Posts Tagged With: tech resources

Ask a Tech Teacher Featured

Ramblin’ Rick over at What’s on My PC offers lots of advice on computer problems, products, ideas. He’s an excellent resource for anyone who owns a computer.

I am honored that he featured Ask a Tech Teacher on his resource list, Bookmarks4Tech. Hop over and check it out. In his words, Bookmarks4Techs features product reviews (and bargains) on the latest computer and information technology products; FREE Software and Apps; PLUS, is host to the the largest collection of links (and RSS feeds) to computer technology sites on the internet.

Follow me

Jacqui Murray is the editor of a technology curriculum for K-fifth grade and author of two technology training books for middle school. She wrote Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy midshipman. She is webmaster for five blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, a tech columnist for, Editorial Review Board member for  ISTE’s Journal for Computing Teachers, IMS tech expert, and a weekly contributor to Write Anything. Currently, she’s working on a techno-thriller that should be ready next summer. Contact Jacqui at her writing office, WordDreams, or her tech lab, Ask a Tech Teacher.

Categories: websites | Tags: , | 6 Comments

25 Tips for Not-so-Techy Folk

Click on the PowerPoint below (opens in Google docs) and read these 25 tips before the school year starts. I teach tech and still found a few that I’ll be using in my classroom:


Categories: education reform, free tech resources, internet, social networks, teacher resources, Tech ed, Web 2.0, websites | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

FREE Tech Lesson Plans!

For all new subscribers to Ask a Tech Teacher RSS Feed. Here’s all you have to do: Continue reading

Categories: digital books, free tech resources, homeschool, K-5 Tech training, lesson plans, teacher resources | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

10 of the Best Math Websites Out There

There are an awful lot of math sites on the internet and too often, they are filled with distracting ads that make it difficult to find the learning material, or too many games that don’t so much teach math skills as babysit kids.

Here are some I’ve found useful in my technology lab. They’re straightforward, with an uncluttered interface (mostly) and a focus on teaching not entertaining:

Wild on Math—simple to use, challenging for the best of students

Math and Virtual Manipulatives and Tessellations –well organized, using a whiteboard with shapes and colors as the virtual manipulatives.

Math website—popular, a standard math2

Math—by Grade Level–a longtime favorite that reinforces basics, math facts and speed math

Math–Mental Math –traditional mental math practice. Well done.


Math–Minute Math –Mad Minutes

math3Games that make you think –logic, for K-3

math33–lots of multiplication problems, lessons, games, with a few on addition and subtraction

Interactive Math Lessons–lots of them. You’ll find everything you need here.

Math problems by skill and grade



Categories: fifth grade, first grade, fourth grade, free tech resources, homeschool, K-5 Tech training, Kindergarten, math, teacher resources, third grade, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

#32: How to Use Art to Teach Grammar

Here’s a great lesson that uses every child’s innate love of color to learn grammar. All you need is MS Word, a quick introduction to the toolbars and tools, and about 25 minutes to complete. If you’re the tech lab teacher, this gives you a chance to reinforce the grammar lesson the classroom is teaching:


From Structured Learning's Tech Lab Toolkit Volume I



Categories: fifth grade, fourth grade, free tech resources, homeschool, internet, K-5 Tech training, lesson plans, teacher resources, Tech, third grade, vocabulary, writing | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

16 Online Sites to Teach Mouse Skills

Mouse resource list constantly updated here

Many of my most popular articles are about mouse skills. Every year, tens of thousands of teachers visit Ask a Tech Teacher to find resources for teaching students how to use a mouse. No surprise because using a mouse correctly is one of the most important pre-keyboarding skills. Holding it is not intuitive and if learned wrong, becomes a habit that’s difficult to break.

The earlier posts are still active, but I’ve updated this resource with more websites and posters to assist in starting off your newest computer aficionados.

Mouse Skills

  1. Bees and Honey
  2. Drawing Melody–draw in many colors with the mouse and create music
  3. Hover skills–drag mouse over the happy face and see it move
  4. Left-click practice while playing the piano
  5. MiniMouse
  6. Mouse and tech basics–video
  7. Mouse practice—drag, click
  8. Mouse skills
  9. Mouse Song
  10. OwlieBoo–mouse practice
  11. Wack-a-gopher (no gophers hurt in this)


Kids love puzzles and they are a great way to teach drag-and-drop skills with the mouse buttons. Here are some of my favorites:1183938_stylized_mouse

  1. Digipuzzles–great puzzles for geography, nature, and holidays
  2. Jigsaw Planet–create your own picture jigsaw
  3. Jigsaw puzzles
  4. Jigzone–puzzles
  5. Jigsaw Puzzles–JS


  1. Mousing Around
  2. Skillful Senior


Continue reading

Categories: Computer hardware, first grade, free tech resources, internet, Kindergarten, mouse skills, second grade, teacher resources, Tech | Tags: , , , , , | 14 Comments

Announcing: The Technology Lab Toolkit

also available on in hardcover


Categories: digital books, K-5 Tech training, middle school technology, teacher resources, Tech | Tags: , , , , | 1 Comment

How to Find Reliable Internet Sources

So much of reliable sources in internet searches is the same as researching in the library. Pick:

  • primary sources
  • unbiased sources
  • sources with the background and training required to understand and present information

Young students have difficulty with these rules. They work hard just to maneuver through a search engine, the links, the search bar and the address bar. They’re thrilled when they get hits, much less trying to distinguish what’s good from bad. How do they know if it’s a ‘primary source’ or not? How can they determine what’s ‘biased’ or not? Or who has enough training to be trusted?Wikipedia is a great example. It’s edited by the People, not PhDs, encyclopedias or primary sources, yet it usually pops up pretty close to the top of a search list and lots of kids think it’s the last word in reliability.

With that in mind, I’ve made the rules simple: Look at the extension. Start with that limitor. Here are the most popular extensions and how I rate them for usefulness:


Published by the government and non-military. As such, it should be unbiased, reliable.


Published by the government and military. Perfect for the topics that fit this category, i.e., wars, economics, etc.


Published by colleges and universities. Historically, focused on research, study, and education


U.S. non-profit organizations and others. They have a bias, but it shouldn’t be motivated by money

These four are the most trustworthy. The next three take subjective interpretation and a cursory investigation into their information:

Continue reading

Categories: fifth grade, first grade, fourth grade, free tech resources, homeschool, internet, K-5 Tech training, second grade, teacher resources, third grade, web | Tags: , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Government IT Departments Still Confused by Cloud Computing

Well, they have a lot of company. Most people have no idea why the words ‘cloud’ and ‘computing’ are together in one sentence. Before you read the article, here’s a video that might help:

US govt IT departments still confused by cloud computing

By Robin Hicks | 3 August 2009

Federal officials in the United States think that cloud computing will play a big role in future government IT initiatives. But they are still confused about what cloud computing is and want security assurances before adopting it on a large scale, a survey of federal IT managers has found. (more)

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

Categories: free tech resources, internet, problem solving, teacher resources, web | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

How to Hack Passwords

Here’s the guy who knows. Read this article. It’s important! I’ve summarized hacked-computer-june08some of its critical parts:

How I’d Hack Your Weak Passwords

If you invited me to try and crack your password, you know the one that you use over and over for like every web page you visit, how many guesses would it take before I got it?

Let’s see… here is my top 10 list.

  1. Your partner, child, or pet’s name, possibly followed by a 0 or 1 (because they’re always making you use a number, aren’t they?)
  2. The last 4 digits of your social security number.
  3. 123 or 1234 or 123456.
  4. “password”
  5. Your city, or college, football team name.
  6. Date of birth – yours, your partner’s or your child’s.
  7. “god”
  8. “letmein”
  9. “money”
  10. “love”

Statistically speaking that should probably cover about 20% of you. But don’t worry. If I didn’t get it yet it will probably only take a few more minutes before I do…

So, how would one use this process to actually breach your personal security? Simple. Follow my logic:

  • You probably use the same password for lots of stuff right?
  • Some sites you access such as your Bank or work VPN probably have pretty decent security, so I’m not going to attack them.
  • However, other sites like the Hallmark e-mail greeting cards site, an online forum you frequent, or an e-commerce site you’ve shopped at might not be as well prepared. So those are the ones I’d work on.
  • So, all we have to do now is unleash Brutus, wwwhack, or THC Hydra on their server with instructions to try say 10,000 (or 100,000 – whatever makes you happy) different usernames and passwords as fast as possible.
  • Once we’ve got several login+password pairings we can then go back and test them on targeted sites.
  • But wait… How do I know which bank you use and what your login ID is for the sites you frequent? All those cookies are simply stored, unencrypted and nicely named, in your Web browser’s cache. (Read this post to remedy that problem.)

Here are some password tips:

  1. Randomly substitute numbers for letters that look similar. The letter ‘o’ becomes the number ‘0′, or even better an ‘@’ or ‘*’. (i.e. – m0d3ltf0rd… like modelTford)
  2. Randomly throw in capital letters (i.e. – Mod3lTF0rd)
  3. Think of something you were attached to when you were younger, but DON’T CHOOSE A PERSON’S NAME! Every name plus every word in the dictionary will fail under a simple brute force attack.
  4. Maybe a place you loved, or a specific car, an attraction from a vacation, or a favorite restaurant?
  5. You really need to have different username / password combinations for everything. Remember, the technique is to break into anything you access just to figure out your standard password, then compromise everything else. This doesn’t work if you don’t use the same password everywhere.
  6. Since it can be difficult to remember a ton of passwords, I recommend using Roboform. It will store all of your passwords in an encrypted format and allow you to use just one master password to access all of them. It will also automatically fill in forms on Web pages, and you can even get versions that allow you to take your password list with you on your PDA, phone or a USB key. If you’d like to download it without having to navigate their web site here is the direct download link.
  7. Once you’ve thought of a password, try Microsoft’s password strength tester to find out how secure it is.

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

Categories: hacking, problem solving | Tags: , , , , | 7 Comments


wowTwo places to find freebies that cover the stuff I’m teaching here (technology for K-8):

  • the publisher’s website
  •–there are over 40 lessons there covering KidPix, Google Earth, PhotoShop and more. They say ‘buy’, but click on them. You can get up to 100% of each lesson for free (longer ones less)
  • Leave a comment with your email. I’ll send you one for free

Add to FacebookAdd to DiggAdd to Del.icio.usAdd to StumbleuponAdd to RedditAdd to BlinklistAdd to TwitterAdd to TechnoratiAdd to FurlAdd to Newsvine

Categories: fifth grade, first grade, fourth grade, free tech resources, homeschool, K-5 Tech training, Kindergarten, second grade, third grade | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Website Powered by

%d bloggers like this: