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Yearly Archives: 2017

Happy New Year!

Categories: Holidays | 1 Comment

Happy Holiday!

I’ll be taking a few weeks off–until after the New Year–to edit/format my website, work on writing projects with a deadline, prioritize life, and wish my two adult military children could come home to visit. I may drop in on you-all as you enjoy your holidays, but mostly I’ll be regenerating.

I wish you a wonderful season, safe and filled with family.

See you shortly!merry christmas

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Categories: Holidays | 13 Comments

Holiday Gifts for Teachers

Holiday gifts for teachers are a challenge. If your child has many teachers, it’s difficult to find a personalized gift for each that is both affordable and valued. For me, as a teacher, I am always happy with a gift certificate that works anywhere, but there are time-proven ways to get more creative than a gift that sounds like “Money.”

When I chat with teacher friends, here are the most popular holiday gifts they’ve gotten over the years. Many are free, and others allow you to spend only what you can afford while still giving a gift the teacher will love.

Read more…

teacher gifts (more…)

Categories: Holidays, Teaching | 2 Comments

End-of-Year Maintenance: 19 Steps To A Speedier Computer

This week, I’m sharing 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. 19 Ways to Speed Up Your Computer
  1. A note: The links won’t work until the articles publish!

Today: 19 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:

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Categories: Tech tips | Tags: | 6 Comments

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

teacher with computerThis week, I’m sharing 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. 19 Ways to Speed Up Your Computer
  4. 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 cleanup items suggested in 19 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: , | 2 Comments

End of Year Maintenance: Update Your Online Presence

This 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. 19 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: , | 5 Comments

New Year, New Mindset

Every year, I make New Year resolutions and ignore them. I don’t promise to fulfill them. I don’t even check my progress and revise as needed. I make-and-forget, check it off the New Year’s To Do list and move on.

This year, I’m trying something different: resolutions that aren’t quantified, that won’t take extra time from my too-busy schedule. Resolutions that will, instead, are more about my teaching mindset. Here’s my list:

I will learn one new tech tool a month

There are so many. I get massive lists of webtools, websites, apps, extensions, and links in my inbox, mostly proclaimed as “the tool I can’t do without”. Every month, I’ll pick one and try it.

Just to be clear: Today’s tech ed tools aren’t like they used to be. The ones I’m interested in are easy-to-use, intuitive, easily differentiated for varied student needs, and free or inexpensive. Anything that requires a time commitment to learn and buckets of creativity to use is off the list. My schedule is too packed for that sort of commitment. And, I’ll unpack them with the students, authentically, as part of a project we’re doing. An example: I use Padlet to curate and share projects. Instead, I’ll use Tozzl at least once.

To get me started, would you add a comment with your favorite tool — the one I should start with in January.

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Categories: Classroom management, Teacher resources | Tags: | 4 Comments

Feeling Thankful? Any Spare Holiday Spirit?

18619875 Donate black stamp text on yellow Speech BubbleAsk a Tech Teacher is a small group of tech-ed teachers with a big goal: provide free and affordable resources to anyone, anywhere that integrate technology into education. It’s an ambitious goal and we rely on donations from readers like you to make that happen. Use the PayPal Donate button below or in the sidebar of Ask a Tech Teacher (aka, Structured Learning LLC–our publisher):

donateAbout this time of each year, when several of our larger bills come due, we give a shout out for help. We thought we’d share some of the costs of running Ask a Tech Teacher:

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Categories: Blogging, Business | 3 Comments

16 Holiday Websites and 13 Projects For Your Students

holidayNeed a few websites to fill in sponge time? Here are Holiday websites that will keep students busy while teaching them:

  1. 12 Days of Christmas
  2. Christmas puzzles and games
  3. Christmas—history—fun video
  4. Gift Hunt–updated version of 12 Days of Christmas–just as much fun
  5. Holiday Crossword
  6. Holiday Elf Games
  7. Holiday Hangman II
  8. Holiday music II–sing along with the music–the site provides the words
  9. Holiday—find the word
  10. Holiday—Math Facts
  11. Holiday—North Pole Academy
  12. Holidays around the world
  13. Holidays–various
  14. Penguin Show
  15. Phone call from Santa
  16. Santa Tracker

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Categories: Websites | 6 Comments

What You Might Have Missed in November

Here are the most-read posts for the month of November:

  1. 10 ways to use QR Codes for Hour of Code
  2. 10 Projects to Kickstart Hour of Code
  3. Websites for Hour of Code by Grade
  4. Coding and US Security
  5. 18 Thanksgiving Sites and Apps and 4 Projects for the Holiday

Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-18 technology for 20 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-8 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, CSG Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice reviewer, CAEP reviewer, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, and a weekly contributor to TeachHUB. You can find her resources at Structured Learning. Read Jacqui’s tech thriller series, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days

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