browser icon
You are using an insecure version of your web browser. Please update your browser!
Using an outdated browser makes your computer unsafe. For a safer, faster, more enjoyable user experience, please update your browser today or try a newer browser.

Yearly Archives: 2019

Happy New Year!

Categories: Holidays | Tags: | Leave a comment

Happy Holiday!

I’ll be taking a few weeks off–until after the New Year–to edit/format my website, work on 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!

(more…)

Categories: Holidays | 1 Comment

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

This week, I’ll post my updated suggestions for three holiday activities that will get your computers and technology ready for the blitz of teaching that starts after the New Year. Here’s what you’ll get (the links won’t be active until the post goes live):

  1. 11 Ways to Update Your Online Presence
  2. 16 Ways to Speed Up Your Computer
  3. Backup and Image your computer

For regular readers of Ask a Tech Teacher, these are yearly reminders. For new readers, these are like body armor in the tech battle. They allow you to jubilantly overcome rather than dramatically succumb. Your choice.

Today: Image and Backup Your Computer

xx

Two critical maintenance tasks that lots of people skip are:

  • image your computer
  • back up your documents

Image your computer

(more…)

Categories: Tech tips | Tags: , | Leave a comment

End of Year Maintenance: 11 Ways to Update Your Online Presence

This week, I’ll post my updated suggestions for three holiday activities that will get your computers and technology ready for the blitz of teaching that starts after the New Year. Here’s what you’ll get (the links won’t be active until the post goes live):

  1. 11 Ways to Update Your Online Presence
  2. 16 Ways to Speed Up Your Computer
  3. Backup and Image your computer

For regular readers of Ask a Tech Teacher, these are yearly reminders. For new readers, these are like body armor in the tech battle. They allow you to jubilantly overcome rather than dramatically succumb. Your choice.

Today: 11 Ways to Update Your Online Presence

xx

For most teachers I know, life zooms by, filled with lesson planning, teaching, meeting with grade-level teams, chatting with parents, attending conferences (to stay UTD), and thinking. There are few breaks to update/fix/maintain the tech tools that allow us to pursue our trade.

That includes your online presence and all those personal profiles. But, that must happen or they no longer accomplish what we need. If they aren’t updated, we are left wondering why our blog isn’t getting visitors, why our social media Tweeple don’t generate activity, and why you aren’t being contacted for networking. Here’s a short list of items that won’t take long to accomplish:

(more…)

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

End-of-Year Maintenance: 16 Steps To A Speedier Computer

This week, I’ll post my updated suggestions for three holiday activities that will get your computers and technology ready for the blitz of teaching that starts after the New Year. Here’s what you’ll get (the links won’t be active until the post goes live):

  1. 11 Ways to Update Your Online Presence
  2. 16 Ways to Speed Up Your Computer
  3. Backup and Image your computer

For regular readers of Ask a Tech Teacher, these are yearly reminders. For new readers, these are like body armor in the tech battle. They allow you to jubilantly overcome rather than dramatically succumb. Your choice.

Today: 16 Ways to Speed up Your Computer

xx

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

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

I post this every year and have included several great suggestions from readers. Here’s what you need to do:

(more…)

Categories: Tech tips | Tags: | Leave a comment

13 Holiday Websites and 9 Projects

Need a few websites to fill in free minutes? 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. Holiday Crossword
  5. Holiday Elf Games
  6. Holiday Hangman II
  7. Holiday music II–sing along with the music–the site provides the words
  8. Holiday—find the word
  9. Holiday—Math Facts
  10. Holiday—North Pole Academy
  11. Holidays around the world
  12. Phone call from Santa
  13. Santa Tracker

(more…)

Categories: Holidays, Websites | Tags: | Leave a comment

Snow Day? 7 Ways to Keep Teaching

To meet state and national requirements (and receive critical funding), schools must be open a minimum number of days each year. When dramatic weather hits — be it snow or violent storms or another emergency — it becomes impossible to reach the classroom. That means lesson plans aren’t completed, assessments aren’t taken, and kids don’t learn. There used to be no alternative but more and more, schools are using technology to keep the learning going. For example, Wabash County issues all students MacBook Airs and iPads (your school could use Chromebooks) that are available to students who can’t get to school:

All Wabash County students in grades 3 through 12 have a MacBook Air they take home every day. For snow days, K2 students can bring home the iPads they use at school. 

Pascack Valley Regional High School District in northern New Jersey makes available lesson plans and assignments that can be accessed from home, on the Internet:

Before the snow fell, teachers were prepped, parents were warned and students had received enough assignments to fill a snow day.

These Districts make education-related emergencies easier on all stakeholders by using tools that are simple to roll out and intuitive to use — in some cases, already implemented in daily classrooms.

If your school is looking for virtual teaching tools, you’ll want to consider two options: 1) a virtual meeting room that closely replicates the traditional class where students see both teacher and classmates and have access to whatever is normally shown on the class screen; and/or 2) virtual access to lesson plans, resources, assessments, and chats usually available in a schoolroom.

Here are seven options that satisfy these requirements. The first four are virtual meeting programs while the last three are robust Learning Management Systems that include everything required to run an online class:

(more…)

Categories: Online education, Reviews | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Where did Christmas Come From?

Watch this video and come away educated:

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

(more…)

Categories: History, Holidays | Tags: | Leave a comment

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 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.

Most popular gifts

Let’s start by stipulating that what defines a great teacher gift is subjective. It depends upon the teacher’s subject, how long they’ve taught, their personal style, and so much more. The seven suggestions below provide ample ways to provide a gift your child’s teacher will love regardless of how well you know them.

A Helping Hand

Probably the most popular gift with most teachers is the gift of time. Sure, money is nice but when parents are willing to give of themselves to organize class events, chaperone, help out on lesson plans, or any number of other activities, that’s priceless.  As a tech teacher, my ideal is to have two parents for every K-2 class I teach. That’s a lot of helpers and a huge commitment from parents. I rarely found that many so was thrilled whenever parents offered to assist.

Compliments to the Administration

Happy parents often forget to share their joy with the teachers’ administrators. Too often, Principals hear from parents only when they’re angry about the teacher or some class activity. Providing unsolicited good news about the teacher’s effectiveness is a wonderful treat for both the teacher and the school’s administrators.

A Thank You Letter

Handwrite a note to the teacher telling them how much you and your child appreciate what they do. There’s little more valuable to a teacher than the acknowledgment from stakeholders that what they work on nights and weekends is working.

(more…)

Categories: Holidays, Teacher resources | Leave a comment

9 Touch Typing Programmes for Schools

One of the favorite topics on my blog is anything about keyboarding. Every time teachers think it’s been replaced by finger swiping or audio, it comes back full-steam as the obvious solution to coding or collaborative writing. I received this thoughtful article from Ask a Tech Teacher contributor, Rohan, chockablock filled of information on how to evaluate a typing program for your students and which of the many meet the grade:

***

Touch Typing software in the American market provides you with a huge amount of choice. This is not surprising as the US embraced Touch Typing as part of their educational system many years ago and is a mandated part of learning.

This has also led to high prices because it is something that schools have to have manufacturers of these products can effectively charge higher fees.

Now obviously when we as the consumer look to purchase something being a car or a chocolate bar price is not our only consideration. We have a great deal of choice and as great as it is to have many choices it also leads us to that dilemma of which one should I choose and how do I know I made the right choice.

Which factors do we place the most importance on and ultimately which product do we choose.

Do we go with the product we have used before because we know how to use it?

Do we choose solely on price and end up with “free” as that is obviously the best price? However, if it doesn’t perform or has negative features like adds, is it really free or is there a hidden cost?

Do we choose the programme our friends use because they said it was good and then we effectively didn’t have to make a choice therefore ruling out the possibility of choosing badly? At least we can blame someone else if it wasn’t the right choice.

Do we choose something based on aesthetics? Hey at least it looks good.

In reality we have to make a decision based on a number of these factors. The result of this is we need to rank all these programmes based on these criteria and also place importance on each.

(more…)

Categories: Keyboarding | Tags: | Leave a comment