Regular price: $99
It took so long to get it posted last month, what with the new website and all, we’re extended this special through the month of April. You’ll love it. Lots more products and easier to check out). Here’s a thank you for your patience:
A month ago, I wrote an article about 7 technology tools that have made a big difference in my classroom:
I posted it on TeachHub and they turned it into a movie. Take a look:
I know–I’m late this month. It took this long to get the new website in order, but it’s there (Hint: You’ll love it. Lots more products and easier to check out). Here’s a thank you for your patience:
Every month, subscribers to Ask a Tech Teacher get a discounted resource to help their tech teaching.
Why do I need this book?
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 State Standards now implemented in forty-six states. You will find it a foundational tool for scaffolding technology into the areas of math, language, reading, writing, speaking and listening as is required in CCSS. Overall, they are authentic approaches to student-centered learning, asking the student to be a risk-taker in his/her educational goals and the teacher to act as guide. The essential questions are open-ended and conversations organic and inquiry-driven, ultimately asking students to take responsibility for the process of their own learning.
Once a year, we update the massive list of great kid’s websites we keep on Ask a Tech Teacher. We collect all of the new websites used by our association of teachers, place them in their proper grade and category, and then share them with Ask a Tech Teacher readers and those who use the K-6 technology curriculum (soon-to-be K-8).
Please check out the changes, updates, and the more than 2000 websites on this growing list. Go to this link, find your grade, and see what’s there for you.
We added many new subcategories. These list all websites across grade. You decide which works for which age group:
I include lots of links for my readers to places that will help them integrate technology into their education. They cover websites on lesson plans, math, keyboarding, classroom management, cloud computer, digital books, teacher resources, free tech resources, and more. On any given day, I generate on average 810 of these ‘click throughs’. Which links my readers select tells me a lot about the type of information they’re looking for.
Here’s a list of the top ten sites visitors selected from my blog:
What do I conclude from this? Where last year, the top sites revolved around keyboarding, this year it’s research. Second, you want information on managing the classroom–that’s the wikis and the internet start pages. I hear you. Check back this new year and see what I come up with.
Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-8 technology for 15 years. She is the editor of a K-8 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-6 Digital Citizenship curriculum, and creator of technology training books for how to integrate technology in education. She is the author of Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is webmaster for six blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, Cisco guest blogger, a columnist for Examiner.com, Technology in Education featured blogger, IMS tech expert, and a monthly contributor to TeachHUB. Currently, she’s editing a techno-thriller that should be out to publishers next summer. Contact Jacqui at her writing office or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.
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 in 2012, I shared one of those with you. Here are the
Top Ten tech tips from 2012. Between these ten, they had 48,001 visitors during the year. They better be good or a lot of people were disappointed!
Every week, I post a website that my classes found useful, instructive, helpful in integrating technology into classroom lesson plans. Some, you agreed with me about; others not so much. Here, I’ll share with you which sites readers thought were the most helpful in their efforts to weave tech into the classroom experience. Between these ten, they had over 120,000 visitors during the year. See if you agree:
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
Your blog had more visits than a small country in Europe!
Click here to see the complete report. If this link doesn’t work, visit my Monday post for hits and misses.
Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-8 technology for 15 years. She is the editor of a K-8 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum, and creator of technology training books for how to integrate technology into education. She is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy. She is webmaster for six blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, Cisco guest blogger, a columnist for Examiner.com, featured blogger for Technology in Education, IMS tech expert, and a monthly contributor to TeachHUB. Currently, she’s editing a techno-thriller that should be out to publishers next summer. Contact Jacqui at her writing office or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.
integrating technology into the classroom. They may be about how to use wikis or blogs in the classroom or what I’ve learned from my students as we got through another tech week. I have regular features like Tech Tip Tuesdays, Dear Otto, and Weekend Websites. I post a lot of lesson plans that have worked for me and share my thoughts on other ideas that affect teachers trying to tech-ify their classrooms. It’s a fast changing world. I’m just trying to hang on and share the ride.It always surprises what my readers find to be the most provocative and least interesting. The latter is as likely to be a post I put heart and soul into, sure I was sharing Very Important Information, as the former. Talk about humility.
A few side notes about my year:
Without further distraction, here they are–the Top Ten Hits and Misses of 2012:
Need something to spark up the classroom post-holiday? Feeling a little down because parties and presents and favorite guests are gone like your holiday bonus? I can help.
These 18 posters (plus one bonus) are creative additions to decorate for the new year. Don’t take my word for it. It includes topics like:
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 internet toolbar disappeared. All I see at the top of the screen is, more of the page I’m on. No tools. What do I do?
A: Push F11. You can hide the internet toolbar or unhide with F11. It’s that simple.
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760 Websites Integrated with K-5 Classes
This 36-page list includes over 760 K-5 tech ed websites organized by grade level and subject that will connect tech to every subject in your school. They’re sites that the Ask a Tech Teacher crew uses every year in every class they teach. If you’re the IT coordinator or tech ed specialist or the technology teacher, you’ll want this.
Regular price: $14.95 (+p&h)
Your price: $7.95 (+p&h)
This 14-page K-6 technology curriculum Scope and Sequence itemizes over 250 tech ed skills taught to complete a technology curriculum based on ISTE National Standards. It’s organized by standard and grade level, showing for each grade level what is introduced, worked on, mastered, and completed. It’s in a convenient Word format so users can edit and format as needed for their unique school needs. Additionally, it:
Price: $6.95 (+p&h)
I read a post by Bill Ferriter on Education Week Teacher (which I read in ISTE’s Learning and Leading with Technology) where he says in his article, “Our never-ending reliance on digital resilience” that yes, he’s resilient, but he’s tired of it. He thinks that because tech teachers are so quick to adapt to problems (computers don’t work so we pair up students–that sort of thing), that we’ve enabled the chronic problem.
It made me think about the many times I’ve had to adapt because things didn’t work–despite the efforts of my excellent tech people:
Understanding how to use the internet has become a cornerstone issue for students. No longer do they complete their research on projects solely in the library. Now, there is a vasy landscape of resources available on the internet.
But with wealth comes responsibility. As soon as children begin to visit the online world, they need the knowledge to do that safely, securely, responsibly. There are several great programs available to guide students through this process (Common Sense’s Digital Passport, Carnegie CyberAcademy, Netsmart Kids). I’ve collected them as resources and developed a path to follow that includes the best of everything.
Here’s First Grade:
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 Sandy:
For the pass 10 years I have taught computer for 3K and 4K Early Education. Also each year that I have taught they have added a grade level to my schedule. So at this point I now teach 3K, 4K, and Kindergarten through 4th grade. I would like to take some continuing education courses in this field to better educate my students. I have already taken the Microsoft Office 2007 Master Certification Course and I intend on taking the Microsoft 2010 course as well (even though I passed the course using the Office 2010 software, I would just like to have the more updated certificate). I am also looking into taking a “Computer Support Technician” Certificate Program. My question to you is…do you have any suggestions on courses that I could take to educate myself more in this field to keep up with the fast technology pace, especially with our young kids today educating themselves through all of today’s tech devices? Currently I concentrate on Keyboarding Skills, Computer Parts and Terminology, Research, Online Safety, proficiency in MS Word, Excel, and Power Point. What do you suggest?
I think the best approach is to develop your PLN, connect with tech professionals who you trust, and shares thoughts, ideas, lesson plans. Attend any conference (like ISTE or local ones) that you can to see what’s happening. Try everything that inspires you. Blog with your students. Get them on wikis. Have them create Storybirds and Animotos and iMindmaps. Some will work. Some you’ll learn from. Browse your e- colleagues and see what they’re doing.
There are 25 problems that stump students most often when they use the computer. They’re questions like, ‘My audio doesn’t work’ and ‘My screen is frozen’. How about ‘I deleted *** and didn’t mean to’? Does that sound familiar? These 25 problems account for 70% of the issues that make students unable to use the computer for whatever they’re trying to accomplish. If they can solve these, they are much more independent and the tech experience much more authentic.
I’ve updated this from my last year’s list. Did I miss any?
If you’re sending your child back to school, technology can be intimidating. Should your elementary-age child have a computer? If so, what should you buy? And how do you keep it safe?
Here’s what I tell my K-5 parents about how to handle the stress of equipping the 21st century tech kid:
By third grade, children need a computer. Here’s why:
With the school year almost 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!
by Jacqui Murray
Volume I is 219 pages and Volume II 235 pages, making this series an all-in-one K-8 toolkit for the lab specialist, classroom teacher and homeschooler, with a years-worth of simple-to-follow projects for K-8. Integrate technology into language arts, geography, history, problem solving, research skills, and science lesson plans and units of inquiry using teacher resources that meet NETS-S national guidelines and many state standards. The fifty-five projects are categorized by subject, program (software), and skill (grade) level. Each project includes standards met in three areas (higher-order thinking, technology-specific, and NETS-S), software required, time involved, suggested experience level, subject area supported, tech jargon, step-by-step lessons, extensions for deeper exploration, troubleshooting tips and project examples including reproducibles. Tech programs used are KidPix, all MS productivity software, Google Earth, typing software and online sites, email, Web 2.0 tools (blogs, wikis, internet start pages, social bookmarking and photo storage), Photoshop and Celestia. Also included is an Appendix of over 200 age-appropriate child-friendly websites. Skills taught include collaboration, communication, critical thinking, problem solving, decision making, creativity, digital citizenship, information fluency, presentation, and technology concepts. In short, it’s everything you’d need to successfully integrate technology into the twenty-first century classroom.
Have you noticed what’s happening in your child’s school? Technology. There’s rarely a lesson taught, be it math or science or health, that doesn’t include some form of technology
to enhance its message, increase its reach, improve its communication. If you haven’t been in the classroom lately, drop by this week when you pick up your wonderful student. There’s likely to be a Smartboard (or some sort of interactive screen) on the wall, a pod of computers (if not 1:1 laptops) overflowing from a corner, maybe iPads on desktops or in a mobile cart, a digital camera and microphones to record events, streaming video from Discovery Channel. Those ubiquitous samples of student work that traditionally clutter the walls now include many created with computers.
Today’s education happens by standing on the shoulders of technology innovation.
If you don’t have a school-age child, take a peek at Cisco’s VNI Service Adoption blog. There’s an uptick in the impact of technology on all parts of consumer life. As Cisco suggests, these changes are all about connecting students to their future, empowering them with responsibility for their own education in areas such as:
I am a professional educator with 18 1/2 years of experience in education. My areas of interest include teaching with technology, educator professional development, online blended & distance learning, social media in education, and digital citizenship. I want to build bridges between thinkers in the cloud and teachers in the classroom.
Summer is for change. Out with routine, in with spontaneity. When you were in high school, that meant relaxing, seeing friends, going to parties. In college, it likely meant a summer job to make the money that paid for college. Now, as an adult, living your future, summer is a time to rejuvenate, to enrich, to build your core–those things that make you who you are.
As a technology teacher or IT coordinator or computer specialist (or all of the above), you need as much time as you can get and more than you have during the school year to stay afloat of what’s happening in the tech ed field. The list of changes is daunting–iPads, 1:1 initiatives, technology integration, podcasts, sharing and publishing student work, embeddable widgets, Common Core State Standards, digital citizenship, keyboarding. If you’re like me, you try to do what you can during the school year, but it’s summer, with its endless days and no schedule that gives you the freedom to let your brain lose.
Here’s my bucket list for this summer:
Are you going on road trips? Are you playing with your children, seeing friends you forgot existed, or engaging in retail therapy?
If I have time in between what I HAVE to do, I’ll join you. It might be a virtual trip, but we’ll make it happen.
Here’s what’s on my plate (so far) this summer of 2012:
For the next six weeks, when I see something techie I don’t understand, I’ll stop and ask the essential questions:
Drop by every Friday to discover what wonderful website (or app) my classes and parents loved this week. I think you’ll find they’ll be a favorite of yours as they are of mine.
by Structured Learning IT Teaching Team
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I’m often asked what books I’d 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’re already looking ahead to next year’s technology curriculum and want to fix some of this year’s problems, I suggest you consider the seven-volume K-6 technology curriculum series that’s used in hundreds of school districts across the country (and a few internationally). It’s skills-based, project-based, aligned with NETS national standards and fully integratable into state core classroom standards.
The first in the series, the 58-page Kindergarten Technology: 32 Lesson Any Kindergartner Can Do, is the Fourth Edition (Structured Learning 2011), updated to MS Office 2007/10, available in print or digital, and perfect for Smartscreens, iPads, laptops. It includes many age-appropriate samples, reproducibles, Web 2.0 connections, thematic websites, and how-to’s. Because I edited this book, I made sure it includes pieces that I as a teacher knew to be critical to teachers:
We’ve collected input from classroom teachers, readers, and kids who know what they like and published a comprehensive list of Great Apps (click the link) to use on your school or homeschool iPads. When this post ages off the blog, you can find it on the top tab–Great Apps–next to Great Websites and Great Lesson Plans.
We invite you to take a look, add your thoughts, link to your list of summer entertainment.
Thank you to all of you who contributed.
Jacqui Murray is the editor of a technology curriculum for K-sixth grade, creator of two technology training books for middle school and three ebooks on technology in education. She is the author of Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy midshipman. She is webmaster for six blogs, anAmazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for Examiner.com, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, IMS tech expert, and a weekly contributor to Write Anything. Currently, she’s editing a thriller for her agent that should be out to publishers this summer. Contact Jacqui at her writing office or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.
Kids love using iPads. All those fun activities that can be accessed quickly via the pad format are both stimulating and
addictive. I’m all for giving kids what they want in the way of educational tools, but there-in lies the rub:
How do you find those apps?
When my school asked me to come up with a collection to use on our new class-set of ipads (to cycle through grades 3-8), I thought it would be easy.
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 Mary:
How does your district approach professional development opportunities especially when it comes to technology? How do you sustain professional development? We have 2 days a year set aside for professional development focused on technology but then there’s no follow up or time given to apply the new concepts learned. We sit and get and then it’s gone. How can we make it more sustainable? Is there a model that exists that we could follow? We tried tech Tuesdays but teachers are so stressed with the every day responsibilities they have few would give up their lunch time or after school time to attend. Any suggestions? Thank you.
A couple of months ago, I posted an article called Should Tech Teachers be in the Classroom or the Lab?I got the question from a reader and wanted to see what the tech ed community
thought about what has become a hot topic among technology teacher, coordinators and integration specialists. I summarized the common thoughts on the subject and received quite a few thoughtful responses from readers.
I also cross-posted the article to LinkedIn and wanted to share those responses with my blog readers. You’ll find them an important contribution to your knowledge on this subject, with lots of anecdotal stories and varied viewpoints. Enjoy!
Gail Flanagan • Using technology as a tool in all parts of the school day integrating it into the students and teachers day. We implemented 1:1 iPad for a 6th grade team and mini pilot of iPad carts for the rest of the school. Digital natives use the iPad intuitively for collaboration, organization, creativity, productivity and communication. Keyboarding, word processing, spreadsheets and multimedia presentation tools are still used with laptops and desktop computers.
Lucky to be a teacher of Middle School ~ Allied Arts computer class. We reassess the standards to adapt to essential questions of what to know using technology in everyday lives and 21st century skills,
Dale McManis • Around classroom technology integration and professional development for teachers I really like the work of Dr. Karen Swan-Research Professor, Research Center for Educational Technology / College & Graduate School of Education, Health and Human Services, Kent State University. http://www.rcet.org/about/vita/swan_vita_0109.pdf
Technology, the internet, computers, are words that confuse–even frighten–many parents. In my blog, Ask a Tech Teacher, I post lots of tips, tricks,, a list of hundreds of kid-friendly websites, self-help articles on how to address this in your
homeschooled child’s education. Every week, I get lots of questions from parents about the right way to address access to technology. Most want suggestions on how to make computer use a positive experience for their little ones.
After fifteen years of teaching technology in a classroom and online, I can tell you without a doubt that educating your child can be done more efficiently and with better results in the world of computers. I don’t mean ONLY on computers. I mean using technology to extend your scholastic reach:
So how do you make sure your child‘s internet experience is positive? Here are a few simple rules to help you maneuver that minefield:
Every Friday, I’ll send you a wonderful website (or more) that my classes and my parents love. I think you’ll find they’ll be a favorite of your students as they are of mine.
‘Web 2.0’ is a term familiar to all teachers. Stated in its simplest form, it’s the set of interactive internet-based tools used by students to enrich educational opportunities. ‘Web 1.0’ referred to the act of accessing
websites—nothing more. Students read websites, clicked a few links, and/or researched a topic.Web 2.0—Web-based education basics–includes blogs, wikis, class internet homepages, class internet start pages, twitter, social bookmarks, podcasting, photo sharing, online docs, online calendars, even Second Life—all tools that require thoughtful interaction between the student and the site. For teachers, it’s a challenge to keep up with the plethora of options as the creative minds of our new adults stretch the boundaries of what we can do on the internet. Students, adults, teachers who use this worldwide wealth of information and tools are referred to as ‘digital citizens’. They leave a vast digital footprint and it is incumbent upon them to make healthy and safe decisions, including:
Here are some activities you can do in your classroom that will make your lessons and activities more student-centered and more relevant to this new generation of students:
As a working technology teacher, I get hundreds of questions from parents and students 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 internet stopped working on my laptop. Everyone else’s in the house works, but mine won’t connect. What do I do?
A: First: Make sure the laptop button that allows connection to the internet is on. More often than not, that’s the problem for teachers at my school. If it’s not that, it gets much more complicated. I’ll cross my fingers.
Questions you want answered? Click here.
These are my 62 favorite first grade websites. I sprinkle them in throughout the year, adding several each week to the class internet start page, deleting others. I make sure I have 3-4 each
week that integrate with classroom lesson plans, 3-4 that deal with technology skills and a few that simply excite students about tech in education.
Here’s the list:
I have a timely post from e-colleague, Jan Pierce, about how current teacher credential programs prepare students for the technology push they face in schools. Not only has Jan been
a fourth grade teacher for over 20 years, she also owns the website Elementary Education Degree designed to assist students interested in earning a degree in elementary education. She makes some good points. Feel free to ask questions in the comment section:
Are Elementary Education Programs Preparing Teachers to use Today’s Technology?
From smart boards and PowerPoint presentations to iPads, educational technology is becoming more of a regular element of today’s classroom. But are students in education programs being adequately trained and prepared to integrate technology into their classrooms?
When it comes to bachelor’s programs in education, the answers vary. Top education programs around the country ensure that technology training is an integral part of their curriculums, by introducing students to the various forms of technology common to the classroom and techniques for using them effectively. However, many programs still use a traditional approach with classes in school subjects, child development, teaching methods, and practicum experiences, but little or no technology components.
It is important to note that most of today’s college students are comfortable with using technology in their everyday lives, and so they may not require as much technology training as older teachers do. Nevertheless, while younger students have this advantage, education programs still need to do a better job at training students to integrate technology into their lessons.
Once a year, we update the massive list of great kid’s websites we keep on Ask a Tech Teacher. We collect all of the new websites used by our association of teachers, place them in their proper grade and category, and then share them with Ask a Tech Teacher readers and those who use the K-6 technology curriculum.
Please check out the changes, updates, and the more than 1500 websites on this growing list. We have also divided the list by grade so you don’t have to scroll down … forever… to reach your grade level. Just select it off the menu list.
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