Here’s a great list of Special Needs websites. I’ll display it below but click the link for an updated library:
- Occupational Therapy–a long list of great apps including stress, social skills building, and more
- Read&Write–for students with dyslexia or English language learners who struggle with reading and writing.
- Signed Stories–beautiful stories in sign language
- Speech Therapy and Language Apps–apps like Conversation Builder, StoryBuilder, Tense Builder, Rainbow Sentences, designed for kids who need a different approach
So much available to differentiate for every student’s special need. Here are 50 of them:
- Autism browser—Zac Browser
Because AATT is a resource blog, we share lots of tips our group comes across in their daily teaching as well as materials shared by others we think you’d like. Some you agree with; others, not so much. Here’s a run-down on what you thought were the most valuable in 2020:
Top 10 Tech Tips
As a working technology teacher, I get hundreds of questions from parents about their home computers, how to do stuff, how to solve problems which I share with you. Here are the Top Ten tech tips from 2020. Between these ten, they had over 183,000 visitors during the year.
- Remote Learning: Tips for Thriving in This Ecosystem
- Tech Tip #60: How to Add Shortcuts to the Desktop
- 10 Tips for Teaching Remotely
- Tech Tip #34: My Program Froze
- 5 Tips to Avoid Plagiarism
- Find Public Domain Images
- Tech Tip #9–Quickly Hide Your Screen
- Tech Tip #118–Top 10 iPad Shortkeys
- Tech Tip #106–11 Great Typing Timesavers on iPads
- Back to School Tips
Throughout the year, I post websites and apps the Ask a Tech Teacher crew’s classes found useful, instructive, helpful in integrating technology into classroom lesson plans. Some, you agreed with us about; others not so much.
Here are the reviews you-all thought were the most helpful in efforts to weave tech into the classroom experience:
- Quick Review of 7 Popular Math Programs
- 4 Great Alternatives to Google Classroom
- 7 Tech Tools for PE Teachers
- 15 Websites to Teach Financial Literacy
- 28 Unique Ideas for Publishing Student Work
- How to Use Google Drawings
- 3 Apps That Encourage Students to Read
- 17 Great Research Websites for Kids
- 22 Websites and 4 Posters to Teach Mouse Skills
- 13 Ways to Use Canva in Your Classroom
Oh–would you mind adding me to your social media links? Here’s where you can find me:
Thanks! Have a wonderful 2021!
–Comments are closed but feel free to contact me via Twitter (@askatechteacher).
Since we at Ask a Tech Teacher started this blog nine years ago, we’ve had almost 5.3 million views from visitors (about 10,000 follow us) to the 2,444 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:
- Weekly Websites and Tech Tips (sign up for the newsletter)
- Dear Otto Help Column
- Edtech Reviews
- Lesson plans
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.
Here they are–my top 10 of 2020 (though I’ve skipped any that have to do with website reviews and tech tips because they’re covered in separate posts):
- Civics games
- FBI Games
- Looking Glass—animated story
- Snap!—runs in your browser
- Wolfram Alpha widgets
- Dig hole through the earth with Google Earth
- Whyville–Social Media Sim
- Earth science animations
- Geography for Kids
- Geography Games
- Geography Games II
- Geography—geonet game
- Geography quiz—Seterra
- Maps—Make them
- States games
Many of my most popular articles are about mouse skills. Every year, tens of thousands of teachers visit Ask a Tech Teacher to find resources for teaching students how to use a mouse. No surprise because using a mouse correctly is one of the most important pre-keyboarding skills. Holding it is not intuitive and if learned wrong, becomes a habit that’s difficult to break.
The earlier posts are still active, but I’ve updated this resource with more websites and posters to assist in starting off your newest computer aficionados.
- Drawing Melody–draw in many colors with the mouse and create music
- Left-click practice while playing the piano
- Mouse and tech basics–video
- Mouse practice—drag, click
- Mouse skills
- Mouse Song
- Wack-a-gopher (no gophers hurt in this)
- Digipuzzles–great puzzles for geography, nature, and holidays
- Jigsaw Planet–create your own picture jigsaw
- Jigsaw puzzles
- Jigsaw Puzzles–JS
Here are the most-read posts for the month of July:
- Tech Ed Resources: Online Classes
- Tech Ed Resources: K-12 Tech Curriculum
- Tech Ed Resources: Mentoring and Coaching
- Celebrate the Anniversary of the Moon Landing
- Common Tech Problem: Browser Doesn’t Work
- Free Mouse Skills Posters
- How Educators Empower Students With Tech
Space units are always exciting. Part of it’s the history, but a lot is that space is our final frontier, a wild untamed land that man knows so little about. Now that Elon Musk’s SpaceX has safely delivered American astronauts to the International Space Station for the first time in almost a decade, the fever of excitement over space couldn’t be higher.
I have a list of over 20 websites I use to support this theme for K-8. Here are five of my favorites:
This simulator will familiarize users with the controls of the actual interface used by NASA Astronauts to manually pilot the SpaceX Dragon 2 vehicle to the ISS. Successful docking is achieved when all greeen numbers in the center of the interface are below 0.2. Movement in space is slow and requires patience and precision.
This can be played online or as an app through Google Play.
This realistic webtool is an excellent scaffold for MS and HS students connecting STEM to their curiosity and excitement about space. Good applications not only for space but engineering, mechanics, and computer technology.
Age group: MS and HS
Overall rating: 5/5
This is an online simulation that challenges students to build a working satellite. They choose what science their satellite will study, select the wavelengths, instruments, and optics that will be required, and then build! After launch, students can learn about a large range of real astronomical missions dating from the 1980s and the data they collected.
The game is a cooperative effort of the James Webb Space Telescope and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
To build a satellite, students must understand advanced topics like wavelength and optics, and research scientific areas such as black holes, the Early Universe, and galaxies as they select what their satellite will study. A real interest in telescopes and space science will make this game more meaningful.
Age group: High school and college
Overall rating: 5/5
Memorial Day (May 25, 2020) is the time we remember soldiers who gave their lives in the defense of American freedom. In war and peace, they made the ultimate sacrifice and because of them we are privileged to live the American Dream.
Once a year, we honor them, their sacrifice, and those they left behind. Here are some activities to help students understand the import of this day:
- Difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day
- Folding the American flag
- History of Memorial Day–video
- In Flanders Field--poem
- Meaning of Memorial Day–video
- Memorial Day DigitPuzzle
- Memorial Day puzzle I
- Memorial Day Puzzle II
- Memorial Day: Remember Me — video
- Primary source recollections of War
- Quotes about Memorial Day/Wars
- Who you are remembering–Americans killed in action
- Word Search
Tech tools often seem focused on core classroom subjects like math, science, and history. Many forget the wealth of webtools available for classes many schools call ‘Specials’–those that round out a student’s day and prepare them for college and career. Here are three life-skill classes and online tools that make learning more relevant and fun:
1. Physical Education
Coach’s Eye is a top app I heard about from lots of PE teachers. It is one of the leading video platforms to record an athlete’s performance for playback and review. It records the action and then shows the athlete how to, for example, refine a fastball, analyze a golf swing, break down a volleyball serve, improve soccer skills, or demonstrate proper weightlifting form. Recordings are available instantly, can be zoomed and panned, and can be compared with earlier videos of the student’s action. Users can draw lines, arrows, or any freehand marks right on the video, as well as add audio commentary and slo-mo. The results can be shared via SMS, YT, and FB.
LifeSaver is a free online simulation of a life-threatening occurrence where you (as the viewer) become the only one around who can help. You are asked questions and prompted to take the next step. Your answers play out on the simulation so you can see what happens based on your choices.
The video is powerful, professional, and pulls the viewer in as a critical part of the emergency.