Category: Teaching

8+ Steps To A Speedier Computer

This week, I’ll post updated suggestions to get your computers and technology ready for the blitz of projects you’ll swear to accomplish in New Year resolutions. Here’s what you’ll get (links won’t be active until the post goes live):

  1. 8+ Ways to Speed Up Your Computer — December 13th
  2. 9 Ways to Update Your Online Presence — December 14th
  3. Backup and Image your computer — December 15th

Regular readers of Ask a Tech Teacher know these are updated each December. New readers: Consider these body armor in the tech battle so you can jubilantly overcome rather than dramatically succumb.

Today: 8 Ways to Speed up Your Computer

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Exploring the Need for Education Consultants in a Digital World

Education has become a lot more complicated the last five years. Part of that is the impact of COVID on in-person and remote teaching. Another large part is the transparency now requested/required by parents as to what is going on in the classroom. The importance of education consultants, mentors, and teacher coaches has never been more pressing. Here’s a good article from the Ask a Tech Teacher crew on what that means and how you as an educator can confront the issues:

Exploring the Need for Education Consultants in a Digital World

There is no denying that we live in a vastly different world than we did just three years ago. Just as an increasing number of businesses have moved their operations totally online, so too have many students moved to online programs for their educational needs. All grade levels are now seeing an increase in the number of students who study online since the recent pandemic forced them to do so. Even though classrooms are once again open to student enrolment, many parents have opted to keep their children at home where they feel safer for a number of reasons.

A Myriad of Reasons for Online Education

Sadly, it isn’t only fear of contagions that has prompted this but also other factors such as the rising level of violence and bullying in schools, the fear of school shootings and various factors within family life. Parents who often struggled to get kids to and from school because of work hours, can now find ways to adjust everyone’s schedule so that no one needs to be late or miss days due to conflicts that occur far too often. Some parents simply like to monitor what their kids are learning and how they are being taught.

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What You Might Have Missed in October–What’s up in November

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

  1. Freebie for history teachers
  2. Digital Citizenship Week
  3. 100+ Digcit websites
  4. Assistive technology tools for writing
  5. Dyslexia Awareness Month
  6. Bully Prevention Month
  7. Exercises to Strengthen Fingers for Keyboarding
  8. Teacher Tech Training is Critical
  9. HS Curricula and Career Education
  10. Websites to Explain Elections

Here’s a preview of what’s coming up in November:

  • Choosing the right Computer Science specialization
  • Free Hour of Code Lesson Plans
  • National STEM/STEAM Day
  • Tech Tips
  • Apps for Curious Students
  • Thanksgiving Break!

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Teacher Tech Training is Critical

Back when I started teaching tech, teachers loved saying that kids knew more than they did, even defer to students to teach. That doesn’t work anymore which means even the most tech-phobic of teachers must step up. Here’s a good article from Yahoo Finance on that:

Why Teaching Tech to Teachers Is More Important Than Ever

“With technology, it’s not all or nothing,” says Williams. “It’s about how to make learning meaningful. The question to ask is, where does it make …

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More on Ask a Tech Teacher about teacher tech training

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Robot Teachers vs Human Teachers:

Simona Johnes, editor-in-chief of Science and Literacy, an educational blog for teachers and parents, did some research into a topic that is of growing concern to my fellow teachers: Robots in the classrom. Here’s an interesting article comparing the pros and cons of robots vs. humans: 

I recently came across an article published by Ohio State University that mentioned how several industries are using robots to get their jobs done, and the use of robotics is only expected to grow. This led me to thinking about the industry that I am currently employed in, education, and how this may affect my fellow teachers around the world. I began researching the topic and found a few articles about robots and artificial intelligence replacing teachers soon.

It was no surprise to see that educators are furious at this idea, and while I agree that human connection is important, I do think that there are several pros to having help from a robot in this tough industry from time to time. For example, robots can create a learning experience based on the personality of every single student, and this does not take much time or effort. I will explain more about what robots can help with throughout the article as well as explain why human teachers are still a necessity

After reading this article, you will officially know:

  • 6 advantages of a human teacher
  • 5 pros of a robot teacher
  • Who is better Human of Robot teachers?

6 Main Advantages of a Human Teacher

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What You Might Have Missed in August–What’s up in September

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

  1. Tech Ed Resources–Coaching
  2. How to Thank a Teacher
  3. Benefits of a Short Course
  4. Notetaking and Study Apps
  5. Free Keyboarding Posters
  6. Essential Tech Tools for History Class
  7. Habits of Mind
  8. Which Digital Device Should I Use
  9. Lessons Learned my First 5 Years of Teaching
  10. Incorporate Podcasting Into Your Curriculum

Here’s a preview of what’s coming up in September:

  • More Free Posters
  • 8 Tips to Become Tomorrow’s Teacher
  • Apps for Curious Students
  • Fall Websites
  • How to Evaluate Apps

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Lessons Learned My First 5 Years Of Teaching

It’s always interesting to find out what new teachers learned in their early teaching that affected their later years. Here’s Ask a Tech Teacher contributor, Elaine Vanessa’s, take on that–5 bits of wisdom she acquired while surviving the early teaching years:

My first five years of teaching were the shortest and longest years of my life. I was living the best and the worst time simultaneously. However, it was the most memorable time of my life that I don’t want to forget. Also, those five years made me a well-groomed educator and a better person in my life.

Every teacher has a dream of having a classroom with respectful kids having fun activities and love while learning. It makes teaching easy if kids love to be in the room every day. However, my first years were not like that. As I continued, I got better every year. There was one thing consistent; learning. Below are five lessons that I have learned in my first five years of teaching. I am sharing them in the hope of being a candle in someone’s darkroom.

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Balance the Delivery

Four to six hours in front of a computer for instruction. Unaccounted time for social media and gaming usage. Sounds like too much screen time? Some parents are beginning to see the fatigue in their children. School administrators and teachers are feeling the fatigue, as well as their jobs become increasingly dependent on computer and phone usage. So what gives in the post-pandemic world? 

Years ago, I took the lead in writing a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy for my school site, which was later adopted by my district. At the time, I thought this was a novel approach to address the lack of technology for students. It worked until our site eventually became one of the first sites to roll out a one-to-one policy with Chromebooks. While already aware of the effects smartphones had on students’ attention, I tried to keep a balanced approach to using technology in my classroom. However, being a techie, I continually experimented with new applications and, later, the Canvas LMS. I found that students were happy using the technology, but some would rather complete work pen to paper or do an assessment/project without the technology. 

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teacher appreciation week

How to Thank a Teacher

I found this article in my mailbox the other day, from The Tech Edvocate. This has been such a trying time for parents, students, and our teachers. Check out these great ways to say thank you that anyone can do:

HOW TO SAY THANK YOU TO TEACHERS

No matter what you do for a career or how successful you are, chances are you would not be where you are today if you had not obtained a K-12 education. Without a question, great educators are important. However, in the last year or two, educators around the country have gone on strike and protested for better salaries and working conditions.

Read more…

If none of these resonate with you, check out these ideas on Ask a Tech Teacher:

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What You Might Have Missed in July–What’s up in August

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

  1. 9 Ways to Add Tech to your Lessons Without Adding Time to Your Day
  2. Tech Ed Resources–Lesson Plans
  3. 25 Websites for Lesson Planning
  4. Tech Ed Resources for your Class–K-8 Keyboard Curriculum
  5. 40 Websites to Teach Keyboarding
  6. EdTech’s Top Blogs to Follow–Yep, We’re On It
  7. Tech Ed Resources for your Class–Digital Citizenship
  8. We Landed on the Moon July 20 1969
  9. HS Financial Training Classes
  10. Here’s How to Get Started with Ask a Tech Teacher
  11. The Case for PDFs in Class Revisited

Here’s a preview of what’s coming up in August:

  • What to know before studying abroad in the US
  • How to showcase your skills when applying for your first job
  • Tech Ed Resources–online classes
  • Tech Ed Resources–Mentoring and coaching
  • Free posters
  • Habits of Mind

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