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Tagged With: Tablets

33 Resources for Read Across America Day

Many people in the United States, particularly students, parents and teachers, join forces on Read Across America Day, annually held on March 2. This nationwide observance coincides with the birthday of Dr. Seuss. Here are some great reading websites for students K-5:

  1. Aesop Fables—no ads
  2. Aesop’s Fables
  3. Audio stories
  4. Childhood Stories
  5. Classic Fairy Tales
  6. Fairy Tales and Fables
  7. Listen/read–Free non-fic audiobooks
  8. Starfall
  9. Stories read by actors
  10. Stories to read for youngsters
  11. Stories to read–II
    (more…)
Categories: 1st, 2nd, 3rd Grade, Holidays, Reading, Websites | Tags: , | 2 Comments

39 Resources for Read Across America Day

Many people in the United States, particularly students, parents and teachers, join forces on Read Across America Day, annually held on March 2. This nationwide observance coincides with the birthday of Dr. Seuss.

Here are some great reading websites for students K-5:

  1. Aesop Fables—no ads
  2. Aesop’s Fables
  3. Audio stories
  4. Childhood Stories
  5. Classic Fairy Tales
  6. Fairy Tales and Fables
  7. Listen/read–Free non-fic audio books
  8. Starfall
  9. Stories read by actors
  10. Stories to read for youngsters
  11. Stories to read–II
  12. Stories—MeeGenius—read/to me
  13. Stories—non-text
  14. Story Scramble
  15. Ziggity Zoom Stories (more…)
Categories: 1st, 2nd, 3rd Grade, Holidays, Reading, Websites | Tags: , | 5 Comments

169 Tech Tip #116–How to Take Screenshots

tech tipsIn these 169 tech-centric situations, you get an overview of pedagogy—the tech topics most important to your teaching—as well as practical strategies to address most classroom tech situations, how to scaffold these to learning, and where they provide the subtext to daily tech-infused education.

Today’s tip: #116–How to Take Screenshots

Category: CLASSROOM MANAGEMENT

Sub-category: Keyboarding, PC, Mac, iPad, Chromebook

Here are the screenshot shortkeys for five platforms:

  • Windows: a tool included in Windows called the Snipping Tool
  • Chromebooks: Ctrl+Window Switcher key
  • Mac: Command Shift 3 for a full screenshot; Command Shift 4 for a partial screenshot
  • Surface tablet: hold down volume and Windowsbutton
  • iPad: hold Home button and power button simultaneously

There are also screenshot programs you can download like Jing and Printkey (the latter uses your keyboard’s Print Scr key) or use from your browser (like Nimbus or Snagit). Each has a different selection of annotation tools. You may find this works better for your needs.

(more…)

Categories: Classroom management, Images, Problem solving, Tech tips | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

52 Resources for Read Across America Day

stone-figure-10542_640Many people in the United States, particularly students, parents and teachers, join forces on Read Across America Day, annually held on March 2. This nationwide observance coincides with the birthday of Dr Seuss.

Here are some great reading websites for students K-5:

  1. Aesop Fables—no ads
  2. Aesop’s Fables
  3. Audio stories
  4. Childhood Stories
  5. Classic Fairy Tales
  6. Fairy Tales and Fables
  7. Interactive storybook collection
  8. Listen/read–Free non-fic audio books
  9. Magic Keys–stories for youngers
  10. Mighty Book
  11. PBS Stories–Between the Lions
  12. Signed stories
  13. Starfall
  14. Stories read by actors
  15. Stories to read for youngsters
  16. Stories to read from PBS kids
  17. Stories to read–II
  18. Stories—MeeGenius—read/to me
  19. Stories—non-text
  20. Story Scramble
  21. Storytime for me
  22. Teach your monster to read (free)
  23. Ziggity Zoom Stories

(more…)

Categories: 1st, 2nd, 3rd Grade, Holidays, Reading, Websites | Tags: , | 1 Comment

Tech Tip #106: Auto-add a Period, Caps Lock, When Typing on an IPad

As a working technology teacher, I get hundreds of questions from parents about their home computers, how to do stuff, how to solve problems. Each Tuesday, I’ll share one of those with you. They’re always brief and always focused. Enjoy!

Q: Typing on the iPad keyboard is slow. You have to access two different screens to type most messages. How do I speed that up without buying (and installing) a separate QWERTY keyboard?

A: Here’s one time-saving tip: IPads and most Smartphones will add a period (which inconveniently is on the second screen) if you double-space.

Cool.

Double-tapping seems to be a secret shortkey for many tools. For example, if you double-click the shift key, it turns the CAPS LOCK on.

(more…)

Categories: Education reform | Tags: | Leave a comment

Faceoff: What Digital Device Should My School Buy?

chromebookIn the not so distant past, two types of computers battled for supremacy in the classroom: Macs or PCs. Both were desktops and both did the same things, but in hugely different ways.

Today, whether it’s a Mac or a PC, a desktop is only one of the digital devices available in the education toolkit. First laptops eased their way into schools, pricey but popular for their portability and collaborative qualities. Then came iPads with their focus on the visual, ease of use, and engagement of users. The most recent entrant into the education digital device market is Chromebooks–able to do ‘most’ of what ‘most’ students need–at a precipitously lower price.

That means educators now have four options (desktops, laptops, iPads, Chromebooks) as they select tools to unpack education. The challenge is to understand the differences between these options and select based on personal criteria. That includes classroom needs, infrastructure, maintenance, and–yes–money. What gives the most value for the least investment?

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Categories: Digital Devices, Reviews | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Computer Shortkeys That Streamline Your Day

shortkeysAfter twelve years of teaching K-8, I know as sure as I know August comes earlier every year that kids will try harder if its fun. The challenge for us as teachers: How do we make a the geeky side of technology ‘fun’?

The answer is keyboard shortcuts–aka shortkeys. According to Wikipedia, keyboard shortkeys are:

a series of one or several keys that invoke a software or operating system operation when triggered by the user. 

Shortkeys are one of the teacher tools that scaffold differentiation. Students learn in different ways. Some excel with toolbars, ribbons, drop-down menus, or mouse clicks. Others find the mishmash of tiny pictures and icons confusing and prefer the ease and speed of the keyboard. Give students the option to complete a task in the manner best suited for their learning style. Once they know shortkeys, these will be an option available when they can’t find the program tool, or when it’s nested so deeply in menus, they can’t drill down far enough to find it. Shortkeys provide an alternative method of accomplishing simple tasks, like exit a program (Alt+F4), print (Ctrl+P), or copy (Ctrl+C).

My students love them. I start in kindergarten with the easy ones–like Alt+F4–and build each year until they discover their own. Throw in a few quirky ones and you’ve won their hearts and minds. My two favorites are –> and :):

keyboard shortcuts

  1. To create the first: Type – – >; many programs automatically switch it to an arrow
  2. To create the second: Type : followed by ); many programs automatically switch it to a smiley face

(more…)

Categories: Digital Devices, Keyboarding, Problem solving | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

Tech Tip #104: Need a File on Your iPad? Try This

As a working technology teacher, I get hundreds of questions from parents about their home computers, how to do stuff, how to solve problems. Each Tuesday, I’ll share one of those with you. They’re always brief and always focused. Enjoy!

Q: I have a video on my classroom computer I want to use on my iPad. How do I do that?

A: There are ways to do that–email it to your iPad, open through DropBox–but those have issues:

  • emailing requires extra steps and time you may not have
  • many email accounts limit you to <10MB. What if a video file is larger?
  • DropBox has limited space
  • like email, you must put materials in DropBox to access them from there (I know–Duh, but that requires planning. What if your inquiry-driven class popped onto this topic on the fly?)

If you’re like me, anything to make your worker faster, easier, less steps is a good thing.

(more…)

Categories: Classroom management, Parents, Tech tips | Tags: | Leave a comment

Want to Code on an IPad? Here are 3 Great Apps

codingCoding has become the poster child for a tech-infused classroom. Over 15 million kids participated in Hour of Code this past December. So many teachers took students to Code.org’s curriculum offerings, the website crashed.

So what is ‘coding’? According to the Urban Dictionary, it’s another word for ‘programming’ which means:

The art of turning caffeine into Error Messages

Let’s go to Webster’s definition instead:

The act or job of creating computer programs

Not much better. To techies, ‘programming’ or ‘coding’ is

a series of symbols, used synonymously as text and grouped to imply or prompt the multimedia in the games and programs that happen on computers, websites, and mobile apps.

programming

This complicated definition is why–historically–programming, IT, and Computer Science have been of interest only to the geekiest of kids. But there are good reasons why kids should like this activity. According to Computer Science Education Week:

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Categories: Computer skills, Critical thinking, Education reform, Games/Simulations, Reviews | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

5 Favorite Classroom Apps

appsApps are out of control. When you think you have just the right one for your classroom, a better/faster/snazzier version pops up. Often for free. It’s not like a decade ago when every teachers’ favorite tech tools were MS Office, KidPix, Reader Rabbit, and the internet.  Apps changed all that. Suddenly, the list exploded to include names like Voki, Tellagami, Wordle, ScreenChomp, Evernote and scores more that are weekly pushed aside by a new generation.

So before I unfold my favorites, here are guidelines to what I expected, culled from top education sites like Edutopia, Google Education, Educational Technology, and EdWeek:

  • free or small fee
  • support the ‘4 C’s’–creativity, critical thinking, communication, collaboration
  • offer compelling content (although this is subjective; ‘compelling’ varies teacher-to-teacher and student-to-student)
  • are not distracting or overwhelming in colors, music, or activity
  • offer levels that become increasingly more difficult, providing differentiation for student needs
  • stand the test of time
  • positive parent reports
  • few ads–and those that are there do not take up a significant portion of the screen
  • intuitive to use with a short learning curve, encourage independence
  • easily applied to a variety of educational environments
  • doesn’t collect personal information other than user credentials or data required to operate the app
  • rated ‘for everyone’ or ‘low maturity’
  • no in-app purchases or billing

Based on these criteria, here are my top five:

(more…)

Categories: Critical thinking, Reviews | Tags: , , , | 6 Comments