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Computer skills

Summer Professional Development from Ask a Tech Teacher

professional developmentSummer is coming, and so is Summer Tech Learning! Join me with a great group of professionals (who will quickly become your best online friends) for one or more of these five classes on tech topics you want to learn.

Note: Early Bird special for those who sign up by May 15th: Use coupon code SUMMERPD to get 10% off!

There are five options, four of them detailed below:

At the completion, you get 18-24 hours of professional development credit (depending upon which course you take) and a Certificate of Completion itemizing your accomplishments.

There are two ways to sign up–

  • sign up as an individual (not available for 20 Webtools in 20 Days–K-8 Tech Curriculum edition)
  • sign up as a group of five and save 30%!

You can use your personal credit card, school card, or a school PO.

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Categories: Computer skills, Teaching | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Subscriber Special: August

tech in the classroom

Every month, subscribers to Ask a Tech Teacher get a free/discounted resource to help their tech teaching.

August 1-10

169 Real-World Ways to Put Tech into Your Class NOW

get 10% off with coupon code SUBSCRIBERSPECIAL

169 Real-World Ways to Put Tech Into Your Class Now provides 1) an overview of the tech topics most important to your teaching, and 2) practical strategies to address common classroom tech problems. Each tip is less than a page long–many only a third of a page. The goal: Give you what you need to know without a long learning curve. Topics include iPads, Chromebooks, assessment, differentiation, social media, security, writing, and more.

Here are some images from the curriculum:

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Categories: AATT Materials, Computer skills, Tech tips | Leave a comment

Summer Classes–from Ask a Tech Teacher

summer online classesSummer is coming, and so is Summer Tech Learning! Join me with a great group of professionals (who will quickly become your best online friends) for one or more of these four classes on tech topics you want to learn.

Note: Early Bird special for those who sign up by May 15th: Use coupon code SUMMERPD to get 10% off!

There are four options, detailed below:

Sign up now–

  • it’s all online, with a lot of 1:1 assistance, so space is limited
  • in many cases, you get lots of materials as soon as you sign up. Take from now until start-of-class to preview them.

The Tech-infused Teacher (formerly known as Summer PD)

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Categories: Computer skills, Teaching | Tags: , | 2 Comments

What are Good Tech Goals for Students?

technology goalsA frequent question from readers revolves around technology goals for students. It’s tempting to phrase goals like:

4th graders can create a chart in a spreadsheet 

or:

80% of 5th graders can complete ten skills in MS Word (or Google Docs)

But that’s not what technology is about. Technology supports a curriculum. It’s the pencils and books of our digital world. It scaffolds learning, making it blended, normative, rigorous, and granular. The metric for measuring technology skills isn’t a rubric with a list of skills (i.e., add a border, include a hyperlink, and changed the font color). Rather, it’s evidence of the transfer of knowledge: Did the student use technology to further his/her educational journey?

Here are seven authentic technology goals that are scalable to your needs and can be spiraled up or down as required:

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Categories: Computer skills | Tags: | 4 Comments

A Holiday Card in Publisher

Greeting cards are easy enough for second graders–even early readers. Using MS Publisher, pick a template, add a picture to personalize, add their name–and they’re done. It takes about 15 minutes. Kids always feel great about creating these greeting cards: (more…)

Categories: 2nd, 3rd Grade, 5th Grade, Art, Computer skills, Freebies/Discounts, Holidays, Lesson plans, Parents, Publisher/ DTP | Tags: | 1 Comment

Embed a File from Google Drive

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

Q: So many colleagues are embedding documents to their blogs and websites, but I don’t know how to do that. Can you help?

A: I love this part of Google Apps. When your Google document is complete–that includes Docs, Spreadsheets, Slides, and Drawings:

  • Go to ‘Share’ in the upper right corner; select the option you prefer–allowing viewers to just view or edit
  • Click File>Publish to the Web (on the menu bar)
  • Select the link and copy-paste to your website (I’ve done this below) OR select Embed
  • Copy the HTML code that starts with ‘<iframe…’
  • Paste into blog, wiki, website like I did below:

Let’s try this out. Here’s a collaborative spreadsheet to share Exit Ticket ideas. Your name is optional. Strongly consider adding the linkback so we can add each other to our PLN–a great way to share ideas and knowledge. Access the spreadsheet and tell us your favorite warm-up activities and exit tickets:

Here’s the embedded document:

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Categories: Classroom management, Computer skills, Teacher resources, Tech tips | Tags: | 2 Comments

Dear Otto: What’s a good End-of-year Tech Show?

tech questionsDear Otto is an occasional column where I answer questions I get from readers about teaching tech. If you have a question, please contact me at askatechteacher at gmail dot com and I’ll answer it here. For your privacy, I use only first names.

Here’s a great question I got from Sandy:

I am a computer teacher for Elementary as well as for preschoolers…ages 3 and 4. In the past my younger children have always used desktop computers and I have taught them about the basic parts of the computer. For our annual Spring Program I will choose up to 10 students to represent these computer parts and the students tell what they have learned up on stage…always a huge success and very cute. Well, this year we have replaced those desktop computers with tablets. Now I do not have any idea how to come up with something cute and educational for the little ones to do on stage for the program so that all can see what they are doing in computer class. Do you have any ideas?
..
First, Consider the purpose of your end-of-year tech show. That will greatly affect which of the next choices serve your needs. Here are some ideas:

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Categories: Computer skills, Dear Otto | Tags: | Leave a comment

Want to Code on an IPad? Here are 3 Great Apps

codingCoding has become the poster child for a tech-infused classroom. Over 15 million kids participated in Hour of Code this past December. So many teachers took students to Code.org’s curriculum offerings, the website crashed.

So what is ‘coding’? According to the Urban Dictionary, it’s another word for ‘programming’ which means:

The art of turning caffeine into Error Messages

Let’s go to Webster’s definition instead:

The act or job of creating computer programs

Not much better. To techies, ‘programming’ or ‘coding’ is

a series of symbols, used synonymously as text and grouped to imply or prompt the multimedia in the games and programs that happen on computers, websites, and mobile apps.

programming

This complicated definition is why–historically–programming, IT, and Computer Science have been of interest only to the geekiest of kids. But there are good reasons why kids should like this activity. According to Computer Science Education Week:

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Categories: Computer skills, Critical thinking, Education reform, Games/Simulations, Reviews | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Summer PD–from Ask a Tech Teacher

Summer is coming, and so is Tech Training! Join me with a great group of professionals (who will quickly become your best online friends) for three weeks of intensive training on tech topics you want to learn about. All the details are below.

Note: Early Bird special for those who sign up by May 31st. Use coupon code SUMMERPD to get 10% off!

Sign up now–

  • it’s all online, but a lot of 1:1 assistance, so space is limited.
  • you get lots of the materials as soon as you sign up. Take from now until June 22nd to review them, use them in your end-of-year and next-year planning

 

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Categories: Computer skills, Teaching | Tags: , | 6 Comments

10 Tips for Teachers who Struggle with Technology

With technology moving out of the lab and into the classroom, it’s becoming a challenge for some teachers to infuse their teaching with tech tools such as websites, educational games, simulations, iPads, Chromebooks, GAFE, and other geeky devices that used to be the purview of a select group of nerdy teachers. Now, all teachers are expected to have students work, collaborate, research, and publish online.

I’m fine with that because I am that nerd, but if I was expected to integrate art into my classroom, I’d break out in a cold sweat and expect the worst. As the tech coordinator responsible for helping teachers use these tools in their classrooms, I hear too often from experienced, valuable, long-time teachers that they believe the time has come for them to retire, that they just don’t get this new stuff. I also have colleagues who think it takes a special brain to understand tech (the same way students think about math and science)–one they don’t have. If either of these educators are you, here are ten tips that will take the fear out of infusing tech into your lesson plans. Take these to heart–let them guide you. They will make a big difference in how you feel about yourself and your  class at the end of the day:

Make yourself use it every day

Even if you have to set aside ten minutes each day where you close the blinds and lock your door so no one sees your misery, do it. You don’t have to succeed with the tech tool you select, just use it. Whether it works or not is entirely beside the point. The point is you’re trying. You’re exploring the process. You’re unpacking the mysteries of tech in your academic career.

Believe this: The more you use tech, the more comfortable it will be, the more commonalities you’ll find between tools, and the easier it will be to share with students.

edtechTry to figure it out yourself

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Categories: Computer skills, Critical thinking, Education reform, Teaching | 11 Comments