Book reviews

Book Review: How Technology Can Jumpstart Your Classroom

You may be the Technology Specialist, the Coordinator for Instructional Technology, IT Coordinator, Technology Director or the technology teacher for your school–tasked with finding the right computer project for each K-6 classroom unit. You have a limited budget, less software, and the drive to do it right no matter the roadblocks. How do you accomplish your job?

You are just as likely to be the classroom teacher, tech enthusiast, with a goal this year—and this time you mean it—to integrate the wonders of technology into classroom lessons. You’ve seen it work. Other teachers in your PLN are doing it. And significantly, you are trying to comply with the requirements of Common Core State Standards and/or IB guidelines that weave technology consistently into the fabric of all units of inquiry as a method of delivering quality education. How do you reach your goal?

Try this book:

How Technology Can Jump-Start the Inquiry-based Classroom:

35 Projects That Align with National Standards

There are thirty-five lessons, broken down by grade level as follows:

  • Kindergarten—7 lessons
  • First Grade—10 lessons
  • Second Grade—10 lessons
  • Third Grade—12 lessons
  • Fourth Grade—16 lessons
  • Fifth Grade—17 lessons
  • Sixth Grade—12 lessons

Did you count more than thirty-five? That’s because many lessons are appropriate (with some adaptations) for multiple grade levels.

Each lesson includes practical strategies for integrating technology authentically into core classroom lessons. They are easily adapted to any number of subjects, be they science, literature, history, or another. The focus is on easy-to-use online tools (with some exceptions) that are quick to teach, inquiry-driven, intuitive, and free. You introduce the tool, demonstrate the project, answer clarifying questions, and let your students’ curiosity loose.

Do you need this book if you bought the K-6 Technology Curriculum with its 32 lesson for each grade level? In fact, this book was originally intended for you. The hundreds of schools across the country that use that curriculum asked for it. Why?

  1. Their school didn’t have some of the software suggested in the textbook (say, MS Publisher)
  2. Their classes finished a lesson earlier than planned.
  3. They needed 34 lessons instead of 32 (many schools have longer years than the book allowed for)
  4. Their school aligned with Common Core State Standards, which meant they needed more lessons that required publishing and collaborating
  5. There was a particular unit of inquiry that wasn’t addressed in either the curriculum or toolkit
  6. They wanted more web-based tools and less traditional software

What’s included in each lesson?

Each lesson includes the following:

  • Skills Learned—This lists the primary skills learned through this lesson. These are technology skills and also skills best learned through the use of technology.
  • Replacement for—If you’re using the Structured Learning technology curriculum, this box tells you which of the thirty-two yearly lessons for that particular grade level can be replaced by this one and still deliver the goals of the K-6 Scope and Sequence (listed in the front of each textbook)
  • Collaborations—This lists which classroom subject(s) can be supported authentically with this lesson.
  • Time Required—This provides an estimate of time you should set aside to complete the lesson. If noted as ‘repeat’, do this lesson several times to reinforce learning.
  • NETS-S Standards—This highlights which ISTE standards are delivered with the lesson.
  • Lesson Questions? Go To—This link connects to a blog where you can ask for help or clarification on any book sold by Structured Learning—including this one—from teachers using this book. No other textbook publisher offers this. Of course, you can always email Structured Learning’s in-house help at zeke.rowe@structuredlearning.net. (There really is a Zeke Rowe).
  • Overview—This is the lesson’s central idea.
  • Objectives and Steps—This provides practical strategies for achieving the lesson’s essential goals with step-by-step guidelines for accomplishing that.

When will it be shipped?

  • Print books: Delivered within 7-9 days
  • Digital books: Delivered within 24 hours via email

What’s it cost?

You can purchase the entire book or grade-level bundles.

  • Each grade-level bundle (scroll down page to see) includes 5 lessons and is delivered only digitally: $7.99
  • Print book (entire 35 lessons):   $29.95
  • Digital book (entire 35 lessons):  $20.95
  • Print/digital Combo $44.95 (save 10%)

Questions? Visit the publisher’s websitefor more details.

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Jacqui Murray is the editor of a K-6 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, creator of two technology training books for middle school and six 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. She is webmaster for six blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a columnist for Examiner.com, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, Cisco guest blog, Technology in Education featured blogger, IMS tech expert, and a bi-weekly contributor to Write Anything. Currently, she’s editing a thriller that should be out to publishers next summer. Contact Jacqui at her writing office or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.

5 thoughts on “Book Review: How Technology Can Jumpstart Your Classroom

  1. Pingback: Book Review: How Technology Can Jumpstart Your ...

  2. I am a third grade teacher who is very interested in bringing the ipad into the classroom. I am an “older” teacher and have the intense intrest, but not the knowledge. We do not have a computer teacher, nor computers in the classroom, but we do have 20 ipads that we share between 130 students. It is not the best situation, but I like the idea of being able to bring them into the class. This book seems like it might be more for computers. Is that right? Do you have, know of, any books that give lessons for 3rd graders on the ipad? I know of some apps that I have experimented with myself this summer, but I would like to have a project since we don’t have daily access to them.
    Thanks for any help. Judy

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