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Classroom management

169 Tech Tip #127: 12 Tips on Hard-to-teach Classes

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: #127–12 Tips on Hard-to-teach Classes

Category: Differentiation

Sub-category: Teaching, Classroom management, Pedagogy

Here are twelve ideas:

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

  1. While some students take their time to carefully finish a project as suits their learning style, others slam through the steps, looking for ‘what’s next’. Both are fine. Have a lot of authentic activities going on in your classroom so students are encouraged to work at their own pace. Let them self-manage their education. Be clear about your expectations, and then trust them to find their way. Have links on the class internet start page for organic learning like keyboarding practice and sponge websites that tie into subject area inquiry.
  2. Let students communicate ideas with not only text, but layout, color, and images. These can be graphic organizers like Venn Diagrams or pyramids, or an infographic made in ly. Let students
  3. Show students how to add pictures, borders, and fonts. Some students will tolerate the words to get to the decorating.
  4. Use online tools like Discovery Education’s Puzzle Maker to review concepts. Move away from rubrics and study guides. Anything that gamifies learning will go down easier with students. They are digital natives so let them learn in a more natural way.
  5. In fact, gamify anything possible. There are an amazing number of high-quality simulations that teach through games–Minecraft,iCivicsMission US, Lemonade StandHere’s a long list. There’s probably one for every subject. Take advantage of them.
  6. If students aren’t excited by the tools and widgets you offer, let them suggest their own. If they can make the argument for it, let them use it.
  7. Always offer do-overs. I call them ‘Mulligans’. In a differentiated classroom, let students redo an assignment. What if they didn’t understand? Or were sick? How does trying harder defeat education’s goal of learning? With technology, all students do is open their project and continue work based on your feedback. That’s cool. Rest assured: When you offer this in your classroom, most students won’t take you up on it. It’s too outside-the-box. You won’t be deluged with double the work. But, be happy if you are.

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Categories: Classroom management, Education reform | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

169 Tech Tip #120–Why Use Airplane Mode

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: #120–Why Use Airplane Mode

Category: CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT

Sub-category: Hardware, Internet

Q: Why would I use airplane mode when I’m not flying?

A:  Airplane mode stops your phone from searching for an internet connection. If you don’t use it on a long flight, you’ll find your battery drained by the time you land because your phone ran through its power searching constantly for a signal that didn’t exist. If you know you aren’t using the internet for a period of time, switch your phone to airplane mode.

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169 Tech Tip #119–What to do when Computers are Down?

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: #119–What to do when Computers are Down?

Category: CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT

Sub-category: Problem-solving, teaching

Here are six suggestions:

  • discuss digital citizenship
  • build a digital citizen
  • review computer hardware
  • assess student knowledge with a blank keyboard quiz
  • play Tech Challenge
  • play a tech-themed Jeopardy

For more detail, click the full article. For more ideas, check out these articles:

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169 Tech Tip #117–How to Use an Internet Start Page

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: #117–How to Use an Internet Start Page

Category: CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT

Sub-category: Internet, Search/Research

Q: My students get distracted when they go on the internet by all the ads, bling, and websites that are not age-appropriate. What do I do?

When students open the internet, it should kick start their browsing experience, not leave them searching for a bookmark. As a teacher, you make this happen with what’s called an internet start page. It’s also your first line of defense in protecting students from the inherent dangers of using the internet because it focuses them on safe, age-appropriate sites that you have personally approved.

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Categories: Classroom management, Tech tips | Tags: | 2 Comments

169 Tech Tip #116–How to Take Screenshots

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: #116–How to Take Screenshots

Category: CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT

Sub-category: Keyboarding, PC, Mac, iPad, Chromebook

Here are the screenshot shortkeys for five platforms:

  • Windows: a tool included in Windows called the Snipping Tool
  • Chromebooks: Ctrl+Window Switcher key
  • Mac: Command Shift 3 for a full screenshot; Command Shift 4 for a partial screenshot
  • Surface tablet: hold down volume and Windowsbutton
  • iPad: hold Home button and power button simultaneously

There are also screenshot programs you can download like Jing and Printkey (the latter uses your keyboard’s Print Scr key) or use from your browser (like Nimbus or Snagit). Each has a different selection of annotation tools. You may find this works better for your needs.

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

169 Tech Tip #115–Three-click Rule

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: #115–Three-click Rule

Category: CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT

Sub-category: Teaching

Q: Some websites require so many clicks, I get lost. What’s with that?

A: I hadn’t put a lot of thought to this until I read a discussion on a teacher forum about the oft-followed 3-click rule made popular by Web designer Jeffrey Zeldman in his book, Taking Your Talent to the Web. This claims that no piece of content should ever be more than three clicks away from the main page.

This applies to teaching tech to students, also. During my fifteen years of teaching tech, I discovered if I keep the geeky stuff to a max of three steps, students remember it, embrace it, and use it. More than three steps, I hear the sound of eyes glazing over.

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169 Tech Tip #80–17 Ways to Add Tech without Adding Time

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: #80–17 Ways to Add Tech without Adding Time

Category: CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT

Sub-category: Teaching, Writing

Let’s start with seven ways to blend technology into your everyday teaching:

  1. Include digital ebooks in your class library.
  2. Include online libraries with student resources.
  3. Expect digital class presentations to include video, audio, music, or a mixture of digital tools.
  4. Encourage students to tape class presentations to replay later and/or study from.
  5. Allow students to join the class virtually–through Skype or Google Hangouts–in emergencies.
  6. Make research tools like dictionaries and thesauri accessible from all digital devices.
  7. Empower students to solve common tech problems.

Then, add these next ten to redefine your classroom:

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169 Tech Tip #74–What’s My IP Address

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: #74–What’s My IP Address?

Category: CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT

Sub-category: Security, Internet

Q: I need my computer’s IP address, but I don’t know where to find it. Help!

A: Let’s start with why you might need your IP address. Here are a few reasons:

  • Your Web hosting company needs it to troubleshoot your internet connection or an email problem.
  • You fear your computer has been hacked so want to know where it last was accessed.
  • You need to link your printer (or another digital device) to your computer.
  • You need to verify legitimacy for an online company you work with.

There are lots of places online that provide your IP address for free. Here’s one: My IP Address.com.

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169 Tech Tip #60-How to Add Shortcuts to the Desktop

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 #60–How to Add Shortcuts to the Desktop

Category: CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT

Sub-category: PCs, Chromebooks

Q: How do I create a shortcut on my desktop so I can find programs easier?

A: On PCs, there are two ways to do that

  1. click the icon on the start button and drag and drop it to the desktop, OR
  2. right click the icon on ‘all programs’ (click start button; select ‘all programs’) and select ‘send to’, then ‘desktop (create shortcut)’

This is a great tool for students so they can easily access the programs they use most often. If students are in fourth grade or up, let them do this themselves. They’ll feel empowered and they’ll add shortcuts you didn’t consider.

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