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Teacher resources

Did You Miss These Posts Over the Holidays?

ideasHere are four articles to get you ready for the demands of a new school year:

  1. End-of-year Tech Tips: Update Your Online Presence
  2. End-of-Year Tips: Image and Backup Digital Devices
  3. End of Year Tips: 22 Steps to a Speedier Computer
  4. How to Teach with Videos

Try them out–post a comment if you need help. I’ll be here.

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Categories: Blogging, Teacher resources, Videos | Tags: | Leave a comment

10 Hits and 10 Misses for 2016

top-ten-2016Since I started this blog five years ago, I’ve had over 4.8 million visitors to the 1,454 articles I’ve written on integrating technology into the classroom. This includes how to use wikis or blogs in the classroom and what I’ve learned from my students as we got through another tech week. I have regular features like:

If you’ve just arrived at Ask a Tech Teacher, start here.

It always surprises me what readers find to be the most and least provocative. The latter is as likely to be a post I put heart and soul into, sure I was sharing Very Important Information, as the former. Talk about humility.

Before you look at what statistics say are the most popular posts, tell me what your most popular categories are by voting in this poll:

[polldaddy poll=8383517]

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

End of Year Tips: Update Your Online Presence

year-end computer maintenanceThis week, I’ll share three holiday activities that will get your computers, technology, and social media ready for the new year. Here’s what you’ll get:

  1. Update Your Online Presence
  2. Backup and Image your computer
  3. 22 Ways to Speed Up Your Computer

A note: The links won’t work until the articles publish!

Today: Update Your Online Presence

For most teachers I know, life zooms by, filled with lesson planning, meetings, classes, collaborations with their grade-level team, parent meetings, and thinking. There are few breaks to update/fix/maintain the tech tools that allow us to pursue our trade.

But, that must happen or they deteriorate and no longer accomplish what we need them to do. Cussing them out does no good. Buying new systems takes a long time and doesn’t fix the problem that the old one wasn’t kept up. If they aren’t taken care of, we are left wondering why our teacher blog or website isn’t accomplishing what it does for everyone else, why our social media Tweeple don’t answer us, and why our TPT materials languish. There’s a short list of upkeep items that won’t take long to accomplish. The end of the calendar year is a good time to do these:

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Categories: Blogging, Digital Citizenship, Teacher resources | Tags: , | 1 Comment

How to Use Google Forms in the Classroom

google formsThere are lots of free survey and polling sites (two popular options are PollDaddy and Survey Monkey), but often they limit the number of surveys you can create or how many questions you can include without ‘leveling up’ to a premium version. Among the teachers I know who are always looking for ways to save their limited pennies, Google Forms is a run-away favorite. It is intuitive, flexible, professional, can be adapted to school colors and images, and can be shared as a link or an embed. You can work alone or with colleagues and there are a wide variety of options that tweak the form to your needs.

Using available templates, a customized form can be completed in under five minutes. Responses are collected to a Google Spreadsheet that can be private or shared with participants and can be sorted and analyzed like any other spreadsheet.

Google Forms integrates well with Google Apps for Education, Google Classroom and many LMSs such as Blackboard.

How to use it

Google Forms is simple to use. Just follow these steps:

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Categories: Teacher resources, Tech tips | Tags: | 9 Comments

2 Great Professional Development Opportunities for Hour of Code

Two great professional development presentations from Nepris:

View this in your browser
Why should kids have all the fun?

This year, we’re offering two awesome industry chats meant exclusively for teachers. SE3D Corporation CEO Mayasari Lim helps you think about how you could integrate 3D printing into your science curriculum, and Amjad Masad of Repl.it introduces a simple, free platform that will save you time and help your students develop their coding skills. 

Sign up for both interactive industry chats below! 

December 1 • 4:00pm ET | 1:00pm PTDr. Mayasari Lim, CEO of SE3D will demonstrate how this cutting-edge tool can benefit your science classroom for applications in biotechnology, green technology and tissue engineering. This program will be very helpful for teachers and educators who are taking the first steps of getting familiar with this technology and how it can be applied in your STEM, NGSS, and CTE initiatives.

December 5 • 4:00pm ET | 1:00pm PT
Teachers often spend weeks installing software and setting up the development environment for their students. Repl.it can get your students coding in minutes. Just open a new browser tab and select from over 30 programming languages. In this session, Amjad Masad will walk you through the interesting features and tools Repl.it provides.
Want to connect your students with some amazing industry professionals too? See our upcoming chats and browse the Nepris video library for archived industry chats to make any of your lessons come alive!

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Office Hours–Questions? Let’s Talk

tech ed helpIf you are using the SL K-5 Technology Curriculum, you’ll love this free service. Every Sunday, Ask a Tech Teacher will offer online, virtual Office Hours to answers questions about the curriculum. Any questions you have about how to unpack lessons, teach a skill, or tie into class inquiry can be asked at this weekly real-time Google Hangout:

Sundays, 2pm PDT

Just like your college professor, doors are open to whoever shows up. Here’s how it works:

  • Sign up for the Companion Wikis (for grades K-5)
  • Fill out the form at this link or below with the dates you would like to attend and the topic you’d like to discuss.
  • Sundays, you’ll get an invitation to the Google Hangout. Click it. If you aren’t familiar with Google Hangouts, check the Skills tab on the wiki, under ‘Google Hangouts’ for guidance
  • Join in!

Interested? Here’s the sign-up sheet:

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Categories: AATT Materials, Teacher resources | Leave a comment

14 Websites That Will Excite Students About Tech

Most teachers I know accept that their classes must be technology-infused. Many think that means replacing traditional tools with the tech version (for example, instead of creating a big bulky poster, use a virtual poster like Glogster). Others think using iPads to read the book is homage enough to the 21st Century teaching police. A surprising number of students — and teachers — still consider technology to be the realm of a chosen few endowed with brilliance and math/science skills. When you try to explain that technology, computers, and websites are easily accessible to anyone willing to think critically and solve problems, they laugh. Or hide.

Here are fourteen websites I use to persuade teachers that technology isn’t always about math and science, that lots of tools work flawlessly as they inspire students to new ways of learning.

Backwards Google

This site shows the Google search engine backwards as is everything you type into the search field. This is from the creative minds at elgooG (not affiliated with Google) and only for entertainment. When you’re done giggling over the oddity of a backwards world, try some of their other geeky options included at the top of the screen like:

  • Snake Game (at the top of the Backwards Google screen)
  • Do a Barrel Roll –click the link and Google will do a barrel roll before beginning your search
  • Tilt —  click the link and Google will tilt before performing your search

google gravity

Chrome Experiments

Chrome Experiments is a showcase of over 1200 web experiments written by the creative coding community. They are clever and often addicting and include a mesmerizing kaleidoscope, Fluid Particles (waves of particles generated by a SketchUp type drawing you create), Searching Planet (a 3D visual of what people around the globe search for on Google), and A Year in the Life of Earth’s CO2 (shows how carbon dioxide travels around the globe over the course of one year).

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Categories: Games/Simulations, Humor, Parents, Teacher resources | 3 Comments

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.

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

15 Back-to-School Posts

back to schoolOn everything from get-to-know-you activities to getting yourself ready:

  1. New School Year? New Tech? I Got You Covered
  2. 5 Top Ways to Integrate Technology into the New School Year
  3. 5 Ways to Involve Parents in Your Class
  4. 3 Organizational Apps to Start the School Year
  5. 6 Tech Best Practices for New Teachers
  6. How to Prepare Students for PARCC Tests
  7. 8 Tech Tools to Get to Know Your Students for Back to School
  8. 5 Tools To Shake up the New Year
  9. 3 Apps to Help Brainstorm Next Year’s Lessons
  10. What Digital Device Should My School Buy?
  11. 4 Options for a Class Internet Start Page
  12. 5 Ways Teachers Can Stay on Top of Technology
  13. Back to School–Tech Makes it Easy to Stay On Top of Everything
  14. Dear Otto: I need year-long assessments
  15. 5 Tech Ed Tools to Use this Fall

For the entire list, click this Back-to-School category tag.

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Categories: Teacher resources | Tags: | 1 Comment

Tech Ed Resources for your Class–Lesson Plans

lesson plansI 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: Lesson Plans

There are lots of bundles of lesson plans available–by theme, by software, by topic, by standard. Let me review a few:

  • bundles of 5 lesson plans–These are great when you want to cover a software program, a tool, a grade, or a standard. Each calls out the higher order thinking skill engaged. Pick the one that fits your need. They’re affordable, focused, and often completed in just a few class sessions.
  • bundles of bundles–15 for about $20 (less if you use a discount coupon). Stock up! Buy three bundles of five lessons to cover a wide-range of needs.
  • 30 K-5 Common Core-aligned lessons–5 per grade level
  • 110 lesson plans–integrate tech into different grades, subjects, by difficulty level, and call out higher-order thinking skills. These cover everything and are discounted this month. Check them out. They could be exactly what you need.
  • singles–for as low as $1.99 each. Genius Hour, Google Apps, Khan Academy, and more.
  • Holiday projects–16 lesson plans that theme to holidays and keep students in the spirit while learning new tools.

Who needs this

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Categories: AATT Materials, Classroom management, Lesson plans, Teacher resources | Tags: , | Leave a comment