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.

100th Day of School — Make it about Learning

Before becoming a teacher, I didn’t understand why the 100th day of school was a big deal. At first, I thought it had to do with finding something exciting about the dreariness of post-Christmas January but when I counted school days from Labor Day to the hundred-day mark (skipping weekends, two weeks at Christmas and a week at Thanksgiving), that put me in the second week of February. Some colleagues say the 100th Day is a rich teachable moment that revolves around math. One efriend told me it occurs about the time when most kindergarten curricula cover how to count to 100. Others tell me it’s simply a milestone, important to young children and passe to olders.

How to celebrate

Turns out, the reason doesn’t really matter because celebrating isn’t a problem with kids. They love parties. So I decided to accommodate the 100th Day fever by wrapping it in learning. Here are thirteen activities I like that blend learning into a celebration of the 100th Day of School:

Geography

As a class, come up with two locations in each state, to total 100. One will be oriented around geography and one around history (such as “Kansas became a state January 29, 1861”). Include a brief description and a picture and then share the collection with parents and schoolmates in the class newsletter or another vehicle.

History

Research what happened the hundredth year of your home country’s existence.  What was the country like a hundred years ago? What caused it to change? Who was president? What has been invented since then? Divide the class into groups so the project can be completed in one class period. Then, have everyone copy their information to a digital magazine (like you can create in Canva or Adobe) and share it with everyone.

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NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS

2021, I Resolve…

NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONSNew Years–a time for rest, rejuvenation and repair. A time to assess life. Do we settle into our routine, enjoy where it’s headed, or is it time to grab our purse, iPhone, car keys, and get out of there?

As a teacher-author, New Year’s Resolutions are more of a To Do list. I break it down into Edtech Coaching/Mentoring, Blogging, and Fiction Writing (my novel writing):

Edtech Coaching/Mentoring

Focus on podcasts, webinars, online classes, and other web-based learning outlets for Ask a Tech Teacher. I have some great partners in this:

If you’re looking for this sort of extension in your platform, let me know.

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10 Top Tips and Click-throughs in 2020

Because AATT is a resource blog, we share lots of tips our group comes across in their daily teaching as well as materials shared by others we think you’d like. Some you agree with; others, not so much. Here’s a run-down on what you thought were the most valuable in 2020:

Top 10 Tech Tips

As a working technology teacher, I get hundreds of questions from parents about their home computers, how to do stuff, how to solve problems which I share with you. Here are the Top Ten tech tips from 2020. Between these ten, they had over 183,000 visitors during the year.

  1. Remote Learning: Tips for Thriving in This Ecosystem
  2. Tech Tip #60: How to Add Shortcuts to the Desktop
  3. 10 Tips for Teaching Remotely
  4. Tech Tip #34: My Program Froze
  5. 5 Tips to Avoid Plagiarism
  6. Find Public Domain Images
  7. Tech Tip #9–Quickly Hide Your Screen
  8. Tech Tip #118–Top 10 iPad Shortkeys
  9. Tech Tip #106–11 Great Typing Timesavers on iPads
  10. Back to School Tips

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book review

Top 10 Reviews of 2020

Throughout the year, I post websites and apps the Ask a Tech Teacher crew’s classes found useful, instructive, helpful in integrating technology into classroom lesson plans. Some, you agreed with us about; others not so much.

Here are the reviews you-all thought were the most helpful in efforts to weave tech into the classroom experience:

  1. Quick Review of 7 Popular Math Programs
  2. 4 Great Alternatives to Google Classroom
  3. 7 Tech Tools for PE Teachers
  4. 15 Websites to Teach Financial Literacy
  5. 28 Unique Ideas for Publishing Student Work
  6. How to Use Google Drawings
  7. 3 Apps That Encourage Students to Read
  8. 17 Great Research Websites for Kids
  9. 22 Websites and 4 Posters to Teach Mouse Skills
  10. 13 Ways to Use Canva in Your Classroom

Oh–would you mind adding me to your social media links? Here’s where you can find me:

Twitter:   @AskaTechTeacher

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/Jacqui.Murray1 

Instagram: @AskaTechTeacher

Sign up for the newsletter! 

Thanks! Have a wonderful 2021!

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10 Hits and 10 Misses for 2020

Since we at Ask a Tech Teacher started this blog nine years ago, we’ve had almost 5.3 million views from visitors (about 10,000 follow us) to the 2,444 articles on integrating technology into the classroom. This includes tech tips, website/app reviews, tech-in-ed pedagogy, how-tos, videos, and more. We have regular features like:

If you’ve just arrived at Ask a Tech Teacher, start here.

It always surprises us what readers find to be the most and least provocative. The latter is as likely to be a post one of us on the crew put heart and soul into, sure we were sharing Very Important Information, as the former. Talk about humility.

Here they are–my top 10 of 2020 (though I’ve skipped any that have to do with website reviews and tech tips because they’re covered in separate posts):

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Subscriber Special: 2 Free Martin Luther King Day Lesson Plans

Subscriber Special

Until January 18th:

Free Martin Luther King Day Lesson Plans

Two lesson plans to prepare for Martin Luther King Day in January: 1) Students research events leading up to Dr. Martin Luther King’s impact on American history and share them with an Event Chain organized visually, including pictures and thought bubbles. 2) Students interpret the words of Dr. Martin Luther King in their own words in a visual organizer. Great project that gets students thinking about the impact of words on history.
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Designed for grades 4-7, it’s aligned with Common Core and ISTE Standards.
 MLK--His words cover
What’s included in each lesson plan:
  • brief summary of the project
  • Essential Question
  • Big Idea
  • Common Core and ISTE alignment
  • materials required
  • teacher prep required
  • step-by-step instructions
  • extensions to dig deeper into the subject
  • assessment strategies
  • sample grading rubric
  • sample project
  • resources

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Public Domain Day and Happy New Year!

Every year, January 1st, is Public Domain Day. This is an observance of when copyrights expire and works enter into the public domain–free for all to use. According to Duke Law Center for the Study of the Public Domain, here are some of the newly-available artistic works you might like a/o January 1, 2021:

  • F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby
  • Virginia Woolf, Mrs. Dalloway
  • Ernest Hemingway, In Our Time
  • Franz Kafka, The Trial (in German)
  • Theodore Dreiser, An American Tragedy
  • Sinclair Lewis, Arrowsmith
  • Agatha Christie, The Secret of Chimneys
  • Aldous Huxley, Those Barren Leaves
  • W. Somerset Maugham, The Painted Veil
  • Edith Wharton, The Writing of Fiction
  • Etsu Inagaki Sugimoto, A Daughter of the Samurai

–Comments are closed but feel free to contact me via Twitter (@askatechteacher). (more…)

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 in a few weeks!

–Comments are closed but feel free to contact me via Twitter (@askatechteacher).

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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):

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

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:

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