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Tagged With: new year

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

Top 10 Websites and Apps of 2016

top-ten-2016Every week, I post a website(s) or app(s) that my classes found useful, instructive, helpful in integrating technology into classroom lesson plans. Some, you agreed with me about; others not so much. Here, I’ll share which sites you-all thought were the most helpful in efforts to weave tech into the classroom experience. Between these twenty, they had over 240,000 visitors during the year. See if you agree:

Websites

  1. 12 Websites to Teach Mouse Skills
  2. 67 K-8 Hour of Code Suggestions–by Grade Level
  3. Hour of Code Suggestions by Grade Level
  4. 16 Great Research Websites for Kids
  5. 84 Math Websites for K-8
  6. KidzType–the Keyboard Practice Site You’ve Been Waiting For
  7. 31 Websites for Poetry Month
  8. 15 Websites to Learn Everything About Landforms
  9. 5 Programs That Make Digital Note-taking Easy
  10. 14 Websites That Will Excite Students About Tech

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Categories: Websites | 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

End-of-year Tips: Image and Back-up Digital Devices

teacher with computerThis 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: Image and Backup Your Digital Devices

Two critical maintenance tasks that lots of people skip are:

  • image your computer
  • back up your documents

Image your computer

Every computer must be reformatted eventually. Every time you download from a website or open an email attachment or update one of your online tools or software, you collect digital dust and grunge that affects the speed and efficiency of your computer. Performing the clean up items suggested in 22 Ways to Speed Up Your Computer helps, but eventually not enough. The only way to return your computer to its original zippy youthful self is by reformatting.

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Categories: Tech tips | Tags: , | 1 Comment

End-of-Year Tips: 22 Steps To A Speedier Computer

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: 22 Steps to a Speedier Computer

There are two ‘speed’ problems that arise when using computers:

  • the computer itself is slow, for lots of reasons
  • you are slow–meaning: You have too much to do. We’ll deal with this later…

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Make sure your firewall is working. Windows comes with a built-in one. Maybe Mac does too. Leave it active. It’s under Control Panel>Administrative Tools. Sometimes, they seem to turn off by themselves (I have no idea why). Check to be sure it is active. This will keep viruses and malware out that slow your computer.
  2. Keep your antivirus software active. If you’re paranoid like me, run an antivirus scan weekly to be sure nothing is missed.speed up your computer
  3. Sort through your Documents and get rid of those you don’t need anymore. It’s intimidating, like a file cabinet that hasn’t been opened in months–or years and is covered with dust, even spider webs. Do it, though. If you don’t, every time you search, the computer must finger through those unused and worthless files. It doesn’t understand the difference between ‘unused’ and ‘important’. Plus, they distract you from finding the documents you really want. If you don’t use files anymore, but don’t want to toss them, make an ‘Old’ file and put them all in there.
  4. Back up your files to an external drive or cloud storage. If you have an automated system, skip this. If you don’t, consider getting Carbonite or similar. If you use Windows, try their backup program. It’s easy to find: Click the Start Button and search ‘backup’.
  5. Empty the trash. Don’t even look in it. If you haven’t missed a file by now, it won’t matter if you throw it out.
  6. Learn to use that program you’ve been promising you would or delete it. Evernote is a great example. Use it (and you won’t be sorry) or delete the email from your best friend exhorting you to try it. Move on.
  7. Go through your programs and delete the ones you no longer use–or never used (like the ones that come pre-installed on a new computer). Here’s what you do:
    • go to Control Panel>Programs and Features
    • peruse the list and pick the programs you downloaded by mistake, meaning to use, or used to use and no longer do
    • uninstall
    • don’t look back
  8. Update any software that needs it. I don’t mean BUY a newer version. I mean click the free update that’s been nagging at you (Adobe Reader and Windows, for example)
  9. Clean the junk off your desktop. Put it in folders or create a folder for ‘Working on’. Don’t know how to create a desktop folder? Just right click on the desktop and select ‘New>folder’
  10. Clean up your Start Button. Remove shortkeys you no longer use (with a right click>delete). Add those that have become daily go-to sites
  11. Clean out your subscriptions. This slows YOU down as you sit to work. They usually arrive via email. Dragging through dozens of emails a day when you know you aren’t interested in a lot of them slows you down. Me, I have over 200 every day. I regularly purge blog and newsletter subscriptions that didn’t work out as planned.
  12. Make notifications weekly instead of daily. If you get Google alerts, set them for weekly (unless you really must know when someone posts on the term ‘Labrador puppies’). If you have social media, let them notify you of activity once a week instead of daily. If you get reports on Twitter usage or Google Adwords, schedule those weekly.
  13. Change your browser to Chrome. When I did, it doubled my surfing speed. And it’s not just me. Among those-who-know, it’s considered the fastest browser (and IE the slowest).
  14. Slim down your start-up process.  Only have the programs you really need start when you boot (or reboot). Skip the rest. How? Click Start, type msconfig in the search bar and press Enter. In the System Configuration window, click the Startup tab. From the list of programs that appears, untick the box next to those you don’t need to launch automatically at startup. Only deselect programs that you don’t use regularly or know that you don’t need.imaging your computer
  15. Add more RAM. That’s the stuff that lets you keep more stuff open on the desktop (including tabs in your browser). If you don’t have enough, it’s like having a postage-stamp-size desk for planning your lesson plans. Upgrade yours to the max your system will take.
  16. Clean out your temp files ***
  17. Empty your recycle bin. When your computer starts up, it must bring all that trash to life in case you want to revisit it. The less that’s in there, the less you have to rejuvenate.
  18. Delete unneeded fonts. Like the recycle bin, when you start up, your computer must bring all those fonts out so you can use them. They’re small files, but not miniscule and take measurable time to activate. Who needs a thousand fonts? Settle for a hundred.
  19. This one’s a bit geeky: Install an SSD start-up drive. An SSD drive is one of those super-fast, expensive hard-drives. Get one just large enough to boot up your computer. You won’t store files on it or data–just use it to start your computer in about a third of the time it normally would. I did this to my desktop and no longer have time for a cuppa or a shower while the computer starts up. A warning: A lot of saving defaults to the start-up drive so reset where your auto-saves go (like temp files, images, and similar).
  20. Clean your computer. With a mini vacuum. Get all that grunge and dust out so it doesn’t get into the computer parts that will not only slow you down but stop you in your virtual tracks.
  21. Unsubscribe to stuff you no longer read. You know–the emails that come in and are deleted without a glance. Get rid of them. If they don’t have an ‘unsubscribe’ (which by law, they should), label them ‘junk’.
  22. From Andrew over at Andrew’s View of the Week: Consider the age of your current computer. Typically the expected useful life of a computer is no more that 5-6 years. In the high-tech business, we replace them every 3-4 years. If your system is approaching 5 years, consider budgeting for a new one next year. In addition to being a risk for increased risk of hardware failure, you’ll find the new systems to be faster, cheaper and filled with tons of new feathers.

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Categories: Tech tips | Tags: | 5 Comments

Where did Christmas Come From?

Watch this video and come away educated:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RbUVKXdu4lQ&w=560&h=315]

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Categories: History, Holidays | Tags: | 2 Comments

Did You Miss These Posts Over the Holidays?

keyboardingHere are five activities to get you ready for the demands of a new school year:

  1. 10 Bits of Wisdom I Learned From a Computer
  2. End-of-Year Tips: 18 Steps To A Speedier Computer
  3. End of Year Tips: Update Your Online Presence
  4. 4 Collaborative Projects Students Will Love

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

(more…)

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

Top Ten Websites and Apps of 2015

top ten 2015Every week, I post a website(s) or app(s) that my classes found useful, instructive, helpful in integrating technology into classroom lesson plans. Some, you agreed with me about; others not so much. Here, I’ll share with you which sites you-all thought were the most helpful in efforts to weave tech into the classroom experience. Between these twenty, they had over 200,000 visitors during the year. See if you agree:

Websites

  1. Hour of Code Suggestions by Grade Level
  2. 21 Holiday Websites For Your Students
  3. 20 Great Research Websites for Kids
  4. 84 Math Websites for K-8
  5. ProdigyGame.com
  6. Teach Financial Literacy with Banzai
  7. Resource Review: Mentoring Minds
  8. Website Review: Grammarly
  9. Need to Create Lesson Plans? Try Frolyc
  10. 8 Tech Tools to Get to Know Your Students for Back to School

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10 Most Popular Tech Tips and Click-throughs in 2015

top ten 2015Because AATT is a resource blog, we share lots of tips our group comes across in their daily teaching as well as materials shared by others we think you’d like. Some you agree with; others, not so much. Here’s a run-down on what you thought were the most valuable in 2015:

Top 10 Tech Tips

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 in 2015, I shared one of those with you. Here are the Top Ten tech tips from 2015. Between these ten, they had over 68,000 visitors during the year.

  1. How to Add Shortcuts to the Desktop
  2. My Program Froze
  3. How to Turn a Website Address Into a Link
  4. Need a File on Your iPad? Try This
  5. How to Use an Internet Start Page
  6. How to Get Youngers to Use the Right Mouse Button
  7. How to Take Screenshots
  8. How to Make a Small Webpage Window Big
  9. New Students? 7 Tips to Differentiate with Tech
  10. 12 Tips on Handling Hard-to-teach Classes

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Categories: Tech tips | Tags: , | 1 Comment