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Author Archives: Jacqui

About Jacqui

Welcome to my virtual classroom. I've been a tech teacher for 15 years, but modern technology offers more to get my ideas across to students than at any time in my career. Drop in to my class wikis, classroom blog, our internet start pages. I'll answer your questions about how to teach tech, what to teach when, where the best virtual sites are. Need more--let's chat about issues of importance in tech ed. Want to see what I'm doing today? Click the gravatar and select the grade.

20 Great Websites to Inspire 2nd Graders

Here’s a great list of age-appropriate, safe websites that will inspire 2nd graders whether they’re in your classroom or at home:

  1. Edutainment with BBC
  2. Games that make you think
  3. Puzzle of student pic–create
  4. Plant games
  5. Plant life cycle
  6. Computer basics
  7. Computer puzzle
  8. Parts of the computer
  9. Videos on Computer Basics K-6
  10. Google World of Wonders
  11. Mt. Everest
  12. Flash cards and more
  13. Grammar—Adjectives
  14. Grammar games
  15. High-frequency words—hangman
  16. Vocabulary Fun
  17. Vocabulary-Spelling City
  18. Word and logic problems
  19. Word Study Games—Merriam Webster
  20. Virtual tour of America—via Biplane

More websites for 2nd graders

(more…)

Categories: 2nd, Websites | Leave a comment

Tech Tip #2–The PrintScreen Key

tech tipsIn these 169 tech-centric situations, you get an overview of pedagogy—the tech topics most important to your teaching—as well as practical strategies to address most classroom tech situations, how to scaffold these to learning, and where they provide the subtext to daily tech-infused education.

Today’s tip: 

Category: Keyboarding

Q: When I push ‘PrintScreen’ to take a screenshot, nothing happens. Why?

A: I have to teach this as a full lesson in class because it is so counter-intuitive; even adults don’t get it.

  • When you push PrintScreen, it saves a copy of your screen to the clipboard. Then, you must tell the computer where to put it.
  • For example, after pushing PrintScreen (and putting a screenshot onto your clipboard), open a new MS Word document. Paste (Ctrl+V or right click>paste or use the icon on the toolbar or Edit-paste) and a copy of your screen will appear as a picture.

It can be pasted into docs, emails, cards–wherever you’d like.  Just don’t forget to paste!

Sign up for a new tip each week or buy the entire 169 Real-world Ways to Put Tech into Your Classroom.

(more…)

Categories: Keyboarding, Tech tips | Leave a comment

5 (free) Shortkey Posters to Mainstream Tech Ed

Every month, we’ll share five themed posters that you can share on your website (with attribution), post on your walls, or simply be inspired.

This month: Shortkeys

 

 

–for the entire collection of 65 posters, click here



Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-18 technology for 30 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-12 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, contributor to NEA Today, and author of the tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.

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

19 Great Websites to Inspire 5th Graders

Here’s a great list of age-appropriate, safe websites that will inspire 5th graders whether they’re in your classroom or at home:

  1. Animals
  2. Wolfquest—simulation–DL
  3. Civics games
  4. FBI Games
  5. Looking Glass—animated story
  6. Snap!—runs in your browser
  7. Tynker
  8. Wolfram Alpha widgets
  9. Dig hole through the earth with Google Earth
  10. Whyville–Social Media Sim
  11. Spent
  12. Earth science animations
  13. Geography for Kids
  14. Geography Games
  15. Geography Games II
  16. Geography—geonet game
  17. Geography quiz—Seterra
  18. Maps—Make them
  19. States games

(more…)

Categories: 5th Grade, Websites | Tags: | Leave a comment

Favorite Shortkeys for Special Needs

I forget where I got this list but it’s well-suited to special needs students. Share these with those students but push them out to all students. You never know who’ll benefit:

STICKY KEYS

Sticky Keys allows keyboard shortcuts to be executed one key at a time. When a modifier key is pressed, Sticky Keys can enable it to make a sound to alert users of the fact. If the user presses two modifiers simultaneously, Sticky Keys is disabled. To enable it, Shift has to be pressed five times.

TOGGLE KEYS

Like Sticky Keys, Toggle Keys alerts users when a command key (e.g. CapsLock) is pressed by making a sound. However, the alert sounds can be sporadic in Windows 7 and 8. Some solutions may be the sound driver should be updated or a corrupted file should be fixed.

FILTER KEYS

Filter Keys is an accessibility feature to make keyboard usage easier. It regulates keystroke rates. For example, if the user presses too hard on keys, Filter Keys can prevent repetitive keystrokes by adjusting the number of seconds a key is pressed. It also can prevent users from inadvertently pressing unwanted keys if the user’s hand trembles or slides across the keyboard. Filter Keys can be enabled by pressing the right Shift for five seconds.

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Categories: Keyboarding | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Tech Tip #1–The Insert Key

tech tipsIn these 169 tech-centric situations, you get an overview of pedagogy—the tech topics most important to your teaching—as well as practical strategies to address most classroom tech situations, how to scaffold these to learning, and where they provide the subtext to daily tech-infused education.

Today’s tip: The Insert Key

Category: Keyboarding

Q: When I type, the new words cover up everything that comes after. I’m losing all my work as I edit. How do I fix that?

A: Push the insert key. It toggles between ‘insert’ and ‘typeover’. You are probably in ‘typeover’.

This is an option in MS Office and most programs deselect it as the default. If yours is active and you want to change that, go to

File>Options>Advanced

…and check the boxes shown in the inset.

 

Sign up for a new tip each week or buy the entire 169 Real-world Ways to Put Tech into Your Classroom.

(more…)

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

We Remember…

America, we love you.

Categories: History | Leave a comment

5 reasons why outdoor learning is vital for young children

Great reminder about the importance of play from one of our Ask a Tech Teacher contributors

Outdoor education might sound like a modern fad to many. However, there are so many advantages to this that it is critical for young children. Continue reading to find out why.

  1. Dispel the myth that learning only occurs in school

Many people, not just children, believe that learning only happens within the school building. It is something formal, something strict, and something planned. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Plus, teachers aren’t the only educators in a child’s life; parents, siblings, grandparents, club leaders and so on all play a part.

  1. Apply learning in different contexts

If children only learn about the value of money within a classroom, they may not be able to apply that skill to their own lives. For example, a child who has the opportunity to go to the shop and spend a dollar will understand the concept of exchanging money for an item far better than someone who only completes a worksheet based on it. The same goes for skills like measuring. Why should children only be made to measure the length of things within a classroom? In the great outdoors, people building enclosures for their animals, a new fence for their garden or setting up a campsite will all need to use the skill of measuring. Furthermore, understanding the use of technology within life outside of school is vital too. Many teachers encourage the use of an electronic device to help measure or a website to support learning.

  1. Promotes active lifestyle

“Stop running!” School buildings are a place where you must not run or jog, unless of course, you are a teacher in a rush. Rules can be broken then. When classrooms are done badly, they create passive individuals. Learners who follow the rules, but who are not fully engaged in what they are doing. Take the pupils outdoor,s and what do they do first? They run around! There are fewer limitations imposed on them and it allows them to not only be active in terms of their engagement, but also their physical selves. Who says that a child can’t successfully learn their times tables while taking part in games outdoors?

  1. Learn through play

Learning through play is the most common method of education for young children. Play comes naturally in the great outdoors as there are fewer limitations and more opportunities. This preschool Utah outdoor space just shows what is possible. Although a classroom setup may have a role play area, for example, it also has more formal areas in which children know they will have to sit and learn. Spending time outdoors and allowing the children to create their own opportunities for learning is essential. Anna Ephgrave’s Planning in the Moment approach is perfect for this.

  1. Physical and sensory approach works for younger children

Many children rely on a physical and sensory approach to learning when they are young. The outdoors is the obvious choice for many to have this opportunity. It seems much more acceptable to encourage water and messy play outside.

Although we feel strongly that children should be actively encouraged to spend time outdoors during their early years of education, the advantages can certainly continue into later life too. It is also vital to ensure the environment itself is fit for purpose, providing prompts and apparatus to support their learning.

More on play and learning

Kid-created Games That Teach

How to Blend Learning with Play for a Kid-friendly Summer

Should You Unschool?

Learning and Playing and Why Both Matter for Teachers


Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-18 technology for 30 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-12 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, contributor to NEA Today and author of the tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.

Categories: Education reform | Tags: | Leave a comment

What You Might Have Missed in August

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

  1. 13 Tips for using an iPad
  2. The Most Important Skill Students Need
  3. Energize Remote Learning with JotForm Reports
  4. Free Tech Safety Posters
  5. Typing Timesavers for iPads
  6. Great Kindergarten Websites
  7. Top 10 iPad Shortkeys
  8. Teacher-Authors
  9. CBA–What it is, pros and cons, using it
  10. Great 1st Grade Websites

(more…)

Categories: Teacher resources | Leave a comment

Teacher-Authors–Writing and Labor Day Go Well Together

Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is an American holiday (though with different names throughout the world) dedicated to the achievements of American workers. Take today to think about it. Me, I’ll take it literally–labor! A keyboard, three screens, four tasks, and a six-pack of Red Bull. I’m ready!

This post is for Teacher-Authors:

If you’re devoting Labor Day to your writing but need a kick start, last year I posted Wrong Hands plot generator matrice. OK, I know it says ‘Christmas Movie’ but it works just as well for writing:

I thought I’d update this year and was surprised how many plot generators are out there:

OK, seriously, if you’re writing today, maybe you’re doing it on your iPad, so it’ll be more versatile, more portable. Here are some suggestions to make that easier:

  • Double-tap the space bar to add a period.
  • Double-tap the shift key to turn on CAPS LOCK.
  • Double-tap the Home button to bring up all open apps.
  • Place two fingers in the middle of the iPad keyboard and flick them to the side. This will split the keyboard making it easier to ‘thumb’ the keys (see inset—notice the half-keyboards on either side of the image).

  • Shake the iPad to undo the last word you typed.
  • Four-finger swipe in either direction to change apps.
  • Five-finger pinch to return to the Home screen.
  • Long-hold the period key to bring up extension options (.com, .net, and more). This doesn’t work in all applications.
  • Long-hold many keys to get additional options. For example, long-hold the $ for other money symbols.
  • Long-hold the Home button to bring up Siri.
  • As you type, let the iPad correct your spelling and complete words.

That’s all I’ve got! Have a great holiday!

More on Labor Day (for Teacher-Authors)

Labor Day: Be a Writer?

No Labor Day Break for Me!

Labor Day Thoughts: Do You Really Want Your Job to be ‘Writer’?

How to Write a Book on Labor Day


Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-18 technology for 30 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-12 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, contributor to NEA Today and author of the tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.

Categories: Holidays | Tags: | Leave a comment