5 Tips to Simplify Tech

Ask a Tech Teacher has a book of 169 tech tips to energize your classroom. We’ve added about ten more since publication. Here are some of the tips educators find most useful. The heading will click through to a more detailed article on the tip:

Tech Tip #167–How to Evaluate Apps

Here are thirteen tips to evaluate the apps you’ll find useful in your classroom:

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

Tech Tip #68: Make Desktop Icons Big or Little

  • Highlight all desktop icons by clicking and dragging a box around them.
  • Push Ctrl and roll the mouse wheel.  It enlarges or delarges them.

Tech Tip #147: 5 Ways to Involve Parents

  1. have an open door policy
  2. create a family-friendly environment
  3. offer parent technology classes
  4. communicate often with parents
  5. solicit help in/out of the classroom

Tech Tip: The Windows Clipboard

Windows has a native clipboard (I see some of you rolling your eyes, like of course you know this. Bear with me) that holds twenty-ish clips. Here’s how you access it:

    • Click the Windows Key and V.
    • That opens the multi-clip clipboard.
    • If you don’t have it activated, the shortkey will ask you to activate it.
    • If the clip is one you want to save–maybe a temp

Note: If you click through to the original article, you’ll have to scroll down a bit because this was posted under ‘What’s Happening on my Writer’s Blog’.

Tech Tip: Get Rid of Spam in Text Messages

The law requires email senders include ‘unsubscribe’ in the email (at least, they do in America–not sure about other countries), but that doesn’t apply to text messages. Here’s a trick that will stop some:

    • Select the text message.
    • Select the sender from the top detail with click-hold (in the case of the video, I click-hold the phone number). It will open the contact card
    • Click ‘Info’
    • One of the options toward the bottom will be ‘Block’. Click that.
    • When you return to the email, it will show it’s blocked.

Note: If you click through to the original article, you’ll have to scroll down a bit because this was posted under ‘What’s Happening on my Writer’s Blog’.

I hope these are helpful. I’ll have more later!

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Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-18 technology for 30 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-12 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, and author of the tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.

Author: Jacqui
Welcome to my virtual classroom. I've been a tech teacher for 15 years, but modern technology offers more to get my ideas across to students than at any time in my career. Drop in to my class wikis, classroom blog, our internet start pages. I'll answer your questions about how to teach tech, what to teach when, where the best virtual sites are. Need more--let's chat about issues of importance in tech ed. Want to see what I'm doing today? Click the gravatar and select the grade.

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