Tagged With: lists
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 2019:
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 2019. Between these ten, they had over 174,000 visitors during the year.
- 16 Great Research Websites for Kids
- 22 Websites and 4 Posters to Teach Mouse Skills
- 11 Projects to Teach Digital Citizenship
- Unplugged Activities
- How to Create a Curriculum Map
- 22 Digital Tools You Must Have in Your Classroom
- 9 Good Collections of Videos for Education
- 28 Unique Ideas for Publishing Student Work
- How to Teach Mouse Skills to Pre-Keyboarders
- Tech Tip #60: How to Add Shortcuts to the Desktop
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
- How to Use Google Drawings
- 61 K-8 Hour of Code Suggestions–by Grade Level
- 10 Tech Tools for Your Math Class
- 4 Great Alternatives to Google Classroom
- 11 Webtools That Make Images Talk
- 6 Ways to Make Classroom Typing Fun
- How to Use Google Sheets in the K-12 Classroom
- Metaverse–Education Game-changer
- 25 Websites for Poetry Month
Oh–would you mind adding me to your social media links? Here’s where you can find me:
Thanks! Have a wonderful 2020!
Since we at Ask a Tech Teacher started this blog eight years ago, we’ve had almost 5.1 million views from visitors (about 10,000 follow us) to the 2,184 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.
Need a few websites to fill in free minutes? Here are Holiday websites that will keep students busy while teaching them:
- 12 Days of Christmas
- Christmas puzzles and games
- Christmas—history—fun video
- Holiday Crossword
- Holiday Elf Games
- Holiday Hangman II
- Holiday music II–sing along with the music–the site provides the words
- Holiday—find the word
- Holiday—Math Facts
- Holiday—North Pole Academy
- Holidays around the world
- Phone call from Santa
- Santa Tracker
To meet state and national requirements (and receive critical funding), schools must be open a minimum number of days each year. When dramatic weather hits — be it snow or violent storms or another emergency — it becomes impossible to reach the classroom. That means lesson plans aren’t completed, assessments aren’t taken, and kids don’t learn. There used to be no alternative but more and more, schools are using technology to keep the learning going. For example, Wabash County issues all students MacBook Airs and iPads (your school could use Chromebooks) that are available to students who can’t get to school:
All Wabash County students in grades 3 through 12 have a MacBook Air they take home every day. For snow days, K2 students can bring home the iPads they use at school.
Pascack Valley Regional High School District in northern New Jersey makes available lesson plans and assignments that can be accessed from home, on the Internet:
Before the snow fell, teachers were prepped, parents were warned and students had received enough assignments to fill a snow day.
These Districts make education-related emergencies easier on all stakeholders by using tools that are simple to roll out and intuitive to use — in some cases, already implemented in daily classrooms.
If your school is looking for virtual teaching tools, you’ll want to consider two options: 1) a virtual meeting room that closely replicates the traditional class where students see both teacher and classmates and have access to whatever is normally shown on the class screen; and/or 2) virtual access to lesson plans, resources, assessments, and chats usually available in a schoolroom.
Here are seven options that satisfy these requirements. The first four are virtual meeting programs while the last three are robust Learning Management Systems that include everything required to run an online class:
One of the favorite topics on my blog is anything about keyboarding. Every time teachers think it’s been replaced by finger swiping or audio, it comes back full-steam as the obvious solution to coding or collaborative writing. I received this thoughtful article from Ask a Tech Teacher contributor, Rohan, chockablock filled of information on how to evaluate a typing program for your students and which of the many meet the grade:
Touch Typing software in the American market provides you with a huge amount of choice. This is not surprising as the US embraced Touch Typing as part of their educational system many years ago and is a mandated part of learning.
This has also led to high prices because it is something that schools have to have manufacturers of these products can effectively charge higher fees.
Now obviously when we as the consumer look to purchase something being a car or a chocolate bar price is not our only consideration. We have a great deal of choice and as great as it is to have many choices it also leads us to that dilemma of which one should I choose and how do I know I made the right choice.
Which factors do we place the most importance on and ultimately which product do we choose.
Do we go with the product we have used before because we know how to use it?
Do we choose solely on price and end up with “free” as that is obviously the best price? However, if it doesn’t perform or has negative features like adds, is it really free or is there a hidden cost?
Do we choose the programme our friends use because they said it was good and then we effectively didn’t have to make a choice therefore ruling out the possibility of choosing badly? At least we can blame someone else if it wasn’t the right choice.
Do we choose something based on aesthetics? Hey at least it looks good.
In reality we have to make a decision based on a number of these factors. The result of this is we need to rank all these programmes based on these criteria and also place importance on each.
In my high school teacher forums, as part of the discussion on preparing kids for college and career, we talk a lot about the huge shortfall in applicants for a growing list of tech jobs. Despite robust pay, excellent work conditions, and the value they place on creativity, jobs sit open. How do we get kids excited about careers that traditionally sound boring and math-oriented? Websites like Code.org have a great approach to making coding accessible to all kids but still, too few students think they are smart enough to do these jobs.
Time to reveal a secret I learned over the years. When I let students play Minecraft, Scratch, or a handful of other top-notch games, they eagerly — even happily — complete the programming and coding parts without ever considering it “math” or “smart”. I’ve seen them spend hours building a virtual world exactly the way they want it without getting bored or distracted.
By High School, the choice between college and career is foremost with life-changing consequences based on what the student decides. Often the choice depends upon the student’s goals. This topic could fill volumes but today, I want to focus on the job of building apps. App Developer is listed as number three on ThinkAdvisor’s list of the best jobs of the future, with a projected growth of 57% through 2020 (according to the BLS). There aren’t a lot of jobs where people can make money doing what they love.
Aside from future jobs, there are great reasons why even kids who want to become doctors or lawyers (or farmers) would benefit from learning the lesson of app building:
- Apps teach real-world skills like design, marketing, video production, project management, presentation skills, and special media use.
- The app building process requires creativity, innovation, critical thinking, and problem-solving — all fundamental to success in lots of jobs.
- Good app developers are collaborators, willing to work with others to ensure the app is accomplished on time and according to specs.
- Good app developers are decision makers, not afraid to be risk-takers in building something no one has done before.
As I dug into the background of “app building” to prepare this article, I found that it doesn’t just refer to the little buttons you click to see about today’s weather or add numbers or find your friends (well, find their phones). App developers are the first ones who try out the latest trendy devices. Wouldn’t you love to experiment with 5G on your smartphone or play with Samsung’s foldable phone? Or how about wearable devices like the embedded chips intended to replace employee cards? An app developer used all of these before they ever went on sale. App developers can work for software companies, retailers, in healthcare, in the travel industry, for the entertainment industry, or in financial services. CNN Money has called “app developer” the best job in America.
Once you’ve explained to students what it really means to be on the cutting edge of the high-tech world, let them try one (or more) of these six great app creation tools:
- App Inventor (from MIT)
- Code HS (an app building curriculum)
- Glide (how to create apps from spreadsheets)
- MAD-learn (a beginning to end app development program for K-12)
- Thunkable (a curriculum)
- TinyTap (geared for teachers but fine for the right student group)
Here are the most-read posts for the month of November:
- Subscriber Special: November–Discounts on Select Print Books
- What is Actively Learn and Why Should I Try it?
- Ward’s Science–So Many STEM Resources
- Integrate OUR Curricula into Your Kiddom Digital Platform
- 16 Sites, 3 Apps, 7 Projects for Thanksgiving
- College Credit Class in Digital Citizenship
- PleIQ: the interactive smart toy that fosters multiple intelligences through Augmented Reality
Need a few websites and apps to fill in sponge time? Here are Thanksgiving websites that will keep students busy and still teach them:
- Berenstein Bears Give Thanks (app)
- Canadian Thanksgiving
- Online/Offline Thanksgiving activities
- Plimoth Plantation
- Thanksgiving edu-websites–CybraryMan
- Thanksgiving Games
- Thanksgiving games and puzzles
- Thanksgiving games–Quia
- Thanksgiving information–history, more
- Thanksgiving Jigsaw
- Thanksgiving Jigsaw II
- Thanksgiving Lesson Plans
- Thanksgiving Tic-tac-toe
- Thanksgiving video–Brainpop
- Thanksgiving Wordsearch
- The First Thanksgiving
Here are the most-read posts for the month of October:
- Halloween Projects, Websites, Apps, Books, and a Costume
- 9 Good Collections of Videos for Education
- Videos: Why, How, Options
- Digital Assistants in the Classroom
- Help Students Select the Right Summer School
- Resources for Digital Citizenship Week
- October is National Bullying Prevention Month
- October is Dyslexia Awareness Month