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

teacher resources / Tech Tips

10 Ways Any Teacher Can (and Should) Use Technology

Common Core notes: New technologies have broadened and expanded the role that speaking and listening play in acquiring and sharing knowledge and have tightened their link to other forms of communication. Digital texts confront students with the potential for continually updated content and dynamically changing combinations of words, graphics, images, hyperlinks, and embedded video and … Continue reading

critical thinking / homeschool / K-5 Tech training / problem solving / teacher resources / teaching

What You Need to Know about Kidproofing the Internet

How to keep their children safe online is a constant question from parents at my school. They ask about firewalls, filters, kidsafe desktops, nannycams. Should they keep their children away from computers or just off the internet? Do they have to sit with them while they work? No. No. and No. What parents need to … 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

education reform / teacher resources

Teach Digital Citizenship with … Minecraft

The hottest topic in my elementary school tech classroom is Minecraft–and has been for several years. So I was thrilled when efriend, Josh Ward, offered to write an article for Ask a Tech Teacher connecting Minecraft and the most important topic in my classroom–Digital Citizenship. Josh is the Director of Sales and Marketing for green … 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

free tech resources / social networks / teacher resources

Weekend Website #117: Co-Teaching Wikis

Last chance to join the co-teaching wikis. By the end of this month, they will be private, unviewable without a membership. Drop over and check them out: K-3 grades 4th grade 5th grade With Teaching Wikis (K-5 only), you follow along as a tech professional teaches each lesson in the SL K-5 curriculum textbooks.  Presented … Continue reading

free tech resources / Geography / Google Earth / homeschool / research / teacher resources / Tech Tips / Web 2.0 / writing

Tech Tip #65: Google Street View

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 can’t find enough detail about a particular area of the world that we’re … Continue reading

8th grade / fifth grade / middle school technology / MS Word / Parent resources / teacher resources / Tech Tips

Tech Tip #64: Reset Default Font

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: If you’re like me, you don’t like MS Office 2007 or 2010’s default font … 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

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

8th grade / fifth grade / fourth grade / free tech resources / middle school technology / teacher resources / Tech Tips / third grade / windows

Tech Tip #60: How to Add Shortcuts to the Desktop

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: How do I create a shortcut on my desktop so I can find my … Continue reading

Book reviews / K-5 Tech training / lesson plans / teacher resources

Book Review: 55 Tech Projects for the Digital Classroom

With the school year on its way back, I want to share some of the tech books I use in my classroom. I think you’ll enjoy them also. This one is a two-volume all-in-one for grades K-8. It includes a mixture of lessons that cover different skills, different subjects. Hope you like it! 55 Technology … Continue reading

Excel / fifth grade / fourth grade / free tech resources / lesson plans / MS Excel / teacher resources / Tech Tips / third grade

Tech Tip #57: How to Create a Chart Really Fast

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: What’s the easiest way to introduce 3rd graders to Excel charts? A: Before making … 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

fifth grade / fourth grade / free tech resources / PowerPoint / teacher resources / Tech Tips / third grade

Tech Tip #54: How to Auto Forward a PowerPoint Slideshow

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:  My students are learning to use Powerpoint for presentations. They’ll stand in front of … Continue reading

problem solving / teacher resources / Tech / Tech Tips

Tech Tip #53: How to Pin Any Program to the Start Menu

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:  There’s a program I use all the time, but it’s not on my desktop. … 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

teacher resources / Tech ed

CSTA Conference Coming Up!

The 2013 CSTA Annual Conference (click here for conference link) is fast approaching. This lively get-together provides professional development opportunities for K-12 computer science and computer applications teachers who need practical, relevant information to help them prepare students for the future. Here are some details you’ll want to know: Dates:   July 15-16, 2013 Location:   Quincy, … Continue reading

classroom management / free tech resources / teacher resources

FREE Tech Teacher Training–But Join Quickly

OK, FREE’s gone. Sorry, guys. Now it’s ‘discounted’. I have joined with Curriculum Study Group to teach online tech ed classes for teachers (only teachers). A little background on the program: Who is Curriculum Study Group It is a company name, but also a learning style. ‘Curriculum Study Groups’ are a powerful way to transform … Continue reading

humor / news / teacher resources

Humor that Inspires–for Teachers! Part I

Some great quotes to start your week with a touch of humor: “Moral indignation is jealousy with a halo.” – H. G. Wells (1866-1946) “Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever.” – Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) “Victory goes to the player who makes the next-to-last mistake.” – Chessmaster Savielly Grigorievitch Tartakower (1887-1956) “Don’t be so humble … Continue reading