School and Job Tips for Young Adults

With the school year ending, here are some useful tips from the Ask a Tech Teacher crew for students preparing for college or career:

School and Job Tips for Young Adults

The marketplace for good jobs has always been highly competitive. In the current economic climate, a solid education can serve as the launching pad for a rewarding career. But how can young adults get the training, schooling, and experience to get a job they enjoy? The good news is that there are plenty of effective tactics for diligent students and young professionals who want to make the most out of their education and training.

Besides creating a top-notch resume, modern college-bound people take the time to search for scholarship awards that can offset some or all their school expenses. They also take advantage of summer internships, both paid and unpaid, to acquire up to date workplace skills. While getting ready to take standardized tests in high school or after, prep courses can assist motivated candidates in achieving better scores.

Other no cost learning resources include institution sponsored tutoring programs, online seminars, and self-help guidebooks. For those who find it a challenge to get homework done on time, fixed study hours are a practical solution. Finally, remember to seek guidance when choosing a major field of study. Here are more details about how to navigate a collegiate career and land that first job after graduation.


A Short Guide to Interesting Teens in Shakespeare

William Shakespeare is internationally regarded as one of the greatest playwrights and poets in history, and his works have had a profound impact on our cultural heritage. Learning Shakespeare is a valuable and rewarding experience that can enrich our understanding of literature, language, and culture.

Here’s a quick overview of how to get teens interested in Shakespeare:

A Short Guide to Getting Teens Interested in Shakespeare

If you’re a high school teacher, you can probably hear the groans now as they wave through the classroom. You’ve reached the inevitable Shakespeare unit of an English course, and some students just are not clicking with it.

But they call him the “immortal bard” for a reason. The themes, character dynamics and conflicts in Shakespearean plays echo into the modern day. Some of his principal preoccupations – the enduring nature of love, the pitfalls of tyranny, etc. – are as relevant in 2023 as they were in 1600. And students have a lot to learn from keen insights, critical gaze and deep understanding of human nature present in Shakespearean literature.


Tech Tips #170: Cover your webcam!

tech tipsThis is part of the 169 tech tips for your class-but this is a bonus, not included in the ebook, just for readers of Ask a Tech Teacher. If you follow this blog, you’ve seen it before, but it’s worth repeating. Feel free to grab the image and use it in your classroom:

Tech Tip #170: Cover your webcam when you aren’t using it!

I used to do this and forgot about it. My mentor came for a visit and slapped a post-it note over my webcam.

And she’s right! Webcams and mics are too easy to hack, been done often. Why risk it? When I want to use the webcam (which isn’t that often), I take the post-it off.

I’m not the only one. In questions during a conference at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, former FBI Director Comey revealed that cam-covering is commonplace at the FBI and other government offices:

“If you go into any government office, we all have our little camera things that sit on top of the screen, they all have a little lid that closes down on them. You do that so people who do not have authority don’t look at you. I think that’s a good thing.”

One more person who’s security conscious is that poster-boy for social media: Mark Zuckerberg. Do you see what the geek experts noticed about this photo (one is that Mark covers his webcam as a matter of policy):


#32: How to Use Art to Teach Grammar

Here’s a great lesson that uses every child’s innate love of color to learn grammar. All you need is MS Word or Google Docs), a quick introduction to the toolbars and tools, and about 25 minutes to complete. If you’re the tech lab teacher, this gives you a chance to reinforce the grammar lesson the classroom is teaching and teach tech skills students need (click to enlarge):

[caption id="attachment_1026" align="aligncenter" width="450"]COLOR1 From Structured Learning’s Tech Lab Toolkit Volume I[/caption]

COLOR2 (more…)

Human Body Websites for 2nd-5th Grade

In my school, 2nd grade and 5th grade have units on the human body. To satisfy their different maturities, I’ve developed two lists of websites to complement this inquiry. I put them on the class internet start page so when students have free time, they can visit (check here for updates):

2nd-3rd Grade

[caption id="attachment_5364" align="alignright" width="212"]second grade Place organs where they belong[/caption]
  1. Blood Flow
  2. Body Systems
  3. Build a Skeleton
  4. Can you place these parts in the correct place?
  5. Choose the systems you want to see.
  6. Find My Body Parts
  7. How the Body Works
  8. Human Body Games
  9. Human Body websites
  10. Human Body—by a 2nd grade class—video
  11. Human Body—videos on how body parts work
  12. Inside the Human Body: Grades 1-3
  13. Kids’ Health-My Body
  14. Matching Senses
  15. Muscles Game
  16. Nutrition Music and Games from Dole (more…)
sat prep

Online Reading for National Library Week

National Library Week is April 23-29, 2023. It allows us to promote our local libraries and their workers. Find more about here at the American Library Association.

Because I  know most of you online only, I thought I’d share my favorite online libraries with you (click here for updates to the list):

For Children

  1. Aesop for Children–collection of fables
  2. Actively Learn–add PDFs of your choice to a library that can be annotated, read, and shared.
  3. Audio Books–apps for books purchased through Audio Books (and free ones)
  4. Bookopolis–focused on student reading
  5. Books that Grow–read a story at many different reading levels
  6. Class Literature
  7. Epic–a reading library for kids, 15,000 books; most digital devices
  8. RAZ Kids–wide variety of reading levels, age groups, with teacher dashboards
  9. Reading Rainbow–library of books; free to try
  10. Tumblebooks (fee)–focused on student reading

For All Ages

  1. Free Books–download any of our 23,469 classic books, and read
  2. Actively Learn–add PDFs of your choice to a library that can be annotated, read, and shared.
  3. Bookopolis–focused on student reading
  4. Books that Grow–read a story at many different reading levels
  5. Class Literature
  6. Epic–a reading library for kids, 15,000 books; most digital devices
  7. Free Books–download any of our 23,469 classic books, and read
  8. Great Books Online by Bartleby
  9. Gutenberg Project
  10. IBooks–amazing way to download and read books.
  11. International Library
  12. Internet Archive— Internet Archive offers over 12,000,000 freely downloadable books and texts. There is also a collection of 550,000 modern eBooks that may be borrowed by anyone with a free account.
  13. Kindle–read ebooks, newspapers, magazines, textbooks and PDFs on an easy-to-use interface.
  14. Librivox–free public domain audio books
  15. Loyal Books
  16. Many Books–Over 33,000 ebooks that can be browsed by language, author, title. 
  17. Online Books Page
  18. Open Library
  19. OWL Eyes–for the classics
  20. RAZ Kids–wide variety of reading levels, age groups, with teacher dashboards
  21. Reading Rainbow–library of books; free to try
  22. Tumblebooks (fee)–focused on student reading
  23. Unite for books (free) — gorgeous, easy-to-navigate site.

Teacher-Authors: What’s Happening on my Writer’s Blog

A lot of teacher-authors read my WordDreams blog. In this monthly column, I share the most popular post from the past month on my writer’s blog, WordDreams. 

Here is one of the popular posts:

AI-generated art is a game-changer for writers who do their own marketing and newsletters. I was reminded of that when I received a newsletter from good blogger friend Luciana Cavallaro, author of amazing historical fiction centered in ancient Rome. She sent a newsletter and wanted to include an image of a coach being hit in the face by a volleyball (don’t ask–it’s complicated). As close as she could get was this image:

I accepted her challenge to find a better image and turned to DALL-E, one of the new platforms where AI generates art. Here’s what I got in about a minute:

This is new legal territory, but current thinking is that these images are free to use, owned by no one, similar to the legal permissions allowed by public domain images. Here’s an infogram explaining that, taken from DALL-E’s terms of service: