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Wrapping up your school technology for the summer is as complicated as setting it up in September. There are endless backups, shares, cleanings, changed settings, and vacation messages that — if not done right — can mean big problems when you return from summer vacation. If you have a school device, a lot of the shutdown steps will be done by the IT folks as they backup, clean, reformat, and maybe re-image your device. If you have a personal device assigned by the school but yours to take home, the steps may be more numerous but really, not more complicated.
Here’s a list. Skip those that don’t apply to you and complete the rest. I won’t take time in this article (I’m at about 1000 words right now) for a how-to on each activity so if you don’t know how to complete one, check with your IT folks or Google it:
Make sure your firewall and antivirus programs are working.
Many computers come with a built-in one to keep viruses and malware out that slow your computer. Sometimes, they seem to turn off by themselves (I have no idea why). Check to be sure yours is active. If you have a Chromebook or an iPad, don’t even worry about this.
Clean out your documents.
Sort through the documents you collected this year and get rid of those you don’t need anymore. It’s intimidating, like a file cabinet that hasn’t been opened in months –- or years — and is covered with spider webs. If you don’t do this regularly, the computer must finger through these unused files every time you search. If you hate throwing anything away, create an ‘Old’ folder, toss them all in it, and save that to a flash drive or in the cloud.
The end of the school year is a time when both students and teachers alike are distracted by thoughts of vacation, sleeping in, and no deadlines. For many, this means, during the last few weeks of school, learning limps to a grinding halt but increasingly, teachers use this time productively to introduce curricular- and standards-aligned activities that “color outside the lines” — step away from the textbook to blend learning with dynamic activities that remind students why they want to be life-long learners. Many of these, educators would love to teach but “just don’t have time for“, even though they align well with broad goals of preparing students for college and career.
If you’re looking for meaningful lessons to wrap up your school year, here are my top picks:
- Digital Passport
- Cool book reports
- Practice keyboarding
- Dig into cyberbullying
- Applied Digital Skills
Common Sense Media’s award-winning Digital Passport is the gold-standard in teaching digital citizenship to grades 3-5 (or Middle School). This free-to-schools online program mixes videos, games, quizzes, and the challenge of earning badges to teach students the concepts behind digital citizenship:
- How to search
It includes certificates of achievement, badges at the completion of units, and a classroom tracking poster to show how students are progressing.
Here are the most-read posts for the month of March:
- 33 Resources for Read Across America Day
- Teaching Basic Cybersecurity Measures To Everyday People (For Parents of Digital Natives)
- How Readilearn grew from one woman’s dream to an exciting education resource
- How Smart Tech and IoT are Making Educational Spaces More Accessible
- Humorous Look at What I Learned from my Computer
- Peer Feedback That Works
- The Importance of SEL to Education Success
- April is Financial Literacy Month
- Why Mastery Based Learning is a Good Option
- Fake News or Fact? How do you tell?
- Ways to Teach Tolerance
- Solve 50% of Tech Problems with 16 Simple Solutions
Many Christians celebrate Jesus Christ’s resurrection on Easter Sunday. To non-Christians (or non-traditional Christians), that event signifies a rebirth of spring that is filled with joy and gifts — and chocolate! Overall, it is America’s most-popular holiday with Christmas a close second. The date depends on the ecclesiastical approximation of the March equinox. This year, it’s April 1, 2018.
Here’s a good mixture of games, lesson plans, stories, and songs that can be blended into many academic subjects:
This website includes a colorful collection of Easter (and Spring) games and information that is visual and enticing to youngers. Games are Easter Math, Easter Egg Hunt, Easter Egg Dress-up, Easter Word hunt, complete-the-sentence, and more. Also, viewers will find websites about the history of Easter around the world.
- I can’t afford it
- I can’t get in
- It’s too hard
- I have a good job
- It isn’t worth it
Whatever is to blame, the result is that students increasingly take on the complicated economics of working and raising families without the knowledge, maturity, or experience to succeed at those. High schools are attempting to fill that gap by offering financial literacy classes that teach how to balance finite income from a job against infinite needs and wants.
Since April is Financial Literacy Month, I want to share my favorite online options, all age-appropriate for high school students and financial literacy classes:
- Color the shamrock
- Color the Pot-o-gold
- Color the leprechaun
- Puzzle–St. Pat’s Puzzle
- Puzzle–St. Pat’s puzzle II
- Puzzle–St. Pat’s drag-and-drop puzzle
- Puzzle–St. Pat’s slide puzzle
- Puzzles and games
- St. Patrick’s Day history–video
- St. Patrick’s Day quiz
- St. Pat’s Day songs–video
- Tic tac toe
- Webquest for St. Patrick’s Day I
- Webquest II
Here are the most-read posts for the month of February:
- My Favorite 5 Tech Tools for Teacher-Authors
- Questions Parents Ask
- 18 Valentine Sites For Students
- How Wearable Technology is Changing Education and Easing Disabilities
- The Easy Way to Teach Internet Skills
- Engineers Week — A Must for High School
- Purpose Driven Learning: Myths, Problems, and Education Applications
- Best-in-Category Winners for 2018
- Easily Manage Class AR with Metaverse Collections
- Kid-created Games That Teach
During the last month, Ask a Tech Teacher readers voted on which tech tools had the greatest impact on their teaching. For this Best in Category award, we asked them to look for the ones that made them say Wow and rush to share with colleagues everywhere.
Then we looked for the following qualities:
- how dependable is it
- how versatile is it for time-strapped teachers
- does it differentiate for the varied needs of students and teacher
- do educators like it (fairly subjective, but there you have it)
- how did it work when exposed to your students
- was it easy to use and intuitive to learn
- did it fulfill promises and expectations
- has it become a beloved tool in your classes or a failed experiment
Here are the 2018 Best-in-Category and Honorable Mentions for the following Categories: (more…)
Presidents’ Day is an American holiday celebrated on the third Monday in February–this year, February 19, 2018. Originally established in 1885 in recognition of President George Washington, it is still unofficially called “Washington’s Birthday” by many. The holiday became known as Presidents’ Day after it was moved as part of 1971’s Uniform Monday Holiday Act, an attempt to create more three-day weekends for the nation’s workers. Several states still have individual holidays honoring the birthdays of Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and other figures.
Here are fifteen ways to celebrate in your classroom including websites, games, activities, printables, quizzes, audios, songs, interactive maps, crafts, flashcards, videos, webquests, books, posters, trading cards, lesson plans, word searches, puzzles, speeches, articles, animations, biographies, and more:
From Apples 4 the Teacher, a well-known resource site for teachers and homeschoolers, this site provides links to President-themed coloring pages, stories, biographies, word searches, word jumbles, puzzles, and book reviews that can be used to reinforce learning about all of America’s presidents.
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 2018:
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 2018. Between these ten, they had over 174,000 visitors during the year.
- 10 Tech Tools for Your Math Class
- How to Teach Digital Citizenship in 1st Grade
- 169 Tech Tip #146: 18 Ideas for Warm-ups, Exit Tickets
- How to Teach Mouse Skills to Pre-Keyboarders
- Is Orton-Gillingham Right For Your Students?
- Use the SAMR Model to Spearhead Technology in Your Classroom
- 5 Ways Teachers Can Stay on Top of Technology
- Image Copyright Do’s and Don’ts
- What to do When Computers Are Down
- 9 Mistakes Teachers Make Using Tech in the Classroom