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.

Classroom management

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.

(more…)

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

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.

(more…)

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

169 Tech Tip #15–Save Early Save Often

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 today’s tech-infused education.

Today’s tip #15–Save Early Save Often

Category: CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT

Sub-category: Keyboarding, Problem-solving

Q:  My computer crashes often. How do I keep from losing my work unexpectedly?

A:  Saving is easier than you think. I know–you think it is easy, so what’s the deal? Have you ever lost your work because… it just disappeared–maybe a power surge, maybe you pressed the wrong button. Who knows, but hours of work evaporated. Encourage students to make it a habit to save every ten minutes.

Here’s what you do:

(more…)

Categories: Classroom management, Keyboarding, Problem solving | Tags: | 3 Comments

15 Good Replacements for ScreenChomp

whiteboardFor years, TechSmith’s ScreenChomp app has been my go-to resource for whiteboard drawings, screencasts, and for an uncluttered online art platform for students using iPads. ScreenChomp did a masterful job of making everything needed for each of these activities intuitive even for young users.   For older students, ScreenChomp made it easy to provide personalized feedback by writing or recording comments directly onto their digital work and then sharing it back to them.

There are more uses, but none of them matter right now because ScreenChomp has been retired. According to TechSmith, it no longer fits their larger business goals. I’m not here to judge those; what matters for teachers is that we must now fill the hole left by the loss of ScreenChomp. Like Kerpoof, thousands of educators are scrambling to replace a fundamental tool that was to be an integral part of their 2016-17 lesson plans.

Let me help you with that. Here are options for the most common four activities (art, picture annotation, screencast, and whiteboard) you probably used ScreenChomp for. Since it was an iPad app, I’ve limited the replacement options to that platform:

Art

DoodleBuddy

Create a drawing by fingerpainting, adding stamps, and inserting text. You can even connect with a friend to draw together over the Internet. Price: Free

(more…)

Categories: Classroom management, Web Tools | 1 Comment

What is Kiddom? Why is it right for you? And free resources to inform your teaching

kiddomThe popularity of standards-based grading and instruction is growing. Why? It’s because the one-size-fits-all concept of a single grade representing the fullness of the students’ work is flawed. Today, teachers want to call out student strengths and weaknesses, accomplishments and areas of improvement, as aligned with the standards that their school mission is built on. That requires a detailed picture of what students have learned.

The problem is: This is time-consuming. Teachers must itemize tasks and work, attach them to relevant standards, monitor each student’s progress toward the goal of achieving the standards, and remediate when they need help. For many teachers, this is overwhelming. The ideal would be to have all assignments, assessment, and submittals for each student curated in one spot that automatically updates as the year progresses–and provides actionable reports.

Happily, there is such a program. It’s called Kiddom.

Kiddom is a free standards-based platform designed to help teachers curate individual learning experiences. Its pages are visual and easy-to-understand, enabling teachers to quickly determine how students are doing and where remediation is needed–all without spending a lot of time analyzing data. Many of the details are linked, allowing you to dig deeper on any subject from a variety of pages rather than one specific spot.

Here are details you’ll like:

(more…)

Categories: Classroom management, Reviews | Tags: , | 7 Comments

169 Tech Tips–8 Tips for Chromebooks

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: #94–8 Tips for Chromebooks in Class

  1. Be clear what the Chromebook can and can’t do. Then you won’t expect the impossible.
  2. It is sturdy–reinforced hinges, water-proof keyboard (waterproof everything), able to survive a drop from desk-height–but still teach students to handle it with care.
  3. Chromebooks are platform agnostic. It doesn’t matter if students create documents in Macs or PC. Once they load it to their cloud storage, they can view it and/or share it.
  4. Taking screenshots is easy. Review this early and often with students.
  5. Get students used to the most fundamental Chromebook shortkeys. They’re much faster.Here’s a big list of ones they’ll find useful.
  6. The Chromebook operating system (Chrome OS) is Linux-based. I won’t bore you with what that means. Just be clear that you’re not working with an OS X or Windows operating system. That will inform a lot of the stuff you do along the way.
  7. Chromebooks will operate more efficiently on the Chrome browser than IE or Firefox.
  8. Who you buy your Chromebook from will affect how much Cloud storage each user gets.

(more…)

Categories: Classroom management | Tags: | 2 Comments

10 Ways to Use Twitter in Class

twitter in educationFor anyone who missed the April announcement, Twitter switched its app category from ‘social media’ (where it consistently ranked in the top ten with Facebook, Instagram, Messenger, WhatsApp, and Pinterest) to ‘news’ (now ranked #1, ahead of apps like CNN, Fox News, and Reddit). It makes sense; tweets and twitter streams have been part of hard-core news reports for years as an effective way for leaders and politicians to reach their constituents and pollsters to gauge what interests people. A good example is this series of tweets explaining the recent Brexit vote.

As an educator, I am thrilled. Twitter’s gossipy reputation among administrators and most parents negates its dynamic applications in the classroom. With the not-so-recent addition of audio and video files (easily embedded from sites like Instagram and Periscope), educators can easily use it as a student-friendly approach to everything from assessment to sharing notes.

Before unpacking Twitter in your classroom, here are a few guidelines:

  • Clear its use with your administration. Be prepared to educate them on why what seems to be social media is actually educational.
  • Inform parents that their children will be using Twitter to collaborate, share information, study for tests, and other uses specific to your program. Again, as with your administration, be prepared to explain the benefits of a Twitter-powered class.
  • Twitter doesn’t have a lower age limit, but does reference ‘thirteen’ as a suggested minimum age. You decide what fits your group. You may also decide that setting the Twitter stream as private (called ‘protected Tweets’) is a good educational decision.
  • Demonstrate how to use Twitter and what the symbols mean (tie this into a class discussion on math symbols).
  • Establish rules for Twitter use. Remind students it is for educational uses only; chatting and socializing must be done through other means. Then enforce it by suspending privileges, warning abusers, or whatever works best in your classroom climate.
  • Check out the Twitter streams of other educators before starting. Here’s one for a first-grade class to get you started. The visual of how they use it to enhance education is powerful.

Here are my ten favorite uses of Twitter in my classroom:

(more…)

Categories: Classroom management, News, Social media | Tags: | Leave a comment

169 Tech Tip #146: 18 Ideas for Warm-ups, Exit Tickets

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: #146–18 Ideas for Warm-ups, Exit Tickets

Category: ASSESSMENTS

Sub-category: Classroom Management, Writing, Differentiation

Here are eighteen ideas for class warm-up and exit tickets:

(more…)

Categories: Classroom management, Tech tips, Writing | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

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

Overview

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.


T-i T coverThe Tech-infused Teacher

Certificate

Summer 2017 or by special request in your school or District

The 21st Century lesson 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. Group discounts available.

(more…)

Categories: AATT Materials, Classroom management, Online education, Teacher resources, Videos | Tags: , | Leave a comment

How to Blend DoK into Lesson Plans without a Comprehensive Rewrite

depth of knowledgeI recently got a question from a reader asking how the lessons in my K-8 curriculum supported Dr. Norman Webb’s Depth of Knowledge philosophy — an integral concept to her school’s mission. It got me thinking about lesson plans in general — how far we’ve come from lecture-test-move on. Now, exemplary teachers focus on blending learning into the student’s life knowledge base with the goal of building happy, productive adults. There are several concepts that address this reform in teaching (such as Art Costa’s Habits of Mind, Bloom’s Taxonomy, the Hess Cognitive Rigor Matrix, or the tech-oriented SAMR Model). Depth of Knowledge (DoK) is arguably the most thorough with its four concise levels, each supported by a collection of words that contribute to delivering content at that level. Like the SAMR Model, involvement grows with each level from a basic recall of knowledge to the ability to use that information in new circumstances.

Here are general details about Webb’s DoK:

  • With Webb’s DoK chart, not only can you figure out how to teach a subject more deeply and expect students to demonstrate complex understanding, but teachers can evaluate where students are in the four-step process starting at the rote application of knowledge to its synthesization from various sources that is then transferred to other uses.
  • Level One: Identify details in the text, specific facts that result in a ‘right’ answer. Tasks that require Level One thinking include words like memorize, state, and recognize.
  • Level Two: Show a relationship between an idea in the text and other events. ‘How’ and ‘why’ are good questions to bump an activity into Level Two. Tasks that require Level Two thinking include words like compare, infer, and interpret.
  • Level Three: Analyze and draw conclusions about the text. Support conclusions with details. Use a voice that is appropriate to the purpose, task, and audience. Tasks that require Level Three thinking include words like hypothesize, differentiate, and investigate.
  • Level Four: Extend conclusions and analysis (which might be the result of Level three) to new situations. Use other sources to analyze and draw conclusions. Tasks that require Level Four thinking include words like connect, analyze, and prove.
  • As Dr. Karin Hess says, DoK is not about difficulty, it’s about complexity. Level  One may be difficult for some students, but it isn’t complex. They may memorize a calculus formula (which I’ll stipulate is beyond difficult), but it doesn’t represent rigorous thinking. That happens in Level Four’s application to the real world.
  • For DoK’s Level One and Two, there are usually right answers. That’s not true in Levels Three and Four.There, it’s about higher-order thinking.
  • DoK is not a taxonomy (like Bloom’s). Rather, it itemizes ways students interact with knowledge.
  • To work at a Level Three or Four requires foundation. Show students how to accomplish Level One and Two goals first.

With that in mind, here are seven steps to transform your current lesson plan into one aligned with DoK guidelines:

(more…)

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