Category: 3rd Grade


Lesson Plans: Where Did I Come From?

Students find their country of origin on Google Earth and grab a screen shot of it. Save to their computer. Import it into a drawing program like KidPix and add the country flag and student name. Students learn about importing data from one program to another with this project.

[caption id="attachment_5431" align="aligncenter" width="564"]lesson plan Use Google Earth in Second Grade[/caption]


remote work

Great (Free) Lesson Plans

39-aHere’s a list of over seventy-five lesson plans free for your use. They’re organized by:

  • subject
  • software/tool
  • grade

You just highlight the lesson, then copy-paste to a doc of your choice.

If you want them printed out on 8.5×11 sheets, they are available for purchase here.

Here’s a slideshow of some of the lessons:

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Use Google Safe Search

Drop by every Friday to discover what wonderful website my classes, teachers and parents loved this week. I think you’ll find they’ll be a favorite of yours as they are of mine.


Elementary school, Middle school






I get this question a lot so wanted to repost this review. Well, that was my plan. Then I started editing, so now it’s pretty different.


19 Topics to Teach in Digital Citizenship–and How

digcit-bloggersimgRecently, Common Sense Media named Ask a Tech Teacher as one of the 2014 blogs to watch on the topic of Digital Citizenship. It reminded me what a massive topic this is! To my count, it includes at least 19 topics (check here for updated links):

  1. Cyberbullying–Harassment that happens on the Internet
  2. Digital citizenship–Live in the digital world safely, responsibly, and ethically
  3. Digital commerce–Electronic buying and selling of goods
  4. Digital communications–Electronic transmission of information including email, IM, SMS, chatrooms, forums, and multi-player games
  5. Digital footprint–Trail left in cyberspace by the use of digital communication
  6. Digital law–Legal rights and restrictions governing technology use
  7. Digital privacy–Protection of citizen information, reputation, and rights   while using digital mediums
  8. Digital rights/ responsibilities–Privileges and freedoms extended to all digital users and behavioral expectations that come with them. (Ribble & Bailey, 2007)
  9. Digital search and research–Search and research that relies on online sources
  10. Effective Passwords–Make these easy to remember but hard to guess
  11. Fair use–Legal use of copyrighted materials without permission of the owner provided the use is fair and reasonable, does not impair the value of materials, and does not curtail profits expected by owner
  12. Image copyright–Exclusive legal right to reproduce, publish, sell, or distribute the matter and form of an image
  13. Internet safety–Security of people and their information when using the Internet
  14. Netiquette–Electronic ‘etiquette’ on the net
  15. Online Plagiarism–Wrongful appropriation of another author’s “language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions”
  16. Online presence–An individual’s collective existence online including any activity that takes place on the internet
  17. Public domain–The realm embracing rights to online material that belong to the community at large, are unprotected by copyright or patent, and can be appropriated by anyone
  18. Social media–Online platforms like Facebook and Twitter by which individuals and communities create and share content
  19. Stranger Danger–Perceived danger by strangers


Common Core Writing–Digital Quick Writes

Here’s a free lesson plan from the newest Ask a Tech Teacher book, How to Achieve Common Core with Tech–the Writing Strand. This covers K-8, 208 Standards, and has 28 projects.writing

BTW, the lines at the front of each step are to track progress in case you don’t complete it in one class period. Feel free to print out for classroom use:

Essential Question

How does writing often and briefly improve skills?


Students use digital Quick Writes to integrate writing and critical thinking practice into any discipline.  They use a variety of age-appropriate digital tools to prepare their work. Through these short, fun writings, students develop fluency, build the habit of reflection, and informally assess thinking.

Big Ideas

Writing routinely for short periods of time, for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences, makes students better writers.


Internet, drawing program, quick write links


tech q & a

Dear Otto: How do I grade technology in my school?

tech questions

Dear Otto is an occasional column where I answer questions I get from readers about teaching tech. If you have a question, please complete the form below and I’ll answer it here. For your privacy, I use only first names.

Here’s a great question I got from Barbara, a principal at a local school:

Dear Otto,
May I ask your thoughts on giving grades in Computer Class? I can’t find research on this topic.


There isn’t a lot of research on the topic of grading tech classes. Anecdotally, it seems to be all over the board–whether teachers grade or not, and if they do–how. The short answer to this question is: It depends upon your expectations of the tech class. If it’s fully integrated into the classroom, treated more as a tool than a ‘special’ class (some call them ‘exploratories’, akin to PE, Spanish, music), then you probably want to hold it rigorously to the grading scale used in the classroom. The projects created will be evidence of learning, more like summative (or formative) assessments of academic work than tech skills.