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Yearly Archives: 2011

Tech Tip #62: Email from Word (Or PowerPoint or Excel)

tech tips

In my fifteen years of teaching and tutoring tech, I’ve seen everything–and come up with solutions for all of it. I’ll share those with you. My goal: That students (of all ages) feel empowered not frightened by technology, that it is fun not frustrating. These tips will get you there with you and your kids.

I was helping one of the faculty at my school. She couldn’t print a document (server problems) so I suggested she email it to herself at home and print it there. She started going online to her Yahoo account and I stopped her. Click the email tool on the Word toolbar. She was so excited–an epiphany! What fun to share that with her. She was so happy about it, I’m going to email it to all the teachers in the school (I’m the tech teacher). (more…)

Categories: 5th Grade, Slideshows, Spreadsheets, Tech tips, Word processing | Tags: | Leave a comment

Monday Freebies #24: Holiday Newsletter

This year more than any before, classroom budgets have been cut making it more difficult than ever to equip the education of our children with quality teaching materials. I understand that. I teach K-8. Because of that, I’ve decided to give the lesson plans my publisher sells in the Technology Toolkit (110 Lesson Plans that I use in my classroom to integrate technology into core units of inquiry while insuring a fun, age-appropriate, developmentally-appropriate experience for students) for FREE. To be sure you don’t miss any of these:

…and start each week off with a fully-adaptable K-8 lesson that includes step-by-step directions as well as relevant ISTE national standards, tie-ins, extensions, troubleshooting and more. Eventually, you’ll get the entire Technology Toolkit book. If you can’t wait, you can purchase the curriculum here.

I love giving my material away for free. If everyone did, we would reach true equity in international education.

A Holiday Newsletter

Have students collaborate on a newsletter for a classroom unit of inquiry or a theme (colonies, animals, etc). Pick a template. Add text and pictures. Pay attention to layout details. Allow several class periods to complete

(more…)

Categories: 5th Grade, 8th grade, DTP, Freebies/Discounts, Lesson plans | Leave a comment

Weekend Website #77: Blackle

Every Friday I’ll send you a wonderful website that my classes and my parents love. I think you’ll find they’ll be a favorite of your students as they are of mine.

Blackle.com is a search engine. It’s pretty much like Google–in fact, it’s run by Google–but you notice right away you’re not at Google.com or Yahoo or any other search engine you’ve every used. Why?

The background is black.

That itty bitty change in surfing saves energy. In fact, Blackle had saved 2,440,165.420 Watt hours as of the hour I checked. (more…)

Categories: Classroom management, Reviews, Websites | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Read My Latest ‘Innovate My School’ Article

It’s called What every parent should know about computers and the Internet. There are also innovate my schoolsome other wonderful posts about tech and school and how to keep up from international experts. Check it out.

(more…)

Categories: Guest post, Parents | Leave a comment

Product Review: Luna Projection Camera

As webmaster and an active tech teacher, I am sometimes asked to review products for my readers. Since

[caption id="attachment_6635" align="alignright" width="145" caption="Luna's simplified document camera Photo credit: Learning Resource's website"]document camera[/caption]

I don’t work for the company doing the asking and receive no compensation (other than the product), I am able to provide an unbiased review of my experiences and conclusions based on the 400 students I teach.

Recently, I had the opportunity to review Learning Resource’s Luna™ Interactive Projection Camera. I don’t have a document camera in my classroom and there are times when I would trade all the chocolate in my snack drawer for the ability to share a 3D object or picture with students. So, when Learning Resource’s marketing group asked, I quickly agreed. The box arrived containing the projection camera, a CD with the Easi-View software, and a few pages of documentation (very very brief).

The projection camera is a lightweight, gooseneck contraption exactly like the inset shows. It has a sturdy base that includes a snapshot button, a light and the microphone, and a wide head that holds the camera. I wanted to test the intuitiveness of installation so rather than read the directions, I just jumped in. The cord was obviously for a USB port, so I popped that into my computer, loaded the CD and started. Easy-view installed quickly with no hitches. Here’s a screen shot:

My school was in the middle of accreditation (which went well), so I didn’t have a lot of time to play. I decided to experiment as the need arose. In most cases, the process was easy to figure out, and worked as I hoped it would. Here’s a run down of how I used the Luna during the first two weeks:

(more…)

Categories: Classroom management, Reviews, Teacher resources | Tags: | Leave a comment

Tech Tip #61: How to Get Youngers to Use the Right Mouse Button

In my fifteen years of teaching and tutoring tech, I’ve seen everything–and come up with solutions for all of it. I’ll share those with you. My goal: That students (of all ages) feel empowered not frightened by technology, that it is fun not frustrating. These tips will get you there with you and your kids.

(more…)

Categories: 1st, Kindergarten, Mouse skills, Tech tips | Leave a comment

Monday Freebies #20: Make a Holiday Card

This year more than any before, classroom budgets have been cut making it more difficult than ever to equip the education of our children with quality teaching materials. I understand that. I teach K-8. Because of that, I’ve decided to give the lesson plans my publisher sells in the Technology Toolkit (110 Lesson Plans that I use in my classroom to integrate technology into core units of inquiry while ensuring a fun, age-appropriate, developmentally-appropriate experience for students) for FREE. To be sure you don’t miss any of these:

…and start each week off with a fully-adaptable K-8 lesson that includes step-by-step directions as well as relevant ISTE national standards, tie-ins, extensions, troubleshooting and more. Eventually, you’ll get the entire Technology Toolkit book. If you can’t wait, you can purchase the curriculum here.

I love giving my material away for free. If everyone did, we would reach true equity in international education.

#20: How to Make a Card for Halloween, Thanksgiving or Christmas

Kindergarten-2nd Grade

Throughout the year, offer opportunities for students to reinforce learned skills by creating holiday cards geared toward whichever holiday is occurring. They will be excited and work hard to remember how to use old skills so they can create the festive card. Limit your assistance as you challenge them to draw on their problem-solving skills. Always use skills (i.e., paint brush, pencil tool, backgrounds, spray can, etc.) that have been learned in prior lessons.

(more…)

Categories: Freebies/Discounts, Holidays, Lesson plans, Writing | Tags: | 2 Comments

Happy Thanksgiving!

I wish you and all yours a wonderful Thanksgiving Break. Enjoy your family and friends, take some time to rest. I’ll see you next week.

Images deleted

Categories: Holidays, News | 2 Comments

#41: Where is That?

Use the research done for #40. Use a guidesheet to lay out what is on each slide, i.e., a cover, table of contents, what makes a geographic locations amazing (discuss this as a group), a map, and three locations from #40. Teach PowerPoint skills such as adding slides and text and pictures, animation, transitions, auto-forward, personalized backgrounds, adding music to multiple slides. Third graders may not be able to complete all skills.

[gallery columns="2" ids="44482,44481"]

(more…)

Categories: 3rd Grade, 4th Grade, Freebies/Discounts, Google, Lesson plans | Tags: | Leave a comment

Tech Tip #60: How to Add Shortcuts to the Desktop

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 Tuesday, I’ll share one of those with you. They’re always brief and always focused. Enjoy!

Q: How do I create a shortcut on my desktop so I can find my programs easier?

A: There are two ways to do that: (more…)

Categories: 5th Grade, 8th grade, Tech tips, Windows | Leave a comment