Tagged With: lists
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.
- Bees and Honey
- Drawing Melody–draw in many colors with the mouse and create music
- Hover skills–drag mouse over the happy face and see it move
- 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
On everything from get-to-know-you activities to getting yourself ready:
- 11+ Back-to-School Night Tips
- 11 Back-to-school Activities for the First Month of School
- Great Back to School Classroom Activities
- Back to School Bundle of Lesson Plans at a Great Price
- Plan a Memorable Back to School Night
- New School Year? New Tech? I Got You Covered
- 5 Top Ways to Integrate Technology into the New School Year
- 5 Ways to Involve Parents in Your Class
- 3 Organizational Apps to Start the School Year
- 6 Tech Best Practices for New Teachers
- How to Prepare Students for PARCC Tests
- 8 Tech Tools to Get to Know Your Students for Back to School
- 5 Tools To Shake up the New Year
- 3 Apps to Help Brainstorm Next Year’s Lessons
- What Digital Device Should My School Buy?
- 4 Options for a Class Internet Start Page
- 5 Ways Teachers Can Stay on Top of Technology
- Back to School–Tech Makes it Easy to Stay On Top of Everything
- Dear Otto: I need year-long assessments
- 5 Tech Ed Tools to Use this Fall
For the entire list, click this Back-to-School category tag.
Here are the most-read posts for the month of July:
- Great App for Future Readers: Word Zoo
- Math Webtools to Support Any Curriculum
- How to Help Students Find Their Passion
- Wonder Workshop’s Amazing Dash
- How Tech Enhances Class Performance
- How to Do Student-led Conferences
- 5 digital tools to enhance the writing skills of your students
- 11+ Back-to-School Night Tips
Here are the most-read posts for the month of June:
- 4 Innovative Ways to Co-Author a Book
- What’s Changed in Lesson Planning
- What’s all the buzz about Messenger Kids?
- 7 Tech Tools for PE Teachers
- Smartphones in the classroom
- 11 Bits of Wisdom I Learned From a Computer
- Digital Citizenship Curriculum
- 10 Books You’ll Want to Read This Summer
- Looking for Trusted Advisers? Look No Further
- Tech Ed Resources–Mentoring and Online Classes
- 5 Favorite Apps for Summer Learning
Technology is a natural education fit in everything from math to Spanish to literacy. The one corner of K-12 learning that is not so obvious is PE — Physical Education. In that class, we think of physical stuff — not digital — like running and exercising.
But kids love technology’s apps and software. Is there a way to use these to encourage physical fitness? After all, the tie-in between physical conditioning and learning is well-accepted. Here’s what the NY Times reports:
Better fitness proved to be linked to significantly higher achievement scores — a 2013 study reported in PubMed.org.
But, how can teachers use the technology students love to encourage physical education? Here are my favorite websites and apps:
This is a stunningly visual app that takes students right into the human body via virtual reality. Viewers travel down the gastrointestinal tract, the small intestine, the circulatory system, and three other systems. With 360-degree navigation, it is fully interactive, including even tags for important parts. Students can stop and observe while exploring the hotspots. Watch this video—you really won’t believe it.
Summer is the push-pull of regeneration and rejuvenation: Should I spend my summer weeks learning my craft or relaxing? Me, I have no regular winner but the more convenient learning is, the more likely I’ll squeeze a goodly quantity of learning into my vacation that serves me in the long run. Where years ago, that used to be attending a conference at an out-of-town hotel that required traveling expenses, now, I’m more likely to pick online classes. In fact, I’ve talked about these choices in other posts. Today, I want to talk about podcasts, webinars, and screencasts of knowledgeable educators who quickly can become your trusted advisors on a wide variety of education topics.
Here are my favorites:
Books: Get Started with Google Classroom, Ditch That Homework, and more
Training: Go Slow Online Workshops, CoffeeEdu, and more
Social Media: @alicekeeler, YouTube
Alice Keeler is a Google Certified Teacher, New Media Consortium K12 Ambassador, Microsoft Innovative Educator and LEC Admin & Online and Blended certified. Professor of Curriculum, Instruction and Technology at California State University Fresno and Teacher on Special Assignment at ACEL Charter High school. She has developed and taught online K12 courses as well as the Innovative Educator Advanced Studies Certificate (cue.org/ieasc). Her goal: to inspire and help teachers to try something new. With a boatload of accolades, certifications, and followers, she is often a keynote or presenter at ISTE and CUE conferences and is the number one choice for those interested in anything Google.
Summer has a reputation for being nonstop relaxation, never-ending play, and a time when students stay as far from “learning” as they can get. For educators, those long empty weeks result in a phenomenon known as “Summer Slide” — where students start the next academic year behind where they ended the last.
“…on average, students’ achievement scores declined over summer vacation by one month’s worth of school-year learning…” (Brookings)
This doesn’t have to happen. Think about what students don’t like about school. Often, it revolves around repetitive schedules, assigned grades, and/or being forced to take subjects they don’t enjoy. In summer, we can meet students where they want to learn with topics they like by offering a menu of ungraded activities that are self-paced, exciting, energizing, and nothing like school learning. We talk about life-long learners (see my article on life-long learners). This summer, model it by offering educational activities students will choose over watching TV, playing video games, or whatever else they fall into when there’s nothing to do.
Here are favorites that my students love:
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