this book?
  8. How does Otto find submarines anywhere in the world? 
  9. Is this a romantic thriller? 
  10. Is the tech included in the book really possible? 
  11. When is Book 3 in the Rowe-Delamagente series out?

Here’s the schedule of who’ll I’ll visit. I haven’t included the question–you’ll just have to drop in to see the answer:

Date

Blog

Blogger’s Books

5/15/2017 Michael W Smart Amazon page
5/15/2017 Jessica Marie Baumgartner Amazon page
5/16/2017 Stephanie Faris Webpage with books
5/16/2017 D. Wallace Peach Catling’s Bane
5/17/2017 Juneta Key
5/17/2017 Ken Meyer
5/18/2017 Grace Allison Do You Have a Dream?
5/19/2017 Andrew
5/19/2017 M. C. Tuggle
5/19/2017 Jill Weatherholt Second Chance Romance
5/19/2017 Tyrean The Champion Trilogy
5/19/2017 Heather Erickson Facing Cancer as a Friend
5/20/2017 Carolyn Paul Branch Tangled Roots
5/21/2017 Betsy Kerekes 101 Tips for a Happier Marriage
5/21/2017 Robbie Sir Chocolate and the Sugar Dough Bees Story and Cookbook
5/22/2017 Glynis Jolly
5/22/2017 Erika Beebe
5/22/2017 C. Lee McKenzie Double Negative
5/22/2017 Sharon Bonin-Pratt
5/22/2017 Bish Denham Amazon page
5/23/2017 Cathleen Townsend Dragon Hoard and Other Tales of Faerie
5/24/2017 Chemist Ken
5/25/2017 Wendy Unsworth Amazon page
5/25/2017 Rob Akers
5/26/2017 Don Massenzio Amazon page
5/27/2017 Annika Perry
5/28/2017 Jean Davis Sahmara
5/29/2017 Jennifer Kelland Perry Calmer Secrets
5/31/2017 Carol Balawyder Amazon page
6/4/2017 Ronel Janse van Vuuren
6/9/2017 DG Kaye Debbie’s Amazon page
6/16/2017 Laurie Rand

Please join me whenever you can. I’d love to see you.

(more…)

Categories: Writing | Tags: , | Leave a comment

3 Webtools You Can Learn This Summer in “20 in 20”

summer learningThis 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.  The following tools are part of what you could learn in 20 Webtools in 20 Days:

(more…)

Categories: Web Tools | Tags: | Leave a comment