Teaching During COVID-19

Articles on #CoronaVirus you won’t want to miss:

Resources You Need During #COVID19

 

Teaching Online During #COVID19

 

Teaching Online During #COVID19–More from my Inbox

 

#CoronaVirus–This Week’s Inbox

 

Teaching During #CoronaVirus–An Old Strategy That’s Perfect

 

10 Tips for Teaching Remotely

 

Shake up Your Remote Teaching with These Teaching Strategies

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How to Evaluate Programs You’ve Never Used in Less Than Seven Minutes

Ready or not, it’s time to go back to school. If you’re like me, you spent the summer attending webinars, seminars, and conferences. You chatted with colleagues on Twitter and Facebook about learning tools they loved. You collected a long list of highly-recommended resources that you can’t wait to try in your classroom. But that list could take hours to preview. Each. And many will turn out to be a waste of time. How do you find the best of the bunch without running through all of your free time?

Maybe because I’m a technology teacher, I can usually sort through this list pretty quickly. I don’t have a crystal ball that tells me what I’ll like, what will engage my students, or what will be more trouble than it’s worth. Instead, I have checklists. Two of them. The first evaluates the big picture. Programs that make the cut move to the second checklist where I judge usefulness in my particular circumstances. In the end, I’ve eliminated everything that wastes time, is confusing, and/or doesn’t fit my needs.

This two-step process doesn’t assure that once I try the program in a real classroom, it’ll perform as promised. Nor does it guarantee the program will survive the onslaught of student use. What it does is help me to waste as little of my time as possible while finding the best fit for my unique situation.

Step One: Qualify (Two Minutes)

I won’t even open the app unless it passes these three questions:

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Memorial Day Websites for Students

Memorial Day (May 25, 2020) is the time we remember soldiers who gave their lives in the defense of American freedom. In war and peace, they made the ultimate sacrifice and because of them we are privileged to live the American Dream.

Once a year, we honor them, their sacrifice, and those they left behind. Here are some activities to help students understand the import of this day:

  1. Difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day
  2. Folding the American flag
  3. History of Memorial Day–videomemorial day
  4. In Flanders Field--poem
  5. Meaning of Memorial Day–video
  6. Memorial Day DigitPuzzle
  7. Memorial Day puzzle I
  8. Memorial Day Puzzle II
  9. Memorial Day: Remember Me — video
  10. Poems
  11. Poetry
  12. Prayer
  13. Primary source recollections of War
  14. Quiz
  15. Quotes about Memorial Day/Wars
  16. Who you are remembering–Americans killed in action
  17. Word Search

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Shake up Your Remote Teaching with These Teaching Strategies

As we struggle with adapting our classes to remote learning, I know lots of teachers who are realizing that their normal approach isn’t suited for remote teaching. They need to come up with a transformative tool that will reach students more comprehensively, more rigorously, more granularly online. Here are thirteen accepted pedagogical teaching strategies with proven records of success. Read through them then think how they might be applied to solve the problems you’re having with online teaching. For more information, click the link:

Depth of Knowledge (DoK)

DoK is not a taxonomy (like Bloom’s). Rather, it itemizes ways students interact with knowledge.

Frayer Model

Frayer Model uses a graphical organizer that asks students to describe words by much more than a memorized definition. 

Growth Mindset

In a Growth Mindset, people believe ability can be developed through dedication and hard work. The cerebral and physical traits they were born with are just the starting point. Students are responsible for setting the patterns and strategies that allow them to succeed, by evaluating what they can do at any given point and making a plan for learning everything else.

Habits of Mind

In the face of mounting evidence, education experts accepted a prescriptive fact: student success  is not measured by milestones like ‘took a foreign language in fifth grade’ or ‘passed Algebra in high school’ but by how s/he thinks.  Habits of Mind lists sixteen of these.

Orton-Gillingham

Orton-Gillingham is not a packaged curriculum, rather a prescriptive program designed for each individual student. The O-G teacher incorporates phonology and phonological awareness, sound-symbol association, syllable instruction, morphology, syntax and semantics into a personalized methodology 

Project-based Learning (PBL)

John Dewey suggested the education focus be switched to students when he introduced “learning by doing”, today referred to as Project-based Learning (PBL).

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Tech Tip–Quickly Switch Between Windows

tech tipsIn these 169 tech-centric situations, you get an overview of pedagogy—the tech topics most important to your teaching—as well as practical strategies to address most classroom tech situations, how to scaffold these to learning, and where they provide the subtext to daily tech-infused education.

Today’s tip: Quickly Switch Between Windows

Category: Internet

Q: I have a lot of programs open but right now, I’m working only between two of them. It takes a lot of time to click down to the taskbar and find the correct doc. Is there an easier way?

A: Oh yes, Much easier. Use Alt+Tab. That takes you to the last window you visited. If you’re toggling between two windows, this is the perfect solution. I use it a lot for report cards.

Sign up for a new tip each week or buy the entire 169 Real-world Ways to Put Tech into Your Classroom.

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College or Career? A Decision Matrix and Articles

Choosing what to do after high school used to be simple for those who had good grades: Apply to college. Now, not so much. For one thing, college has become increasingly more expensive and students are asking whether there’s enough value in what they get to offset the costs. Another worry: Colleges sometimes seem dangerous hotbeds of protests and riots. Professors seem biased rather than intent on opening minds.

Trade schools with their focus on preparing graduates for a career that contributes to society is an affordable, realistic option that even the best students are looking at. Here’s a quick decision matrix to help you through these options:

For more information, check out the plethora of articles Ask a Tech Teacher has on preparing for college or career:

MS Career Planning: Moving in the Right Direction

Study.com Makes the College Dream a Reality

Clutch Prep: When You Need Help With a Class

How to Prepare for the SAT

UWorld’s Unique SAT Prep Site

What to do when Johnny wants career, not college?

8 Websites For Financial Literacy Month


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, contributor to NEA Today, and author of the tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.

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169 Tech Tip #51: Where to Find Public Domain Images

tech tipsIn these 169 tech-centric situations, you get an overview of pedagogy—the tech topics most important to your teaching—as well as practical strategies to address most classroom tech situations, how to scaffold these to learning, and where they provide the subtext to daily tech-infused education.

Today’s tip: Find Public Domain Images

Category: Images

Sub-category: Internet, Security, Search/Research, MS Office, Google Apps

Q: I know ‘fair use’ allows students to use most online images for educational purposes, but I want them to know how to find public domain pictures for everyday, non-school use. What’s the easiest way to do that?

A: Google Docs makes it easy by attaching the citation to any picture added through the program. Photos for Class does this also (see Tech Tip #52).

But that only works if the student is working through those two programs. To find only legal images available for free for all types of projects, you have to edit the Google search settings to reflect only images that can be used and re-edited:

  • search for image through Images.Google.com (for example: puppies)
  • when the thumbnails come up, go to Search tools
  • using the radial button, select Labeled for reuse

public domain images

Sign up for a new tip each week or buy the entire 169 Real-world Ways to Put Tech into Your Classroom.

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Best Tech Tools for Specials

Tech tools often seem focused on core classroom subjects like math, science, and history. Many forget the wealth of webtools available for classes many schools call ‘Specials’–those that round out a student’s day and prepare them for college and career. Here are three life-skill classes and online tools that make learning more relevant and fun:

1. Physical Education

Coach’s Eye

Coach’s Eye is a top app I heard about from lots of PE teachers. It is one of the leading video platforms to record an athlete’s performance for playback and review. It records the action and then shows the athlete how to, for example, refine a fastball, analyze a golf swing, break down a volleyball serve, improve soccer skills, or demonstrate proper weightlifting form. Recordings are available instantly, can be zoomed and panned, and can be compared with earlier videos of the student’s action. Users can draw lines, arrows, or any freehand marks right on the video, as well as add audio commentary and slo-mo. The results can be shared via SMS, YT, and FB.

LifeSaver

LifeSaver is a free online simulation of a life-threatening occurrence where you (as the viewer) become the only one around who can help. You are asked questions and prompted to take the next step. Your answers play out on the simulation so you can see what happens based on your choices.

The video is powerful, professional, and pulls the viewer in as a critical part of the emergency.

Read on…


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, contributor to NEA Today, and author of the tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.

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Did you Miss These in April?

Here are the most-read posts for the month of April:

  1. Why College Matters for a Successful Career in Tech
  2. 15 Websites to Teach Financial Literacy
  3. #CoronaVirus–This Week’s Inbox
  4. Stem Education in 2020
  5. How to Assess Digital Literacy
  6. Teaching During #CoronaVirus–An Old Strategy That’s Perfect
  7. Teaching During COVID-19
  8. Why Earth Day May be the Most Important Event at School
  9. 10 Tips for Teaching Remotely
  10. 3 Apps That Energize Learning
  11. End of Year Activities
  12. The Challenge of Connecting in the Age of COVID

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May Preview

Here’s a preview of what’s coming up on Ask a Tech Teacher in May. Check the blog for these upcoming posts:

  1. Teacher Appreciation Gifts (for the geek)
  2. 12 Tech Tasks to End the School Year
  3. 13 Bits of Wisdom I learned from my Computer (humor)
  4. Find Public Domain Images
  5. College or Career? Check out These Articles
  6. Memorial Day Websites

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Teacher Appreciation Week: Gifts for Tech Teacher

Teacher Appreciation Week: The First Full Week of May

teacher appreciation weekThere’s always been something mystically cerebral about people in technical professions like engineering, science, and mathematics. They talk animatedly about plate tectonics, debate the structure of atoms, even smile at the mention of calculus. The teaching profession has our own version of these nerdy individuals, called technology teachers. In your district, you may refer to them as IT specialists, Coordinators for Instructional Technology, Technology Facilitators, Curriculum Specialists, or something else that infers big brains, quick minds, and the ability to talk to digital devices. School lore probably says they can drop a pin through a straw without touching the sides.

When I started teaching K-8 technology, people like me were stuffed in a corner of the building where all other teachers could avoid us unless they had a computer emergency, pretending that what we did was for “some other educator in an alternate dimension”. Simply talking to us often made a colleague feel like a rock, only dumber. When my fellow teachers did seek me out — always to ask for help and rarely to request training — they’d come to my room, laptop in hand, and follow the noise of my fingers flying across the keyboard. It always amazed them I could make eye contact and say “Hi!” without stopping or slowing my typing.

That reticence to ask for help or request training changed about a decade ago when technology swept across the academic landscape like a firestorm:

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World Password Day –May 7

world password day

One of the most important yet underwhelming international events is coming up the first Thursday in May (in Canada, it’s March 15th). What is it? It’s World Password Day,

Yawn…

I know — words can’t express how tedious most people find passwords, how annoying they are to use, and how likely it is 99% of the world will not celebrate this event. Let me see if I can convince you otherwise. On January 1, 1983, when the Internet was invented, mankind agreed to a binary choice: Invent passwords or forever regret their absence. Without them, there would be no protection for your privacy, your online information, or even your personal identity. Passwords are now required to access websites, banking, email, social media, favorite shopping sites, chat venues like iMessenger, and even certain documents. These annoying, forgettable, intrusive entities are the first line of defense against hackers and for many, their entire defense.  Because so many treat passwords casually, despite all they know about their importance, password theft is one of the fastest growing and most effective crimes. 

While every expert recommends changing your password two-three times a year, no one does that. Do you? I don’t. I’m challenged to remember my password much less remember to change it regularly. As a result, World Password Day came into being:

Annually, on World Password Day, change all of your passwords

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Tech Tip #164 Website Parts

tech tipsIn these 169 tech-centric situations, you get an overview of pedagogy—the tech topics most important to your teaching—as well as practical strategies to address most classroom tech situations, how to scaffold these to learning, and where they provide the subtext to daily tech-infused education.

Today’s tip: Parts of a Website

Category: Internet

Share with students the four most important parts of a website (see inset):

Sign up for a new tip each week or buy the entire 169 Real-world Ways to Put Tech into Your Classroom.

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Gifts for the Tech Teacher in Your Life

Teacher Appreciation Week: The First Full Week of May

teacher appreciation weekThere’s always been something mystically cerebral about people in technical professions like engineering, science, and mathematics. They talk animatedly about plate tectonics, debate the structure of atoms, even smile at the mention of calculus. The teaching profession has our own version of these nerdy individuals, called technology teachers. In your district, you may refer to them as IT specialists, Coordinators for Instructional Technology, Technology Facilitators, Curriculum Specialists, or something else that infers big brains, quick minds, and the ability to talk to digital devices. School lore probably says they can drop a pin through a straw without touching the sides.

When I started teaching K-8 technology, people like me were stuffed in a corner of the building where all other teachers could avoid us unless they had a computer emergency, pretending that what we did was for “some other educator in an alternate dimension”. Simply talking to us often made a colleague feel like a rock, only dumber. When my fellow teachers did seek me out — always to ask for help and rarely to request training — they’d come to my room, laptop in hand, and follow the noise of my fingers flying across the keyboard. It always amazed them I could make eye contact and say “Hi!” without stopping or slowing my typing.

That reticence to ask for help or request training changed about a decade ago when technology swept across the academic landscape like a firestorm:

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A Teacher’s Perspective: Connecting in the Age of COVID

I met Kiana Berkman in this traumatic time of moving teaching home through an invigorating discussion on education and how it’s changing. Kiana and her tutoring agency (Berktree Learning Center) were already ahead of the curve on that. I asked her to share insights on how COVID-19 is affecting her students and their passion for learning. I think you’ll like what she and her husband, Daniel (partner in the tutoring business) have to say:

The Challenge of Connecting in the Age of COVID

Click for the full article…

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6 Activities to End the School Year

end of school activities

From our files, here are great articles about activities popular at the end of the school year:

5 Favorite Activities to End the School Year

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

10 Ways to Wrap Up the School Year

It’s the end of school. Everyone’s tired, including you. What you want for these last few weeks are activities that keep the learning going but in a different way. You want to shake things up so students are excited and motivated and feel interested again.

Change your approach. Provide some games, simulations, student presentations–whatever you don’t normally do in your classroom. If you’re doing PowerPoints, use the last few weeks for presentations.  Make them special–invite teachers. Invite parents. If you never serve food in your lab, do it for these presentations.

Here are my favorite year-end Change-up activities:

        • 6 Webtools in 6 weeks
        • Class Debate
        • Digital Citizenship review
        • Games and Simulations
        • Genius Hour
        • Group Discussion
        • Khan Academy
        • Presentation Boards
        • Service Learning
        • Write an Ebook

How to Use Tech to Help Graduating Students Find Jobs

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