Ask Otto / classroom management / teacher resources

Dear Otto: What do I do with students who ‘get’ tech really fast?

Dear Otto is an occasional column where I answer questions I get from readers about teaching tech. If you have a question, please complete the form below and I’ll answer it here. For your privacy, I use only first names. Here’s a great question I got from Linda: I have taught elementary school many years … Continue reading

classroom management / Subscriber Special

Subscribers: Your Special is Available

Subscribers to Ask a Tech Teacher get a free/discounted resource every month to help their tech teaching. This month: 10% Discount on new Common Core Book How to Achieve Common Core with Tech is a five-book series that focuses on using technology to meet particular strands of Common Core standards–Language, Writing, Reading, Speaking/Listening, and Math. … Continue reading

classroom management / critical thinking / education reform

How Do You Grade Tech? I Have 14 Ideas

It used to be simple to post grades. Add up test scores and see what the student earned. Very defensible. Everyone understood. It’s not that way anymore. Here are the factors I consider when I’m posting grades: Does s/he remember skills from prior lessons as they complete current lessons? Does s/he show evidence of learning by … Continue reading

classroom management / education reform

What is the Flipped Classroom

When I was editing the 8th grade tech curriculum, I got wowed by ‘infographics’–a visual approach to communicating information. Yes, I have known for a long time about ‘infographics’, but haven’t really paused to considered their strength. This dove-tailed nicely when I started getting questions from readers like, “What is a ‘flipped classroom’?” Here–take a … Continue reading

classroom management / lesson plans / middle school technology

12 Tips for Teaching Middle School Tech

Middle Schoolers are a special breed. They definitely need to learn productivity software like word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, but I’ve found it’s better to give them big goals, general guidelines, deadlines, and let them go. I just finished editing a tech textbook for 7th grade and it includes units on problem solving, logical thinking, digital … Continue reading

Ask Otto / classroom management / critical thinking / K-5 Tech training

Dear Otto: How do I teach Google Drive to K/1?

Dear Otto is an occasional column where I answer questions I get from readers about teaching tech. If you have a question, please complete the form below and I’ll answer it here. For your privacy, I use only first names. Here’s a great question I got from Lois: I’ve been teaching computer technology for 6 … Continue reading

classroom management / teacher resources / teaching

New Students? 7 Tips to Differentiate with Tech

There are two areas where technology can optimize learning better than any other educational strategy. I’m not talking about iPads or laptops or apps. I mean how you deliver your message–done in such a way that more students are able to achieve their goals. .. The first is problem solving. If you want students to … Continue reading

classroom management / free tech resources / Web 2.0

5 FREE Web Tools for a New School Year

When you were a child, your parents worried that the educational content you were learning might be out of date. Did history include the most relevant theories? Did science have the latest discoveries (and was Pluto still a planet)? When you became a teacher, you probably thought one of your big responsibilities was to stay … Continue reading

classroom management / free tech resources / Tech Tips

Tech Tip #114: Embed Google Docs

As a working technology teacher, I get hundreds of questions from parents about their home computers, how to do stuff, how to solve problems. Each week, I’ll share one of those with you. They’re always brief and always focused. Enjoy! Q: So many colleagues are sharing their documents through Google Apps, but I don’t know … Continue reading

Book review / Book reviews / classroom management / homeschool / Kindergarten / teacher resources / Tech ed / Web 2.0

Book Review: Kindergarten Technology Textbook

Kindergarten Technology: 32 Lessons Every Kindergartner Can Accomplish on a Computer by Structured Learning IT Teaching Team I’m often asked what books I recommend for teaching technology in the classroom. Each year about this time, I do a series of reviews on my favorite tech ed books. If you want to fix some of last … Continue reading

classroom management / free tech resources

5 Free Digital Tools for the No Budget Classroom

Something has changed in education content delivery, thanks to companies like Google, Khan Academy, MIT. When these industry leaders (and others) started offering high-quality educational tools for free, more followed. Yesterday’s muffled plea for equality in educational opportunities regardless of economic status is today’s reality. A rising tide raises all ships became a call for … Continue reading

classroom management / free tech resources / problem solving

25 Techie Problems Every Student Can Fix–Update

The Number One reason–according to students–why their computer doesn’t work is… It’s broken. Can I move to a different computer??? Doesn’t matter why they’re wrong. My teacher’s job is to provide strategies so they can independently solve problems like these. As a tech teacher, I know that half the problems that stop students short in … Continue reading

classroom management / free tech resources

34 Categories–Over 500 Links–of K-8 Links for Your Classes

I’ve spent a good chunk of time this summer updating my link collections so they are easier to wander through and reflect more topics you’re interested in. Here are 34 categories. K-MS are also subdivided by topics with age-appropriate links. The themed categories mix all ages together. I’m not sure which is better. It’s awfully … Continue reading

classroom management / free tech resources / teacher resources / Tech ed

5 Tech Ed Tools to Use this Fall

Technology has become synonymous with education reform. Like starter on a barbeque, squirt around enough iPads and digital tools and classes start to sizzle. No one says, “Let’s teach cursive in 1st grade–that’s how we’ll fix things!” Nope. You won’t find that on the Education Improvement Bucket List (EIBL). So, bring your laptop and iPad … Continue reading

Ask Otto / classroom management / free tech resources / lesson plans

Dear Otto: Use Tech to Differentiate Lessons?

Dear Otto is an occasional column where I answer questions I get from readers about teaching tech. If you have a question, please complete the form below and I’ll answer it here. For your privacy, I use only first names. Here’s a great question I got from Ali: I would love some information on differentiating … Continue reading

classroom management / Excel / free tech resources / MS Excel / MS Word / PowerPoint / teacher resources / Tech Tips

Tech Tip #62: Email from Word (Or PowerPoint or Excel)

As a working technology teacher, I get hundreds of questions from parents about their home computers, how to do stuff, how to solve problems. Each Tuesday, I’ll share one of those with you. They’re always brief and always focused. Enjoy! Q: I was helping one of the faculty at my school. She couldn’t print a … Continue reading

Book review / Book reviews / classroom management / first grade / homeschool / lesson plans / math / mouse skills / teacher resources / Tech ed

Book Review: 1st Grade Technology–32 Lessons

This is another in a series of textbooks designed for K-8. I think you’ll find them useful in your classroom Web 2.0 integration: First Grade Technology: 32 Lessons Every First Grader Can Accomplish on a Computer by Structured Learning My rating: 5 of 5 stars I’m often asked what books I’d recommend for teaching technology … Continue reading

163 Websites for Teachers to Integrate Tech into Your Classroom
classroom management / Web 2.0

163 Websites for Teachers to Integrate Tech into Your Classroom

This list has a little bit of everything, and will kick-start your effort to put technology into your lesson plans Here are the categories: Analyze, Compare/Contrast Assessments Classroom Management Communication Critical Thinking Digital Portfolios Domain-specific Language Geography Lesson Plans Listening Literacy Math Parent Ed Publishing Reading Science Sharing Speaking Special Needs Study Tools Videos Visual … Continue reading

Book review / classroom management / digital books / lesson plans / middle school technology

It’s Here–8th Grade Technology Curriculum!

The eighth grade technology curriculum prepares students for their future not by teaching widgets and programs—though that happens—but by showing them how to be life-long learners. How do they decide what program works best for what inquiry? How do they acquire the use of tools they have never before seen? How do they self-assess their … Continue reading

classroom management / education reform / Web 2.0 / websites

Common Core requires publishing. Technology makes that happen

There are a variety of overarching themes in Common Core–‘integrate technology into classroom inquiry’, ‘encourage collaboration and sharing in student work’, ‘use technology to prepare students for college and career’. Each of these could take weeks to wrap into classwork, but there’s one organic tool that accomplishes all three of these while fulfilling a fourth … Continue reading

Book Review: 19 Posters to Decorate Your Technology Lab
Book reviews / classroom management

Book Review: 19 Posters to Decorate Your Technology Lab

19 posters to Decorate Your Technology Lab and 18 More Posters are for new and experienced tech teachers to remind students of the basics of computer use. It includes keyboard tips, website usage, mouse control, how to solve common problems, parts of the computer, email netiquette, how to search, volunteer guidelines and more. As a Bonus: … Continue reading

classroom management / teacher resources

Literacy In K-5 Classrooms

Cheryl Lyman has 12 years experience teaching K-12 computer science, most recently at McDonald Elementary in Pennsylvania as Instructional Technology Specialist. Awards include Classrooms of the Future Coach, Ed Tech Leader of the Year Semifinalist, PA Keystone Technology Integrator, PA State Peer Reviewer, and Pennsylvania Teacher of the Year Semi-finalist. We look forward to her … Continue reading

Book reviews / classroom management / K-5 Tech training / lesson plans

Book Review: Common Core K-5 Lesson Plans

THE KEY TO ALIGNING YOUR K-5 CLASS WITH COMMON CORE STATE STANDARDS 30 Projects that integrate technology into core lesson plans The Key to Aligning Your K-5 Class with Common Core State Standards  is for classroom teachers, technology integration specialists and lab professionals, as a resource for aligning your technology program with the Common Core … Continue reading

How to Instill Digital Citizenship in Students
classroom management / Digital Citizenship / internet / K-5 Tech training / Tech ed / tech security / websites

How to Instill Digital Citizenship in Students

What is a parent’s greatest fear that first day they drop their precious child at kindergarten? You might think it’s whether they’ll get along with new friends or handle academic pressures. Or even that their eyes will be opened to the vastness of the Universe and no longer see their parents as the Answer to … Continue reading

Book review / classroom management / digital books / lesson plans / middle school technology

It’s Here–7th Grade Technology Curriculum!

The National Board of Governors Common Core Standards expect technology to facilitate learning through collaboration, publishing, and transfer of knowledge. Educators want students to use technology to work together, share the products of their effort, and employ the skills learned in other parts of their lives. Finally, a 7th grade (8th grade I hear is due in August) tech curriculum … Continue reading

5 Strategies to Assess Student Knowledge
classroom management / education reform / teacher resources

5 Strategies to Assess Student Knowledge

This is always challenging, isn’t it? Finding evidence that students have learned what you taught, that they can apply knowledge to complex problems. How do you do this? Rubrics? Group projects? Posters? None sound worthy of the Common Core educational environ–and too often, students have figured out how to deliver within these guidelines while on … Continue reading

classroom management / K-5 Tech training / lesson plans / Product Reviews

It’s Here! K-5 Tech Curriculum Aligned with Common Core!

The educational paradigm has changed. New guidelines (most recently, the National Board of Governors Common Core Standards) expect technology to facilitate learning through collaboration, publishing, and transfer of knowledge. Educators want students to use technology to work together, share the products of their effort, and employ the skills learned in other parts of their lives. … Continue reading