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.

The Role of Mathematics in Education

The Role of Mathematics in Education: What Professions You Can Get in the Future

Have you ever found yourself pondering the real-world applications of those algebraic formulas or geometric theorems you spent hours trying to decipher in school? Or perhaps, amidst a particularly challenging calculus problem, you’ve questioned how this abstract world of numbers and symbols could possibly influence your future career? Well, you’re not alone. Mathematics, often dubbed the universal language, plays a pivotal role in shaping the educational foundation necessary for a plethora of professions. Let’s dive into the essence of mathematics in education and uncover the vast array of future career opportunities it unlocks. (more…)

Engineers Week Feb. 18-24

This week, February 18-24, 2024, is DiscoverE’s Engineers Week. Their tagline:

“A week-long event, a year-long commitment”

Do you wonder why anyone would be passionate about engineering? Forbes published three good reasons:

  • The U.S. has approximately 1.6 million engineering jobs that pay $42 per hour in median.
  • Job growth from 2010 to 2014 was in the double digits in several engineering occupations.
  • Since 2007, the number of engineering grads nationwide has shot up 33%.

Overall, engineering offers a combination of intellectual challenge, real-world impact, and opportunities for personal and professional growth. By pursuing a career in engineering, students can contribute to meaningful projects, solve complex problems, and make a positive difference in the world.

What is Engineers Week?

Engineers Week, also known as EWeek, is an annual event celebrated in the United States typically during the third or fourth week of February, this week: February 18-24, 2024 dedicated to promoting awareness and appreciation of engineering.

During Engineers Week, engineering societies, universities, companies, and other organizations organize workshops, competitions, seminars, outreach programs to schools, career fairs, and networking events. The goal is to inspire the next generation of engineers, showcase the importance of engineering in solving global challenges, and recognize the achievements of engineers and encourage young people to pursue careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).


Newsletter Problems

Hi everyone

Because of recent changes in emails that apply to newsletters, I am not able to send out the Ask a Tech Teacher newsletter this week. I hope to resolve these soon. I may have to switch platforms in which case I’ll let you know and you’ll have an opportunity to opt out of the new ecosystem.

Apologies for any inconvenience. Please feel free to email me at

[email protected]

with any questions.


I’ve left comments open if you’d like to ask questions there.

Random Acts of Kindness Day is Coming. How Will You Celebrate?

I’ll never forget the day years ago when I stood in a donut shop, half asleep, bed head, with a monster sugar deficit. As I got to the front of the line, the man before me said, “I’ll pay for hers, too.” I didn’t know him. We hadn’t commiserated over how Krispy Kreme was always crowded. I’d just slogged onward, waiting my turn, eager to taste my apple fritter. His simple act of paying for my donut made me feel special, brought a smile to my face all day, and lightened the load of whatever happened after that.

That was one of my first Random Acts of Kindness. Now, February 11-17th 2024 is Random Acts of Kindness Week, Random Acts of Kindness Day September 1st in New Zealand, and is when everyone encourages acts of kindness without any expectation of consideration in return.

“Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.” — Mark Twain

What is Random Acts of Kindness Day?

Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) Day is twenty-four hours when anyone who chooses to participate agrees to perform unexpected acts of kindness to pay it forward for that time they need a little bit of unexpected care.  We flaunt our altruistic side by doing something nice for another without a thought for the consequences.

Why is Kindness important?

Why kindness is important seems obvious, but really, it isn’t. I can name a whole lot of people who have succeeded despite being, well, jerks so why should we think there’s merit in a gentler approach?


100th Day of School — It’s about Learning

The 100th day of school is a special milestone celebrated in many educational institutions around the world. It is particularly popular in elementary schools, often filled with fun and educational activities centered around the number 100.

How to celebrate

Here are activities I like that blend learning into the celebration of the 100th Day of School:


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.


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.


The 3 Best Strategies For Teachers To Keep Students Engaged

The 3 Best Strategies For Teachers To Keep Students Engaged

Engaging students in the classroom is a key factor in successful teaching and learning. However, keeping students interested and involved in their education can be a big challenge. It’s very important to make sure they are engaged and actively learning so they can end up going to a good college and building a future with a good foundation.

With distractions from technology and diverse learning needs, teachers need to constantly adapt and find innovative ways to keep their students focused. Having the right strategy is essential. In this article, we will give you several tips to help increase engagement among your students. (more…)

Mastering Photo Editing: A High School Student’s Ultimate Guide to a Creative Career

As High School students explore post-graduation options, more and more are looking at careers as creators. Boosted by the rise in popularity of generative AI image options like DALL-E, photo editing as a career enjoys a resurgence among those preparing to enter the work force. It is fulfilling and potentially lucrative and relies heavily on individual passion and preparation. The Ask a Tech Teacher team has ideas on how to prepare for this career if it is your future.

Dive into the world of photo editing with our comprehensive guide tailored for high school students. Discover essential skills, artistic techniques, and practical steps for building a standout portfolio. Learn about color theory, composition, and the latest software to kickstart your journey in digital art and prepare for a successful career in photo editing.

How High School Students Can Prepare for a Career in Photo Editing

Photo editing has become a crucial skill in the digital age for professional photographers and anyone aspiring to a creative career. Our article aims to guide high school students like you who are interested in this field, highlighting the essential skills and artistic insights needed for success. 

We will explore how mastering photo editing goes beyond learning software, emphasizing the importance of visual storytelling, artistic expression, and technical proficiency. No more words, let’s get it started! (more…)

What Happens When Technology Fails? 3 Work-Arounds

Has this happened to you? You spend hours rewriting an old lesson plan, incorporating rich, adventurous tools available on the internet. You test it several times just to be sure. It’s a fun lesson self-paced lesson plan with lots of activities and meandering paths students undoubtedly will adore. Technology enables it to differentiate authentically for the diverse group of learners that walk across your threshold.

Everyone who previewed it is wowed. You are ready.

Until the day of, the technology that is its foundation fails. Hours of preparation wasted because no one could get far enough to learn a d*** thing. You blame yourself–why didn’t you stick with what you’d always done?  Now, everyone is disappointed.


5 Internet Safety Tips for Teachers

5 Internet Safety Tips for Teachers

The internet has provided teachers with numerous tools to enhance their students’ learning experience. However, it’s not without a few downsides. Cyber threats, in particular, can expose both educators and learners to new kinds of risks that could endanger their privacy and security.

As a teacher, taking proactive measures to avoid and mitigate them is critical for creating a safe environment to teach and learn while maximizing the perks of the vast digital resources the internet offers.

Common Cyber Threats Facing Educators

Every profession has had its fair share of internet-based troubles. But what scams and crimes are teachers most likely to encounter? (more…)

The Importance of Technical Translation Services

When most people want to translate a page, the easy solution is right-click and select “Translate” from the drop-down menu. Or, they might go to Google’s free “Translate” service. But there are a lot of reasons those may not be good choices. They aren’t particularly accurate with contextual understanding and they may not be as secure as you need. For critical translations or professional content, a specialized translation service is a better choice.

The Ask a Tech Teacher team checked into this and came up with some ideas:

The Importance of Technical Translation Services

Technical translation services are vital, especially for a global business. They will allow you to easily tap into international markets as you will be able to provide more accurate translations. These translations may be of manuals, instructions, patents, or product information.

In this article, we’ll give you a comprehensive overview of the importance of technical translation services. (more…)