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Author Archives: Jacqui

About Jacqui

Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-8 technology for 15 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 book 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.

What is WittyWe and Why You Want to Use it

wittywe

There seems to be a limitless supply of online education content. In fact, my email box and social media explodes with them. But often, these offerings are too basic, a lite version of a paid program that isn’t terribly robust, confusing, or created by people who don’t really understand how to blend technology and education. As a busy teacher, I want resources that are clear, easy-to-use, accessible by all types of students, scalable, and fun.

I found that.

Understand, finding a reliable source is a big deal to me. I give potential new sites the seven-second test: If I’m not engaged and excited in seven seconds, I move on. If I have to work too hard to figure out how to use it, I move on. If it requires more than three clicks to access content, I move on.

WittyWe had none of these problems.

WittyWe is a K-9 learning environment that inspires students to become passionate about meaningful learning through engaging video content. Using techniques such as storytelling, resolving real-life cases, learning through play, and self-teaching, WittyWe covers academic topics such as science, social studies, law, economics, entrepreneurship, and engineering as well as life skills like time management, learning, money management, social awareness, healthy living, goal-setting, and leadership. The videos are arranged as themes, online courses, and/or guided suggestions through Ask the Professor. In this last option, students tell the Professor what they’re interested in by theme, grade, and difficulty level, and he suggests appropriate videos.

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Categories: Math, Reviews, Science, Teacher resources, Videos | Tags: | Leave a comment

What You Might Have Missed in September

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

  1. A New Typing Website With a Twist
  2. Building Digital Citizens–the Class
  3. Great list of Top Education Blogs
  4. 20 Websites and 3 Posters to Teach Mouse Skills
  5. 4 Great Alternatives to Google Classroom
  6. 7 Tips to Differentiate with Tech

Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-8 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: , | 1 Comment

9 Resources for National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month

cyberbullyIn October 2006, thirteen-year-old Megan Meier hung herself in her bedroom closet after suffering months of cyberbullying. She believed her tormenters’ horrid insults, never thought she could find a way to stop them, and killed herself. She’s not the only one. In fact, according to the anti-bullying website NoBullying.com, 52 percent of young people report being cyberbullied and over half of them don’t report it to their parents.

Everyone knows what bullying is — someone being taunted physically or mentally by others — and there are endless resources devoted to educating both students and teachers on how to combat bullying. But what about cyberbullying? Wikipedia defines “cyberbullying” as:

the use of information technology to repeatedly harm or harass other people in a deliberate manner

Cyberbullying occurs on not just social media like Twitter, Facebook, and topical forums, but multiplayer games and school discussion boards. Examples include mean texts or emails, insulting snapchats, rumors posted on social networking sites, and embarrassing photos or videos.

How serious is it?

The National Youth Violence Prevention Resource Center estimates that nearly 30 percent of American youth are either a bully or a target of bullying. 7% of high school students commit suicide, some because of cyberbullying:

On October 7, 2003, Ryan Halligan committed suicide by hanging himself [after being cyberbullied by high school classmates]. His body was found later by his older sister. Click for his story.

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Categories: Digital Citizenship | Tags: | Leave a comment

Subscriber Special: October

October 5th-15th:sale

Building Digital Citizens

$10 off!

with coupon code: BDC10

Usually: $29.97

Now:     $19.97

 

Click here for more information

Categories: Subscriber special | Leave a comment

Highly-versatile, Easy-to-use Form Creator–and it’s free!

jotformEverywhere outside of the education industry (which seems to focus on Google Forms), JotForm is the gold standard for creation of forms whether on PCs, Macs, or mobile devices. It can be used to sign up volunteers, get feedback on events, enroll people into classes, ask for donations, or collect payments. A JotForm can even show different questions based on what a user answered in prior questions. Its drag-and-drop interface makes building it intuitive, quick, and easy. With a wide variety of themed templates, it’s easily adaptable to any need. Once the form is completed, it can be shared via a link or social media, or integrated into DropBox, Google Docs, and many other popular platforms.

Check this link. to see if you qualify for an education account that awards you a 50% discount on pricing.

How to use it

Set up an account and then decide if you want to start with a blank page or a template. Follow the simple drag-drop directions to build your form using predesigned name/email fields, text answers, multiple choice selections, drop-down lists, an image, an upload field (where students can send their work to you), or an input table. Format the form to meet your school theme or other design criteria using predesigned themes or one you upload from your computer. Collaborate with colleagues if desired. Share the completed form via a link or embed. Responses can be collected in a spreadsheet, the form itself, or other third-party integrations.

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Categories: Classroom management, Reviews | Leave a comment

Kids become teachers: Helping out at a Senior Center

senior classesAs schools look ahead to serving not just student needs, but the greater needs of their community and world, service learning becomes an increasingly important part of high school education. The positive relationship between personal success and giving has been proven over and over, but it is not intuitive. When students become involved in ventures that give of their time and knowledge, they understand how important helping others is, not in an academic way but in a hands-on practical sense.

A popular service learning endeavor is teaching technology skills to those who don’t have them. In any number of homes and schools across the nation, students are more comfortable with using digital devices than many adults. Sharing their skill is natural and an easy way for them to give back to the community.

In this lesson plan, students will teach a group of seniors how to use common technology to help them manage their life and relationships better.

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Categories: Freebies/Discounts, Lesson plans | Leave a comment

169 Tech Tip #69: Instead of Emailing, Share

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: #69–Instead of Emailing, Share

Category: Email

Sub-category: Internet, MS Office, Google Apps, Parents

Q: I want to share a class video with parents, but the file’s too large and I don’t know how to embed it into the class blog. What can I do?

A: Share it with Google Drive or Microsoft’s OneDrive. In fact, you can share from any cloud-based file folder including Dropbox and Box.

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

An Easy, Reliable Way to Check for Plagiarism

plagiarism checkThe unauthorized use of another’s creative content has always been a problem but with the growth of the Internet, it’s become epidemic. The prevailing wisdom seems to be:
cc

If it’s online it’s free

This, of course, isn’t true but the rules and laws surrounding plagiarism and copyrights aren’t nearly as well-known as those that deal with, say, driving a car or crossing a street. The Josephson Institute Center for Youth Ethics surveyed 43,000 high school students and found that:

  • 59% of high school students admitted cheating on a test during the last year. 34% self-reported doing it more than twice.
  • One out of three high school students admitted that they used the Internet to plagiarize an assignment.

Dissuading students from improper use of online materials is a massive effort that few are willing to undertake. Teachers are at ground zero and start with three basic rules:

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Categories: Digital Citizenship, Writing | Leave a comment

A New Typing Website With a Twist

keyboardingType Dojo is a new free comprehensive approach to learning keyboarding. The ad- and distraction-free interface provides not only practice drills but quick links to grade-appropriate keyboarding games (including the popular ones from DanceMat Typing). It’s easy to get started and just as easy to use making it the perfect tool for busy teachers and students who have lots to do besides keyboarding.

But in the crowded field of online keyboarding, Type Dojo will become your favorite for one other simple reason: It multitasks. It has tons of wordlists for many subjects so students learn while practicing keyboarding. For example, if you’re working on geography, students can keyboard with the Geography word list or Marzano Science. If you’re studying literacy, use wordlists for Dolch/Fry/Sight words, Compound Words, or Phrases. Activities present as a timed test (between one and five minutes) that are selected by grade and topic. When completed, students get a certificate that can be printed or simply saved in their personal file.

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Categories: Keyboarding, Reviews, Word study/Vocabulary | Tags: | Leave a comment

169 Tech Tips: Email from MS Office

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: #61–Email from MS Office

Category: Email

Sub-category: MS Office, Classroom management, Printing

Q: I was helping a colleague who couldn’t print a document (server problems) and wanted to email it to herself to print at home. She started going online to her web-based email account and I stopped her. There was a quicker method.

A: Click the email tool on the MS Office program toolbar. It automatically opens your email program. An email dialogue box will open. Fill it in and send.

Of course, if you’re in Google Apps, it’s already in the cloud which means you can access it from anywhere—like home

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