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Tagged With: summer

9 Must-have Tools for Ed Conferences

digital note-takingIt’s summer, time for teachers to recharge their cerebral batteries. That could mean reading, going on field trips, spending time with online PLNs, or taking calls from family members who usually end up at voice mail. For many, it means attending conferences like ISTE and NEA to learn how the heck to integrate technology into their lesson plans. If you aren’t a veteran conference attendee, you may wonder what you should bring. That’s a fair question considering learning is no longer done sitting in auditoriums nodding off to the wisdom of a guest speaker behind a podium. These days, you might be asked to scan a QR code and visit a website, access meeting documents online, interact digitally, or use a backchannel device to share your real-time thoughts with the presenter. Besides a toothbrush and aspirin, what should you take to your upcoming conference? Here are five tools that will make you look and act like the Diva of Digital:

Besides a toothbrush and aspirin, what should you take to your upcoming conference? Here are five tools that will make you look and act like the Diva of Digital:

Google Maps

Some conferences take multiple buildings spread out over several blocks, and depending upon the number of attendees, your hotel may not be around the corner from the Hall. Bring the latest version of Google Maps on your smartphone or iPad, complete with audio directions. All you do is tell it where you’re going, ask for directions, and Siri (the voice behind the iPhone) will lock into your GPS and hold your hand the entire way. If friends are looking for a Starbucks or Dunkin’ Donuts near the conference, Google Maps will find one. If you want Chinese, use an app like Yelp to find one patrons like (although I’m becoming a tad leery about Yelp. Anyone have a good alternative?)

Conference App

Most educational conferences have one. I find these more useful than the conference website. They are geared for people who are manipulating a digital device one-handed, half their attention on the phone and the rest on traffic, meaning: they’re simple and straightforward. Test drive it so you know where the buttons are, then use it to find meeting rooms, changes in schedules, and updates.

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Top 10 Reasons to Sign Up for Summer Learning with Ask a Tech Teacher

This summer, Ask a Tech Teacher is holding five Summer Learning classes:

  1. Tech-infused Teacher (Certificate edition for CEUs or grad class for college credit)
  2. Tech-infused Class
  3. Teach Writing with Tech (closed–only open for groups of five)
  4. 20 Webtools in 20 Days (for groups interested in learning webtools from the Structured Learning curriculum)
  5. the Differentiated Teacher (college credit)

Most award Certificates at completion, for CEUs. The Differentiated Teacher and Tech-infused Teacher can be taken for college credit.

If you’re still wondering whether to sign up for one of the Ask a Tech Teacher Summer Learning classes, here are the Top Ten Reasons to do that:

10. Tech ed is a change agent. You like change.

9. You’ll have a bunch of tech ed skills you can now say ‘I know how to do that’. Like TwitterChats. And Google Hangouts. And screencasts.

8. Your school will pay for it of you promise to teach colleagues–or show the videos.

7. Many of these webtools are candidate-driven. You tell us what works best for you in achieving the class goals; we’ll adapt to you.

6. You want to meet new people.

5. You’re technophobic, but lately feel like teaching without technology is like looking at a landscape through a straw: You’re missing a lot. You want to change that.

4. You want personalized help. With all AATT Summer Learning classes, you get as much time as you need with the instructor to mentor and coach–even on topics not included in the syllabus.

3. Technology in education is the greatest show on earth. Well, at least in the classroom. You want to be part of it.

2.  You get CEUs (Continuing Education Units)–between 18 and 24 hours, depending upon the class you select (where applicable). You also get a Certificate listing all the activities you completed.

1. Albert Einstein said, “The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them.” Education’s fix requires technology. You’re ready for a new level of thinking.

 

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19 Ways Students Keep Learning Fresh Over the Summer

summer tech funTeachers have known for decades that ‘summer learning loss’ is a reality. Studies vary on how much knowledge students lose during the summer months–some say up to two months of reading and math skills–and results are heavily-dependent upon demographics, but the loss is real.

To prevent this, teachers try approaches such as summer book reports, but students complain they intrude on their summer time. When teachers make it optional, many don’t participate. The disconnect they’re seeing is that students consider these activities as ‘school’ rather than ‘life’. They haven’t bought into the reality that they are life-long learners, that learning is not something to be turned on in the schoolhouse and off on the playyard.

This summer, show students how learning is fun, worthy, and part of their world whether they’re at a friend’s house or the water park. Here are nineteen suggestions students will enjoy:

Math

  • Youngers: Take a picture of making change at the store. Share it in a teacher-provided summer activity folder (this should be quick to use, maybe through Google Drive if students have access to that). Kids will love having a valid reason to use Mom’s smartphone camera.
  • Any age: Take a picture of tessellations found in nature (like a beehive or a pineapple). Kids will be amazed at how many they find and will enjoy using the camera phone. Once kids have collected several, upload them to a program like Shadow Puppets where they can record audio notes over the picture and share with friends.
  • Any age: Pit your math and technology skills against your child’s in an online math-based car race game like Grand Prix Multiplication. They’ll know more about using the program and will probably win–even if you do the math faster. You might even have siblings compete.
  • Grades 2-5: Set up a summer lemonade stand. Kids learn to measure ingredients, make change, listen to potential customers, and problem-solve. If you can’t put one up on your street, use a virtual lemonade stand.
  • Any age: If your child wants to go somewhere, have them find the location, the best route, participation details, and other relevant information. Use free online resources like Google Maps and learn skills that will be relevant to class field trips they’ll take next year.

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Summer Online Learning Questions We’ve Gotten

In response to extensive interest from readers, Ask a Tech Teacher will be offering four Summer Learning Certificate classes with 18-24 CEUs:

June 19th through August 6th

3-4 weeks, lots of resources and hands-on help

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To help you make your decision, I want to share the most common questions I’ve gotten regarding sign ups:

Q: What is the cost to register?

The full program is $229. If you sign up by April 30th, you can enroll a friend for free. If you sign up with a group of 5, it’s $750 ($150 for each person). You can enroll through the PayPal button on the website or with a school PO.

Q: I don’t know which class to take.

Here’s a quick checklist:

  • If you want a broad overview of integrating technology into your classroom, start with The Tech-infused Teacher. Follow that with the sequel, The Tech-infused Classroom (offered sequentially) if you have time.
  • If you took The Tech-infused Teacher last year and loved it, take The Tech-infused Classroom. It’s the sequel and lets you dig deeper into what you learned last year.
  • If you’re looking for specific help on tech tools, take 20 Webtools in 20 Days. This covers webtools teachers use most often in their classes, or want to use.
  • If you’re looking for help specifically with using technology to add creativity and zing to your writing lessons, take Teach Writing with Tech.

Q: What if I can’t figure out how to use some of the tools during the classes? I’m not very techie.

Email the instructor at askatechteacher at gmail dot com throughout the week and/or bring up your question at the weekend Google Hangout.  That’s what this class is for–to get you comfortable with tech tools you want to use in your class. We’ll even set up a separate GHO with you to walk you through it. Plus, you can chat with classmates through the Discussion Forum. They’ll be able to share personal experiences they’ve had with the tools.

Q: Who are the teachers for this PD? And what are their qualifications?

The Master Teacher is Jacqui Murray. She’s been teaching K-8 technology for 15 years and K-16 for 35 years. She’s an adjunct professor as well as a Master Teacher. She’s the author/editor of over a hundred tech-in-ed resources including a K-8 tech curriculum that’s used throughout the world. She will be joined as needed by other teachers from the Ask a Tech Teacher crew.

Q: I want to sign up with several other teachers from my school. Is there a group discount available?

Absolutely! Use the group button on the sign-up page ($750). That will give you five enrollments for $150 each. Great discount!

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Summer Tech Camp–Everything You Need

summer tech camp

by AATT banner

Summer Tech Camp Survival Kit

From Ask a Tech Teacher

Are you teaching a Summer Tech Camp to Kids? We have the solution:

Build Your Own Adventure

$230 value for $179

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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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Differentiate with Tech–Starts July 18th!

How to Make Differentiation Fast and Easy with Tech

Starts Monday! Last chance to sign up. This Ask a Tech Teacher online class is only offered for college credit.

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Five Great Summer Jobs For Teachers That Involve Education

summer teacherSometimes, for teachers, summer is so busy we can’t breathe. Between enrichment to summer seminars to watching kids who are out of school, there isn’t a free moment. But other times, summer offers an endless vista of time, perfect for a part-time job that provides a nest egg for a special project. Ask a Tech Teacher contributor, Joyce Wilson, has five great ideas that will help you stay busy this summer:

Last year, there were more than 3 million teachers in school systems across the country, and a good many of them find the need to look for at least part-time work during summer breaks. That’s a lot of jobs, and a lot of competition between educators who are all vying for flexible, temporary work. And while there are often jobs to be found in malls and offices during school breaks, there are also opportunities that will allow you to put your experience in education to work.

From tutoring to instructing test preparation classes, there are many places to look for summer work that will give you freedom to enjoy the season as well as some income. Here are five of the best jobs to look for in summer.

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Last Chance to Join Tech-infused Class

tech-infused classroom

Last chance–class starts Monday, July 11th!

Click to join

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Last Chance to Join Tech-infused Teacher and Teach Writing With Tech

summer pdLast chance–class starts Monday, June 20th!

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