Author: Jacqui

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.

Tech Tip #38: My Desktop Icons Are All Different

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: My desktop icons (those little pictures that allow you to open a program) are all different. What happened?

A: I get this question a lot. Push the start button and check who the log in is. That’s the name at the top of the right-hand side of the start menu. It should have your log-in name. Any other, log out and log in as yourself and the world will tilt back to normal.

This happens a lot in my lab because I have separate log-ins for different grades. Students being students often forget to log out. I teach even the youngers how to check for this problem and solve it.

Truth be known, lots of adults have this problem, also. They’re used to sitting down at a computer they share only with themselves. When tech comes and does something on it–say, fixes a problem–and they don’t log out, my teachers are also lost

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Now Available: K-8 Digital Citizenship Curriculum

Digital Citizenship Curriculum for K-8 (print or digital)

Why do teachers need to teach Digital Citizenship?

Education has changed. No longer is it contained within four classroom walls or the physical site of a school building. Students aren’t confined by the eight hours between the school bell’s chimes or the struggling budget of an underfunded program.

Now, education can be found anywhere, by collaborating with students in Kenya or Skyping with an author in Sweden or chatting with an astrophysicist on the International Space Station. Students can use Google Earth to take a virtual tour of a zoo or a blog to collaborate on a class project. Learning has no temporal or geographic borders, available 24/7 from wherever students and teachers find an internet connection.

This vast landscape of resources is available digitally, freely, and equitably, but before children begin the cerebral trek through the online world, they must learn to do it safely, securely, and responsibly. This conversation used to focus on limiting access to the internet, blocking websites, and layering rules upon rules hoping (vainly) that students would be discouraged from using this infinite and fascinating resource.

It didn’t work.

Best practices now suggest that instead of protecting students, we teach them to be good digital citizens, confident and competent in the use of the internet.

What’s included in K-8 Digital Citizenship Curriculum?

This 70-page text is your guide to what our children must know at what age to thrive in the community called the internet. It’s a roadmap for blending all the pieces into a cohesive, effective student-directed cyber-learning experience that accomplishes ISTE’s general goals to:

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ebooks

Technology in Schools: A Brief History

I have a special treat for you today–a bit of history, compliments of a dear efriend, Janet Abercrombie of Expat Educator. Janet teaches math, but in a refreshingly nontraditional manner. She has given me countless ideas for integrating tech into math (or ‘maths’ as they say outside the US).

She just finished up a teaching gig in Hong Kong and is moving to Australia. Through her, I gain insight into the worldwide educational world, something I could never do on my own. But Janet shares her experiences with everyoExpatEducatorTechMuseum1ne who visits ExpatEducatorTechMuseum2her blog, including the differences in spelling around the planet, which I’ve left unchanged.

Today, it’s the history of tech. Most of you are too young to have used this equipment, but I can verify: It’s all true:

I recently worked in a school with a Tech Museum. Recognise any of the items in the pictures below?

When I look at this wall of old gadgets, I am taken back to my first practicum teaching assignment – the slightly damp, purple-blue ditto copies that emerged with a toxic smell second only to rubber cement.

Technology has changed tremendously since the ditto machine. As you read, ask yourself this: At what point in time did classroom instruction need to change with the emerging technology?

For a little New Year’s fun, this post includes early tech trivia questions that you can answer in the comment box.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________

Tech Integration Phase 1: Pre-90s

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Tech Tip #37: My MS Word Toolbar Disappeared

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: My tools for formatting disappeared from the top of my MS Word (2003). Where’d they go and what do I do?

A: They do disappear at times, for no good reason. Here’s the simple fix:

  • Right-click in the toolbar area at the top.
  • Select Format or Standard.
  • Make sure they’re checked. That’s where 99% of your tools live.
  • This is true in all MS Office software
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17 Topics to Teach K-8 About Digital Citizenship

Education has changed. No longer is it contained within four classroom walls or the physical site of a school building. Students aren’t confined by the eight hours between the school bell’s chimes or the struggling budget of an underfunded program.

Now, education can be found anywhere, by teaming up with students in Kenya or Skyping with an author in Sweden or chatting with an astrophysicist on the International Space Station. Students can use Google Earth to take a virtual tour of a zoo or a blog to collaborate on class research. Learning has no temporal or geographic borders, available wherever students and teachers find an internet connection.

This vast landscape of resources is offered digitally (more and more), freely (often), and equitably (hopefully), but to take that cerebral trek through the online world, children must know how to do it safely, securely, and responsibly. This used to mean limiting access to the internet, blocking websites, and layering rules upon rules hoping (vainly) that students would be discouraged from using an infinite and fascinating resource.

It didn’t work.

Best practices now suggest that instead of cocooning students, we teach them to be good digital citizens, confident and competent in 17 areas:

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common core

Take Tech into the Classroom

tech lab--classroomIf you are the tech teacher and teach in a lab, there’s a fundamental truism about students and tech that you know: Students don’t make the connection that tech in the lab is the same as tech in the classroom–just smaller. Whether the classroom has a laptop cart or a pod of desktops, students think that they’ve never seen the programs and icons before and none of the rules they learned two doors down (or wherever your lab space is in relation to the student classroom) applies to tech use in the classroom.

It requires your physical presence in their classroom, speaking to them for the transfer of knowledge to take place.

Here’s how I do it:

Before going:

  • Make sure the class computers work
    • CPU turns on
    • monitors work
    • headphones works
  • Make sure class computers have all the links required for class work and that are used in the lab. Ask the class teacher what those are and make sure they are on both the lab computers and the classroom laptops/pod. These are some favorites:
    • The school website
    • Tech lab class internet start page
    • Typing practice program
    • Google Earth
    • Starfall
    • A math program

If it’s not possible, be ready to explain the differences to students so they can reach a comfort level

  • Find out what the class teacher understands about the computers. Is she comfortable? How are students using them? Has she had problems? If there are reasons she doesn’t use them, what are they and can you solve them?

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kindergarten websites

62 Kindergarten Websites That Tie into Classroom Lessons

These are my 62 favorite kindergarten websites. I sprinkle them in throughout the year, adding several each week to the class internet start page, deleting others. I make sure I have 3-4 each week that integrate with classroom lesson plans, 3-4 that deal with technology skills and a few that simply excite students about tech.

Here’s the list (check here for updates):

  1. Aesop Fables
  2. Aesop Fables—no ads
  3. Alphabet—Kerpoof Letters
  4. Alphabet Animals
  5. Alphabet Doors
  6. Audio stories
  7. Barnaby and Bellinda Bear
  8. Bembo’s Zoo
  9. Brown Bear Typing
  10. Build a Neighborhood
  11. Color US Symbols
  12. Counting Money
  13. Clocks
  14. Clock Talk
  15. Create Music
  16. Dinosaurs
  17. Dinosaurs II
  18. Dinosaurs III
  19. Dinosaurs IV
  20. Dinosaurs V
  21. Dinosaurs VI
  22. Dinosaur VII
  23. Dino Fossiles then and now
  24. Dr. Seuss
  25. Edugames at Pauly’s Playhouse
  26. Edugames—drag-and-drop puzzles
  27. Fairy Tales and Fables
  28. Find a dog
  29. Game Goo—wacky games that teach
  30. Games to teach mouse skills, problem-solving
  31. Games to teach problem-solving skills
  32. Geogreeting—find letters around the world
  33. Holiday Gingerbread house
  34. Interactive sites
  35. Kerpoof
  36. Kid’s Videos
  37. Keyboarding—Hyper Spider Typing
  38. Kindergarten Links—Science, etc.
  39. Kindergartend Math Links
  40. Kinder Stories
  41. Learn to Read
  42. Make a Face
  43. Make a Monster
  44. Make a Scary Spud
  45. Make a Story
  46. Math for K
  47. Math/LA Videos by grade level
  48. Math Games
  49. Mightybook Stories–visual
  50. Mr. Picasso Head
  51. Museum of Modern Art
  52. My Online Neighborhood
  53. Puzzle
  54. Shapes and colors
  55. Starfall
  56. Stories—non-text
  57. Storytime for Me
  58. The Learning Planet
  59. Time
  60. Virtual Farm
  61. Virtual Zoo
  62. Word games—k-2

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Tech Tip #3: Turn an Address into a Link

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: I get emails from friends with links to websites. How do they do that?

A: When you have a website you want to send to people, here’s what you do:

  • Copy the address located at the top of the screen (right click on it and select copy).

  • Return to your email (it’s probably sitting on the taskbar at the bottom of your screen) and paste the address into the message part of the email (using right-click paste, edit-paste, or the paste tool on the top toolbar).
  • You’re almost done–now push the space bar or enter after the address. That creates the link.

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grammar sign

Monday Freebie: #33: Grow Your Story

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.

I love giving my material away for free. Thankfully, I have a publisher who supports that. If everyone did, we would reach true equity in international education.

Grow Your Story

Use a first-grade or second-grade story. Show students how to add description to it, setting details, sensory details, characterization, so it sounds more mature and interesting. I use thought bubbles to make it more fun.

Click on them for a full size alternative. (more…)