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Teacher resources

What You Might Have Missed in January

Here are the most-read posts for the month of January:

  1. 10 Options for Polls and Forms in Your Class
  2. Keyboarding 101
  3. What is a Growth Mindset?
  4. Technology and Writing: A Conversation with Vicki Davis
  5. Remote Learning: Tips for Thriving in This Ecosystem
  6. Teacher Support in the Digital-Blended Classroom
  7. Virtual Reality in the Classroom: It’s Easy to Get Started
  8. 2 Martin Luther King Day Lesson Plans and a Book
  9. Best-in-Class Resources–You Decide

Last chance to vote on your favorite webtool based on its category! This will close about January 31st.


Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-18 technology for 20 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-8 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, CSG Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice reviewer, CAEP reviewer, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, and a weekly contributor to TeachHUB. You can find her resources at Structured Learning. Read Jacqui’s tech thriller series, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days

Categories: Teacher resources | Tags: , | 3 Comments

10 Options for Polls and Forms in Your Class

Collecting class data, asking for feedback on activities, and pushing out quizzes used to be laboriously accomplished by passing out paper documents, collecting them as they dribbled in, and then collating the data into a spreadsheet where you could sort and shake to come up with the useful information.

These days, all of those tasks are accomplished much more easily with one of the many free/fee webtools designed to create and curate information. Uses include but are not limited to:

  • volunteer sign ups
  • feedback on events
  • class enrollments
  • donations and payments
  • consent forms for school activities
  • polls and surveys on upcoming or past events
  • data on parents and students
  • collection of student projects
  • sign-ups for student class presentations
  • signups for afterschool activities or summer classes
  • registrations for a Professional Development workshop
  • quizzes that are automatically evaluated providing students with their score and you with metrics

Besides the ease of use and their digital nature, students love forms because they are anonymous. This means when forms are used to collect feedback, input, and projects, students can participate at their own pace, as quietly as they’d like, with only the teacher being aware of their identity.

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Categories: Classroom management, Teacher resources, Web Tools | Tags: , , | 5 Comments

10 Hits and 10 Misses for 2017

Since we at Ask a Tech Teacher started this blog six years ago, we’ve had over 5.3 million visitors to the 1,797 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.

Before you look at what statistics say are the most popular posts, tell me what your most popular categories are by voting in this poll:

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Categories: Blogging, Teacher resources | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

What You Might Have Missed in December

Here are the most-read posts for the month of December:

  1. End-of-Year Maintenance: 19 Steps To A Speedier Computer
  2. End-of-year Maintenance: Image and Back-up Digital Devices
  3. End of Year Maintenance: Update Your Online Presence
  4. New Year, New Mindset (my New Year resolutions)

If you’re planning ahead to Martin Luther King Day, here are two lesson plans I have on Teachers Pay Teachers that include research and background on this seminal American. You can get them for free if you check out January’s Subscriber Special (if you’re a subscriber).


Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-18 technology for 18 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-8 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, CAEP reviewer, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, and a weekly contributor to TeachHUB. You can find her resources at Structured Learning. She is also the author of the tech-thriller series, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days.

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Best-in-Class Resources–You Decide

top teched toolsEvery year, I review a large number of websites, apps, and resources that help educators blend technology into their classrooms. I get lots of feedback from readers sharing their experiences, asking questions, and clicking through to see if a particular tool will serve their needs.

But, I often don’t hear how the product worked in the fullness of time.

Starting last year, I sought out your opinions:

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Categories: Awards, Reviews, Teacher resources | 2 Comments

End of Year Maintenance: Update Your Online Presence

This week, I’ll share three holiday activities that will get your computers, technology, and social media ready for the new year. Here’s what you’ll get:

  1. Update Your Online Presence
  2. Backup and Image your computer
  3. 19 Ways to Speed Up Your Computer

A note: The links won’t work until the articles publish!

Today: Update Your Online Presence

For most teachers I know, life zooms by, filled with lesson planning, meetings, classes, collaborations with their grade-level team, parent meetings, and thinking. There are few breaks to update/fix/maintain the tech tools that allow us to pursue our trade.

But, that must happen or they deteriorate and no longer accomplish what we need them to do. Cussing them out does no good. Buying new systems takes a long time and doesn’t fix the problem that the old one wasn’t kept up. If they aren’t taken care of, we are left wondering why our teacher blog or website isn’t accomplishing what it does for everyone else, why our social media Tweeple don’t answer us, and why our TPT materials languish. There’s a short list of upkeep items that won’t take long to accomplish. The end of the calendar year is a good time to do these:

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Categories: Blogging, Digital Citizenship, Teacher resources | Tags: , | 5 Comments

New Year, New Mindset

Every year, I make New Year resolutions and ignore them. I don’t promise to fulfill them. I don’t even check my progress and revise as needed. I make-and-forget, check it off the New Year’s To Do list and move on.

This year, I’m trying something different: resolutions that aren’t quantified, that won’t take extra time from my too-busy schedule. Resolutions that will, instead, are more about my teaching mindset. Here’s my list:

I will learn one new tech tool a month

There are so many. I get massive lists of webtools, websites, apps, extensions, and links in my inbox, mostly proclaimed as “the tool I can’t do without”. Every month, I’ll pick one and try it.

Just to be clear: Today’s tech ed tools aren’t like they used to be. The ones I’m interested in are easy-to-use, intuitive, easily differentiated for varied student needs, and free or inexpensive. Anything that requires a time commitment to learn and buckets of creativity to use is off the list. My schedule is too packed for that sort of commitment. And, I’ll unpack them with the students, authentically, as part of a project we’re doing. An example: I use Padlet to curate and share projects. Instead, I’ll use Tozzl at least once.

To get me started, would you add a comment with your favorite tool — the one I should start with in January.

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Categories: Classroom management, Teacher resources | Tags: | 4 Comments

What You Might Have Missed in November

Here are the most-read posts for the month of November:

  1. 10 ways to use QR Codes for Hour of Code
  2. 10 Projects to Kickstart Hour of Code
  3. Websites for Hour of Code by Grade
  4. Coding and US Security
  5. 18 Thanksgiving Sites and Apps and 4 Projects for the Holiday

Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-18 technology for 20 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-8 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, CSG Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice reviewer, CAEP reviewer, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, and a weekly contributor to TeachHUB. You can find her resources at Structured Learning. Read Jacqui’s tech thriller series, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days

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

What You Might Have Missed in October

Here are the most-read posts for the month of October:

  1. 9 Resources for National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month
  2. 10 Great PowerPoint Changes You Probably Don’t Know About
  3. 10 Tips About Using Images in Your Classroom
  4. How NOT to Assess Student Writing
  5. How to Grow Global Digital Citizens
  6. Should You Unschool?
  7. Visible Learning and John Hattie
  8. What is Standards-based Grading?
  9. What is WittyWe and Why You Want to Use it

Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-8 technology for 20 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-8 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice reviewer, CAEP reviewer, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, and a weekly contributor to TeachHUB. You can find her resources at Structured Learning. Read Jacqui’s tech thriller series, Rowe-Delamagente, and her upcoming historic fiction, Born in a Treacherous Time.

Categories: Teacher resources | Tags: , | 2 Comments

12 Fresh Ways to Assess Student Learning

assessmentAssessing student learning used to be as simple as giving a test that consisted of multiple choice, True/False, short answer, and/or essay. How many answers students got right told the teacher how much they knew. No need to look further. Simply grade, record, and move on to the next chapter.

Educators have come to realize that there are lots of reasons why a test score doesn’t reflect student knowledge. Maybe the student had a bad day; maybe s/he isn’t good at memorizing (and the test was mostly memorized facts); maybe education researchers are right that doing well on tests isn’t a predictor of student success.

Tossing tests makes a teacher’s job more difficult. I’ll stipulate to that. Habits, templates, and routines are much easier than reinventing the assessment wheel but a tool that results in passionate students committed to lifelong learning gets my attention.

That’s what the next twelve options are: assessment strategies that inspire student interest and allow them to share what they know in ways compatible with their personal communication style. These can be used formatively or summatively and can be created by teachers or students-as-teachers. Decide what works best for your circumstances. The uniting characteristics are that all assess:

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Categories: Teacher resources, Teaching Strategies, Web Tools | Tags: , | 1 Comment