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Online education

Snow Day? 7 Ways to Keep Teaching

To meet state and national requirements (and receive critical funding), schools must be open a minimum number of days each year. When dramatic weather hits — be it snow or violent storms or another emergency — it becomes impossible to reach the classroom. That means lesson plans aren’t completed, assessments aren’t taken, and kids don’t learn. There used to be no alternative but more and more, schools are using technology to keep the learning going. For example, Wabash County issues all students MacBook Airs and iPads (your school could use Chromebooks) that are available to students who can’t get to school:

All Wabash County students in grades 3 through 12 have a MacBook Air they take home every day. For snow days, K2 students can bring home the iPads they use at school. 

Pascack Valley Regional High School District in northern New Jersey makes available lesson plans and assignments that can be accessed from home, on the Internet:

Before the snow fell, teachers were prepped, parents were warned and students had received enough assignments to fill a snow day.

These Districts make education-related emergencies easier on all stakeholders by using tools that are simple to roll out and intuitive to use — in some cases, already implemented in daily classrooms.

If your school is looking for virtual teaching tools, you’ll want to consider two options: 1) a virtual meeting room that closely replicates the traditional class where students see both teacher and classmates and have access to whatever is normally shown on the class screen; and/or 2) virtual access to lesson plans, resources, assessments, and chats usually available in a schoolroom.

Here are seven options that satisfy these requirements. The first four are virtual meeting programs while the last three are robust Learning Management Systems that include everything required to run an online class:

(more…)

Categories: Online education, Reviews | Tags: , | Leave a comment

College Credit Class in Digital Citizenship

Through the Midwest Teachers Institute, I offer four college-credit classes that teach how to blend technology with traditional lesson plans. They include all the ebooks, videos, and other resources required so you don’t spend any more than what is required to register for the class. Once you’re signed up, you prepare weekly material, chat with classmates, respond to class Discussion Boards and quizzes, and participate in a weekly video meeting. Everything is online.

Questions? Email me at askatechteacher@gmail.com

This one starts next week:


mti 557Building Digital Citizens

MTI 557

Starts November 18th

If students use the internet, they must be familiar with the rights and responsibilities required to be good digital citizens.  In this class, you’ll learn what topics to introduce, how to unpack them, and how to make them authentic to student lives.

Topics include:

  1. copyrights, fair use, public domain
  2. cyberbullying
  3. digital commerce
  4. digital communications
  5. digital footprint, digital privacy
  6. digital rights and responsibilities
  7. digital search/research
  8. image—how to use them legally
  9. internet safety
  10. netiquette
  11. passwords
  12. plagiarism
  13. social media

At the completion of this course, you will be able to:

  1. Know how to blend digital citizenship into lesson plans that require the Internet
  2. Be comfortable in your knowledge of all facets of digital citizenship
  3. Become an advocate of safe, legal, and responsible use of online resources
  4. Exhibit a positive attitude toward technology that supports learning
  5. Exhibit leadership in teaching and living as a digital citizen

Assessment is based on involvement, interaction with classmates, and completion of projects so be prepared to be fully-involved and an eager risk-taker. Price includes course registration, college credit, and all necessary materials. To enroll, click the link above, search for MTI 557 and sign up.

(more…)

Categories: AATT Materials, Digital Citizenship, Online education | Tags: | Leave a comment

Help Students Select the Right Summer School

Ask a Tech Teacher contributor, Alex Briggs, has an interesting take on summer school, why you should start thinking about it now–in the Fall–and how to do that. I think you’ll find this interesting:

Helping students to select the right summer school

School has just gotten back into session so it seems like an odd time of year to talk about summer school, right? Everyone is just now reacclimating themselves with the school routine, and the last thing kids ever want to talk about is more school.

But here’s the thing: Summer schooling is one of the most beneficial investments a teen can make into their educational future. Studies have shown that the lazy summer months have a massive impact on learning loss. If a teen stays engaged in their academic pursuits during the summer months – even if they’re only a few hours a week on academics – they will have a huge advantage going into the next school year and any upcoming standardized tests.

Summer schooling is something that should excite students as well, so long as they choose the right summer program. Where grade school can feel a bit repetitive to students at times, summer school can be highly privatized to help a child find and follow the fields of study that interest them. Considering the fact that up to half of all college students enter college undecided on their major, this is another perk that will help students as they try to find the right college for them.

That makes the fall a great time to start looking at summer schools. By keeping summer school in mind now, students can start thinking about what subjects interest them without the pressure of hasty applications. If you’d like to help guide a student towards the right summer schools, here’s what you need to consider.

Research their interests

Let’s say a student has an interest in architecture.

A license in architecture is going to require some specific skills. A strong mathematical background is crucial; algebra, statistics, and probability are all going to play a huge role in an architect’s ability to do their job. A background in historical architectural designs will be extremely helpful as well.

But the demands of becoming an architect go further than that. Getting a college degree won’t make an architect; they have to go through the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) to earn their license. The NCARB has its own registration exam that goes beyond what’s learned in college.

These are the things that a student has to consider. It requires time; and oftentimes, teenagers don’t have an interest that is as defined as “I want to study architecture.” That’s why it’s smart to start thinking about it early in the school year. Parents and teachers can help them to frame their thoughts as the school year goes along. If they encounter a lesson that appeals to them, tell them to write it down. Over the course of a month or two of school, it’s easier to identify interest and begin properly investigating those topics.

(more…)

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College Credit Classes in Blended Learning

Through the Midwest Teachers Institute, I offer college-credit classes that teach how to blend technology with traditional lesson plans. They include all the ebooks, videos, and other resources required so you don’t spend any more than what is required to register for the class. Once you’re signed up, you prepare weekly material, chat with classmates, respond to class Discussion Boards and quizzes, and participate in a weekly video meeting. Everything is online.

Questions? Email me at askatechteacher@gmail.com

Here are the ones I’m currently offering:

mti 558Teach Writing with Tech

MTI 558

Starts October 7th

Experiment with a wide variety of available digital writing tools to help your students develop their inner writer. Understand the secrets to picking good digital writing tools while working with classmates in a hands-on and non-threatening writer’s workshop format. Resources include a blend of videos, pedagogic articles, lesson plans, projects, and virtual face-to-face meetings to share suggestions with classmates in a collaborative environment. Strategies introduced range from conventional tools such as quick writes, online websites, and visual writing to unconventional approaches such as Twitter novels, comics, and Google Earth lit trips. These can be adapted to any writing program be it 6+1 Traits, Write Source, IB, Common Core, or other popular language arts curricula.

At the completion of this course, you will be able to:

  1. Use technology to drive authentic writing activities and project-based learning.
  2. Use traditional and non-traditional technology approaches to build an understanding of good writing and nurture a love of the process.
  3. Guide students in selecting writing strategies that differentiate for task, purpose and audience.
  4. Assess student writing without discouraging creativity via easy-to-use tech tools.
  5. Provide students with effective feedback in a collaborative, sharing manner.

Be prepared for and enthusiastic about using technology tools in the writing class.

Assessment is project-based so be prepared to be fully-involved and an eager risk-taker. Price includes course registration and all necessary materials. To enroll, click the link, search for MTI 558 and sign up.

(more…)

Categories: AATT Materials, Online education | Leave a comment

College Credit Classes in Blended Learning

Through the Midwest Teachers Institute, I offer four college-credit classes that teach how to blend technology with traditional lesson plans. They include all the ebooks, videos, and other resources required so you don’t spend any more than what is required to register for the class. Once you’re signed up, you prepare weekly material, chat with classmates, respond to class Discussion Boards and quizzes, and participate in a weekly video meeting. Everything is online.

Questions? Email me at askatechteacher@gmail.com

Here are the four I’m currently offering:


mti 557Building Digital Citizens

MTI 557

Starts Sept. 16th

If students use the internet, they must be familiar with the rights and responsibilities required to be good digital citizens.  In this class, you’ll learn what topics to introduce, how to unpack them, and how to make them authentic to student lives.

Topics include:

  1. copyrights, fair use, public domain
  2. cyberbullying
  3. digital commerce
  4. digital communications
  5. digital footprint, digital privacy
  6. digital rights and responsibilities
  7. digital search/research
  8. image—how to use them legally
  9. internet safety
  10. netiquette
  11. passwords
  12. plagiarism
  13. social media

At the completion of this course, you will be able to:

  1. Know how to blend digital citizenship into lesson plans that require the Internet
  2. Be comfortable in your knowledge of all facets of digital citizenship
  3. Become an advocate of safe, legal, and responsible use of online resources
  4. Exhibit a positive attitude toward technology that supports learning
  5. Exhibit leadership in teaching and living as a digital citizen

Assessment is based on involvement, interaction with classmates, and completion of projects so be prepared to be fully-involved and an eager risk-taker. Price includes course registration, college credit, and all necessary materials. To enroll, click the link above, search for MTI 557 and sign up.

(more…)

Categories: AATT Materials, Online education | Tags: | Leave a comment

Tech Ed Resources–Certificate/College Credit Classes and Coaching

I get a lot of questions from readers about what tech ed resources I use in my classroom so I’m going to take a few days this summer to review them with you. Some are edited and/or written by members of the Ask a Tech Teacher crew. Others, by tech teachers who work with the same publisher I do. All of them, I’ve found well-suited to the task of scaling and differentiating tech skills for age groups, scaffolding learning year-to-year, taking into account the perspectives and norms of all stakeholders, with appropriate metrics to know learning is organic and granular.

Today: Classes

Ask a Tech Teacher offers a variety of classes throughout the year. These can be taught individually (through coaching or mentoring), in small groups (of at least five), or as school PD. All are online, hands-on, with an authentic use of tools you’ll want for your classroom. Some are for certificates and others for college credit.


online classesThe Tech-infused Teacher

Certificate

Group enrollment

The 21st Century teacher blends technology with teaching to build a collaborative, differentiated, and shared learning environment. In this course, you will use a suite of digital tools while addressing overarching concepts like digital citizenship, internet search and research, authentic assessment, digital publishing, and immersive keyboarding. You will actively collaborate, share knowledge, provide constructive feedback to classmates, publish digitally, and differentiate for unique needs. Classmates will become the core of your ongoing Personal Learning Network.

Assessment is project-based so be prepared to be fully-involved and an eager risk-taker.

Price includes course registration and all necessary materials.

(more…)

Categories: AATT Materials, Classroom management, Online education, Teacher resources, Videos | Tags: , | Leave a comment

3 Ways To Improve Student Success With Strong Course Design

I teach a lot of online classes and as such, have used many different platforms. It’s clear to me that the course design–how I lay out the mix of resources, homework, classwork, and more–affects how students absorb and share knowledge. One of our Ask a Tech Teacher contributors knows a lot about how course design impacts learning. He’s boiled it down to three suggestions. I think you’ll like them:

3 Ways To Improve Student Success With Strong Course Design

In the traditional classroom setting, there is not much we could do to ramp up students prior to the start of the course. Some students inevitably drop out as their expectations from the course were different from what the course was actually designed to deliver. Some underestimate the intensity of the course and complain after.

Ensuring that the students have a clearer picture of what your course is designed to do and what it’ll require is critical to student success, both in tangible results as well as their perception (perception is reality!). It may also be worth considering providing some prerequisite requirements or light learning so that students in your class are relatively on the same level from the start. All of this starts with a good course design.

According to an extensive survey of UK students, on average about 72.5% of learners (higher education and further education) believed that digital skills were crucial in their career but only about 50% believed that their course prepares them for it.

Many now expect some form of digital technology and personalisation to be a part of any learning programme. So what are some key factors you should consider to maximise student success in your digital classroom? (more…)

Categories: Online education | 1 Comment

Online Class Starts Aug. 12th–Tech-infused Teacher

MTI 562: The Tech-infused Teacher

Starts Monday, August 12, 2019! 

In MTI 562 The Tech-infused Teacher, you will use a suite of digital tools to make your lesson plans pop while addressing overarching concepts like digital citizenship, internet search and research, authentic assessment, digital publishing, and immersive keyboarding. You will actively collaborate, share knowledge, provide constructive feedback to classmates, publish digitally, and differentiate for unique needs.

Assessment is based on interaction with classmates, participation in virtual meetings, and completion of projects so be prepared to be fully-involved and an eager risk-taker. Price includes course registration, college credit, and all necessary materials. To enroll, click the link above and sign up. Email askatechteacher at gmail dot com with questions.

(more…)

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Online Tutor–Is it Right For You?

If you’re searching for alternatives to teaching in a classroom and you’re a stellar teacher, you have a lot of options. Ask a Tech Teacher contributor, Justin Smith, loves what he does and does a good job of explaining it:

“I have come to believe that a great teacher is a great artist…Teaching might even be the greatest of the arts since the medium is the human mind and spirit.”

     ~ John Steinbeck

Bhutan is the first country to make the teachers and doctors the highest paid civil servants in the country. With the move, they are not only paying their teachers well but are also placing them on the top of the civil service hierarchy!

Elsewhere, teachers are struggling to pay their rent and mortgage. Online tutoring is an option that I and many of my like-minded friends (school teachers, professors, research scholars, professionals, and academicians) love because it ensures us a steady side-income doing what we love – providing educational support to students in the remotest corners of the world.

Online tutoring offers us job satisfaction (along with money) that traditional classrooms don’t. You get more time to interact with your students. It means that you not only ‘teach’ them but help them ‘learn’ by:

(more…)

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Last Chance for this College-credit Class

MTI 558: Teach Writing With Tech

Starts Monday, July 8, 2019! This is the last chance to sign up. Click this link; scroll down to MTI 558 and click for more information and to sign up.


Educators participate in this three-week hands-on quasi-writer’s workshop as they learn to use widely-available digital tools to help their students develop their inner writer. Resources include videos, pedagogic articles, lesson plans, projects, and virtual face-to-face meetings to share in a collaborative environment. Strategies introduced range from conventional tools such as quick writes, online websites, and visual writing to unconventional approaches such as Twitter novels, comics, and Google Earth lit trips. These can be adapted to any writing program be it 6+1 Traits, Common Core, or the basic who-what-when-where-why. By the time educators finish this class, they will be ready to implement many new tools in their classroom.

Assessment is project-based so be prepared to be fully-involved and an eager risk-taker. Student joins a Google Classroom-based class and meets weekly with instructor to discuss class activities and assignments.

What You Get

  • 5 weeks
  • 3 college credits
  • Price includes course registration and all necessary materials.

Course Objectives

At the completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Use technology to drive authentic writing activities and project-based learning.
  • Use traditional and non-traditional technology approaches to build an understanding of good writing and nurture a love of the process.
  • Guide students in selecting writing strategies that differentiate for task, purpose and audience
  • Assess student writing without discouraging creativity via easy-to-use tech tools.
  • Provide students with effective feedback in a collaborative, sharing manner.
  • Be prepared for and enthusiastic about using technology tools in the writing class

Who Needs This

This course is designed for educators who:

  • are looking for new ways to help students unlock their inner writer
  • have tried traditional writing methods and need something else
  • need to differentiate for varied needs of their diverse student group
  • want to—once again—make writing fun for students

What Do You Need to Participate

  • Internet connection
  • Accounts for Canvas (free–you’ll get an invite to respond to)
  • Ready and eager to commit 5-10 hours per week for 5 weeks to learning tech
  • Risk-takers attitude, inquiry-driven mentality, passion to optimize learning and differentiate instruction

NOT Included:

  • Standard software assumed part of a typical ed tech set-up
  • Tech networking advice
  • Assistance setting up hardware, networks, infrastructure, servers, internet, headphones, microphones, phone connections, loading software (i.e., Office).

(more…)

Categories: Online education, Teacher resources | Tags: , , | Leave a comment