For the first time ever, Windows is upgrading the existing Windows platform for free. If you use a current version of Windows, you’ll notice a little icon in the lower right tooltray that encourages you to upgrade. There’s a time limit to how long you can wait and still get it for free, but it’s long enough for you to research the upgrades and decide if they work for you.
I’m still on the fence. So often early adopters are the guinea pigs for problems that are later fixed. Matthew Young, a tech writer and gadget enthusiast, has put together a nice summary of what’s included in Windows 10 Education Edition as well as some of the known known issues. Read through his review and then add your experiences under comments.
Windows 10 Education Edition is here to make both teaching and learning a walk in a virtual park. This powerful edition for schools has a variety of new tools and features that make learning more student focused, researching more user convenient, classrooms more globalized and teaching a lot more fun.
Microsoft wants to share the incredible teaching experience of Windows 10 Education Edition with as many people as possible so is offering free upgrades to Windows 10 for education customers using Win 7 or 8.1. In this article, I’ll count down the amazing features on the new Windows 10 Education Edition to show you just how much it will impact the noble profession of teaching, making learning both fun and eye-opening.
If you are using the SL K-5 Technology Curriculum, you’ll love this new free service. Starting Sunday, Structured Learning will offer online, virtual Office Hours. 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 one of our Companion Wikis (for grades K-5) to get notification. Do that first. If you don’t know how, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sundays, you’ll get a notification through the wiki with a link 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:
With the growing interest in coding comes a call for after school tech camps that supersize student enthusiasm for learning technology. If you’ve been tasked (or volunteered) to run this activity, here are five activities that will tech-infuse participants:
It’s been said that inside 70% of us is a book crying to get out. Kids are no different. Many dream of becoming an author, a journalist, or another profession that focuses on writing.
In this class, take students through the six steps required to move from dream to publication:
- plan required research
- write the book
- review with a critique group
The goal during the after school tech club is that each student will publish their first ebook–or at least give it a good start.
Students complete three projects in two weeks to aid understanding of architecture, design, and three-dimensional thinking. They’ll experiment with spatially laying out a three-dimensional structure on a two-dimensional paper. When completed, they’ll discuss with neighbors while practicing good listening skills learned in class.
Start with a discussion of design. This includes size, shape, texture, proportion, scale, mass and color. We will apply these to rooms, buildings, and neighborhoods. Encourage students to think and analyze critically as they engage in learning.
In figures below, ask students which are two- or three-dimensions? How do they know?[gallery ids="50170,50171,50172,50173,50164"]
Design the Classroom
Visit Classroom Architect and demo how to design the classroom with drag-and-drop pieces (see figures below). Take suggestions from class on layout. Students must think about where tables and storage are relative to other items. This is an active learning lesson that encourages visual thinking. Develop a sample based on class input and show how to make corrections if necessary.
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:
Let me step back. What are site licenses?
- They are for multiple users rather than just the teacher–students, other teachers, even parents
- They offer grade-level student workbooks (in PDF format) for the SL tech curriculum and keyboarding curriculum
- They include the grade-level teacher manual for free
- Also free: weekly videos showing how to teach the lesson
- New this year: Office Hours. This is a weekly Google Hangouts anyone using the curriculum can attend and talk real time with a teacher using the curriculum
Why are prices going up? During the beta phase, we priced site licenses low while we worked out bugs. The price increase applies to licenses for:
If you’re planning to purchase one, save 25% (off the future increased price) by purchasing yours now:
If you already purchased a teacher manual and want to trade it for the site license, just provide a receipt showing you purchased in the last six months.
Questions? Email email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org. The slideshow below includes samples of site license products:[gallery type="slideshow" ids="48958,49942,49944,49945,49943,48957,48956,36551,48953,48952,41489,38283,38078,38077,38076,38075,29939,28765,49935,49932,49933,49934,49936,49937,49938,49939,49940,49941,49946,49947,49948,49949,49950,49951,49952,49953,49954,49955,49956,49957,49958,49959,49960,49961,49962,49963,49964,49965,49966,49967,49968,49969,49970,49971,49972,49973,49974,49975,49976,49977,49978,49979,49980"]
- Citation Machine
- CoolKidFacts–kid-friendly videos, pictures, info, and quizzes–all 100% suitable for children
- CyberSleuth Kids
- Digital Vaults–research a topic, curate resources
- Encyclopedia Interactica–visual encyclopedias
- Fact Monster
- Fun Brain
- How Stuff Works
- I Know That!
- Info Please
- Internet Library
- Internet Public Library (IPL)
- Kid Rex
- KidsConnect–Kids research
- Let me Google that for you–all those questions people ask, they could have answered themselves? Here’s a site. They even have stickers
- Library Spot
- National Geographic for Kids
- Nova video programs
- SchoolsWorld.TV--educational videos
- Smithsonian Quest–sign up your class; student research/explore with the Smithsonian
- SqoolTube Videos
- TagGalaxy–search using a cloud
- Websites by kids and teens
- World Almanac for Kids
- World Book
- Zanran–statistics and data research
If you subscribe to Ask a Tech Teacher, you are eligible for specials on tech ed books and ebooks every month. Here are some of the specials subscribers have received:
- 25 lesson plans for $21
- Discount on tech ed resources like 98 Tech Tips
- Free tech ed resources like 19 Posters
There’s one coming up in a week–be sure to subscribe so you are eligible.
Not only do you get great deals on tech ed resources, you get great free content. If you haven’t visited Ask a Tech Teacher regularly, here’s what you’ve missed:
- What’s a good Technology Acceptable Use Policy?
- 8 Tech Tools to Get to Know Your Students for Back to School
- What’s the Classroom of the Future Look Like?
- Best Practices for New Teachers About Tech
- 13 Ways Blogs Teach Common Core
- How to Teach Students to Solve Problems
- 7 Skills Students Need for Today’s Classwork
- 8 Characteristics of a Successful K-12 Technology Department
- How to Build Your PLN
- Let’s Talk About Habits of Mind
Questions? Email me at askatechteacher at gmail dot com. I have lots of opinions!
I 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
August, 17, 2015
Curriculum Companion Wikis (K-5 only) follow a tech professional as s/he teaches each lesson in the SL K-5 curriculum textbooks. Presented via video (10-15 minutes each), you can ask questions, start a discussion with other teachers using the curriculum, and access additional resources. It’s your mentor, your sidekick, your best friend in the tech ed field.
If you own any or all of K-5 Structured Learning technology curriculum (5th edition), you have free access to the grade-level wiki. Just look on the front page of the book for a code. If you don’t own the curriculum, you can purchase access on a yearly basis here.
K-5, 32 webinars per grade (192 webinars), 9 months
- Digital access: via video
- Language: English
- Length of time: one year
- Access: Yearly fee covers K-5 (no discount for single wiki)
Use coupon code in each K-5 curriculum text to join for free. Or, click here to purchase.
Here’s a sample: