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Humor

How to Talk to a Tech Teacher

There’s always been something mystical about people in technical professions–engineering, science, mathematics. They talk animatedly about plate tectonics, debate the structure of mathematical functions, even smile at the mention of calculus. The teaching profession has their own version of these individuals, called ‘technology teachers’. They used to be stuffed in a corner of the school where most teachers could pretend they didn’t exist, that what they did was for ‘some other educator in an alternate dimension’.

That all changed when technology swept across the academic landscape like a firestorm:

  • iPads became the device of choice in the classroom
  • Class screens became more norm than abnorm(al)
  • Technology in the classroom changed from ‘nice to have’ to ‘must have’
  • 1:1 became a realistic goal
  • Students researched online as often as in the library
  • Students began spending as much time in a digital neighborhood as their home town
  • Textbooks morphed into resources rather than bibles

Today, teachers who don’t use technology are an endangered species. Often, they’re too young to retire, so they get a digital map from a colleague to that place where they’ve been told they’ll find help–from a person variously called the ‘tech teacher’, ‘integration specialist’, or ‘tech coordinator’.

As they enter the room, they figure the person they’re looking for must be the one who looks up as they enter, fingers flying across the keyboard, never pausing and never slowing even as she smiles and says, ‘Hi!’.

Before you ask your question, I have a short list of signs that will help you have a more positive experience when you confront this big-brained Sheldon-look-like:

  • You can’t scare them (in fact, even Admin and politics don’t frighten them). They’re techies. Try kindness instead.
  • Patience and tech are oxymorons. Know that going in.
  • Bring food. Techies often forget to eat, or ate everything in their snack stash and need more.
  • Some days, tech looks a lot like work. Distract them with an interesting problem.
  • Start the encounter with a discussion on Dr. Who, Minecraft, or Big Bang Theory. Find a clever tie-in to your topic.
  • Understand that tech teachers often think trying to teach teachers to tech is like solving the Riemann Hypothesis (many consider it impossible). Bone up on basics before the Meeting.
  • Life after the 100th crashed computer is what Oprah might call a life-defining moment. If that just happened as you walked through the door, turn around and come back another time.
  • Understanding a techie who’s in the zone is like understanding the meaning of life. Again–leave the room; come back later.

(more…)

Categories: Critical thinking, Geeks, Humor, Teaching | 2 Comments

11 Bits of Wisdom I Learned From a Computer

As a teacher-author who relies on technology to bring my dreams to life, even I am surprised by how often technology can be applied to life. I share these humorous gems with efriends, post them on forums, and incorporate them into conversations with colleagues. My goal is to demystify technology, a topic that remains for many confusing and intimidating. If fellow writers learn to approach it light-heartedly, they’ll be more likely to accept it. Here are eleven tech terms I find myself applying daily to many of life’s quirks:

#1: Your short-term memory experienced a denial of service attack

A Denial of Service — a DoS – is defined as: “…an interruption in an authorized user’s access to a computer network…” If I’m the “authorized user” and my brain is the “computer network”, this happens to me often. Laypeople call it a “brain freeze” and it is characterized as an event, a name, or an appointment that should be remembered but isn’t. I simply explain to the class full of curious upturned faces (or colleagues at a staff meeting) that I am experiencing a DoS and ask that they please stand by. (more…)

Categories: Humor, Writing | Leave a comment

Teacher Appreciation Week is May 6th-May 10th

Teacher Appreciation Week is May 6th-10th. In honor of these tenacious, creative individuals, here are some of our favorite teacher articles:teacher appreciation week

18 Things Teachers Do Before 8am

Definition of ‘Teacher’

How to be a Tech Teacher

10 Steps to Become a Better Geek

21 Reasons Why You Know You’re a Teacher

You Know You’re a Techy Teacher When…

Just Another Day In Computer Lab

Humorous Look at What I Learned from my Computer

How to Talk to a Tech Teacher

Dr. Seuss–Techie Style

(more…)

Categories: Humor, Teaching | Leave a comment

10 Myths about Teaching with Tech

mythsI’ve been teaching technology for over fifteen years. While student familiarity with this tool has improved, one thing that never varies is the myths surrounding teaching with it. It’s a constant struggle with parents and colleagues who have far more enthusiasm regarding this subject than expertise. Just when I think I’ve got everyone coloring between the lines, things change and I have to get a different paintbrush.

Here are ten of the most common face-palming, head-slapping myths that I have to correct:

Kids are digital natives. They get it.

Let’s look at that term, “digital native”. Techopedia defines it as:

a person born or brought up during the age of digital technology and therefore familiar with computers and the Internet from an early age.

I agree about the familiarity. When these “digital natives” show up in my classroom, they have played with iPads and their parents’ smartphones enough to know how to swipe, tap, squeeze, and shake, but they know none of the nuances required to morph the device from a toy to a productivity tool. This is contrary to popular belief — that being raised with iPads means they understand all about them.

To be fair, kids who use technology regularly at home do have both a baseline set of skills and a fearless enthusiasm for anything with a screen and a power button. We adults envy that confidence, so unlike our abject fear that simply touching the device wrong will break it.

But what kids possess is bravado, not knowledge. Knowledge must be taught.

It’s important to remember that lots of kids aren’t raised with technology. The New York Post reported in 2018 that as many as 5 million schoolage children have no Internet access. The reasons vary, everything from their parents don’t believe in it, can’t afford it, don’t trust it, or have no way to connect to the Internet, but the result is the same: No technology for kids considered to be the “digital native” generation.

(more…)

Categories: Humor, Teaching | Leave a comment

Pi Day is Easy to Remember–Celebrate With Students

Throwback Day–I’ll republish this Pi Day post from last year, just to remind you of this wonderful mathematical event:

Pi Day is an annual celebration commemorating the mathematical constant π (pi). Pi Day is observed on March 14 since 3, 1, and 4 are the three most significant digits of π in the decimal form.

Daniel Tammet, a high-functioning autistic savant, holds the European record for reciting pi from memory to 22,514 digits in five hours and nine minutes.

(more…)

Categories: Holidays, Humor, Math | Leave a comment

Humorous Look at What I Learned from my Computer

i love techAs a teacher on a mission to infuse technology into my classes, I’m often surprised how often technology can be applied to teaching and life. I share these humorous gems with students during classes, post them on the classroom walls, and incorporate them into conversations with colleagues. My goal is to demystify technology, a topic that remains for many confusing and intimidating. If students and colleagues learn to approach it light-heartedly, they’ll be more likely to accept it.

Here are eleven tech terms I find myself applying daily to many of life’s quirks:

#1: Your short-term memory experienced a denial of service attack

A Denial of Service — a DoS – is defined as:

“…an interruption in an authorized user’s access to a computer network…”

If I’m the “authorized user” and my brain is the “computer network”, this happens to me often. Laypeople call it a “brain freeze” and it is characterized as an event, a name, or an appointment that should be remembered but isn’t. I simply explain to the class full of curious upturned faces (or colleagues at a staff meeting) that I am experiencing a DoS and ask that they please stand by.

#2: I don’t have enough bandwidth for that

Bandwidth refers to your computer’s capacity for handling the volume of activity thrown at it. I learned how this geeky term applies to life from my millennial daughter. She says “yes” to everything people ask to the point that she can’t possibly complete what she promised. When she falls short, she explains that she no longer has enough bandwidth.

You might be familiar with the more pedestrian term “the straw that broke the camel’s back.” “Bandwidth” is a better way of saying it because no animals are harmed in its execution.

(more…)

Categories: Humor, Word study/Vocabulary | Leave a comment

Teacher Appreciation Week is May 7th-May 11th

Teacher Appreciation Week is May 7th-11th. In honor of these tenacious, creative individuals, here are some of our favorite teacher appreciation articles:

10 Bits of Wisdom I Learned From a Computer

How to Talk to a Tech Teacher

18 Things Teachers Do Before 8am

Definition of ‘Teacher’

How to be a Tech Teacher

You’re a Geek Now

You Know You’re a Geek When…

10 Steps to Become a Better Geek

15 Ways to Get Your Geek On

21 Reasons Why You Know You’re a Teacher

You Know You’re a Techy Teacher When…

Just Another Day In Computer Lab

Dr. Seuss–Techie Style

(more…)

Categories: Humor, Teaching | Leave a comment

Celebrate Pi With Your Students

Throwback Pi Day–I’ll republish this post from last year, just to remind you of this wonderful mathematical day:

Pi Day is an annual celebration commemorating the mathematical constant π (pi). Pi Day is observed on March 14 since 3, 1, and 4 are the three most significant digits of π in the decimal form.

Daniel Tammet, a high-functioning autistic savant, holds the European record for reciting pi from memory to 22,514 digits in five hours and nine minutes.

(more…)

Categories: Holidays, Humor, Math | Leave a comment

Teacher Appreciation Week is May 1st-5th

teacher in classroom with his little happy studentsTeacher Appreciation Week is May 1st-5th. In honor of these tenacious, creative individuals, here are some of our favorite humorous teacher appreciation articles:

10 Bits of Wisdom I Learned From a Computer

How to Talk to a Tech Teacher

18 Things Teachers Do Before 8am

A Website That Cleans Your Computer for You

Definition of ‘Teacher’

How to be a Tech Teacher

You’re a Geek Now

You Know You’re a Geek When…

10 Steps to Become a Better Geek

15 Ways to Get Your Geek On

21 Reasons Why You Know You’re a Teacher

You Know You’re a Techy Teacher When…

Just Another Day In Computer Lab

Dr. Seuss–Techie Style

(more…)

Categories: Humor, Teaching | Leave a comment

Celebrate Pi Day in Your Class

I posted this last year, but it’s still valid. One addition: new activities down toward the bottom of the post.

Pi Day is an annual celebration commemorating the mathematical constant π (pi). Pi Day is observed on March 14 since 3, 1, and 4 are the three most significant digits of π in the decimal form. Daniel Tammet, a high-functioning autistic savant, holds the European record for reciting pi from memory to 22,514 digits in five hours and nine minutes.

(more…)

Categories: Holidays, Humor, Math | Leave a comment