Posts Tagged With: Web 2.0

Book Review: Kindergarten Technology Textbook

kindergartenKindergarten 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 year’s problems, I suggest you consider the nine-volume K-8 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 Common Core and NETS national standards and fully integratable into state core classroom standards.

The first in the series, the 132-page Kindergarten Technology: 32 Lessons Any Kindergartner Can Do (Structured Learning 2013), is available in print or digital, and perfect for Smartscreens, iPads, laptops, digital readers. 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 the classroom:

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Categories: Book review, Book reviews, classroom management, homeschool, Kindergarten, teacher resources, Tech ed, Web 2.0 | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tech Tip #103: Need Email Accounts for Registration? Here’s a Fix–Update

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: A lot of web-based tools require email verification. My students don’t have these at school or home yet. What do I do?

A: For whatever reason, the video I used to reference has been pulled. I didn’t realize how many used that work-around until I heard from many of you, eager for a solution.

This one might even be easier than the previous. This is from LifeHacker. In a nutshell, Gmail ignores ‘dots’ and + in a username. Jacqui.murray is the same as jacquimurray is the same as jacqui+murray. Use that to your advantage with student accounts. Read LifeHacker’s article for more detail or this one over at Curious Little Person. For more death, visit Tech Recipes.

I love problem solving–don’t you!

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Categories: email, Tech Tips, Web 2.0 | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Book Review: 55 Tech Projects for the Digital Classroom

LESSON PLANSWith 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 Projects for the Digital Classroom: Everything you need to integrate computers into K-8 classes

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.

Included are links to free versions of software so users aren’t forced to purchase expensive software and many how-to’s on timely technology topics like when to start keyboarding, how to integrate Web 2.0 tools into classrooms and more. The ebook is also connected to this Ask a Tech Teacher blog so users can stay up-to-date on tech in their classes and can get immediate assistance with lessons should they get stuck.

Disclaimer: I am the author of this two-volume series.

DIGITAL DELIVERY


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 in education. She is webmaster for six blogs, CSG Master Teacher, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing TeachersCisco guest blogger, a columnist for Examiner.com, IMS tech expert, and a weekly 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.

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Categories: Book reviews, K-5 Tech training, lesson plans, teacher resources | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Summer Keyboarding Class–How to Win FREE K-8 Keyboarding Curriculum

SUMMER KEYBOARDINGEvery summer, I teach a keyboarding class to 2nd-8th graders. It’s sixty minutes a day, five days a week, for three weeks. This summer, I’m moving it online, through my Keyboard Wiki.

Ready? Don’t need any more information? Click here to join.

There will be two sessions:

  • June 24th-July 12th (no class July 4th)
  • July 15th-August 2nd

Class will be self-paced, self-managed, the sixty minutes arranged whenever the student can make it fit into summer schedules. Required materials include:

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Categories: fifth grade, fourth grade, Keyboarding, second grade, third grade, websites | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

How to Thrive as a Digital Citizen

digital citizen

Citizen of the internet

Thanks to the pervasiveness of easy-to-use technology and the accessibility of the internet, teachers are no longer lecturing from a dais as the purveyor of knowledge. Now, students are expected to take ownership of their education, participate actively in the learning process, and transfer knowledge learned in the classroom to their lives.

In days past, technology was used to find information (via the internet) and display it (often via PowerPoint). No longer.  Now, if you ask a fifth grade student to write a report on space exploration, here’s how s/he will proceed:

Understand ‘Digital Citizenship’

Before the engines of research can start, every student must understand what it means to be a citizen of the world wide web. Why? Most inquiry includes a foray into the unknown vastness of the www. Students learn early (I start kindergartners with an age-appropriate introduction) how to thrive in that virtual world. It is a pleasant surprise that digital citizenship has much the same rules as their home town:

Don’t talk to bad guys, look both ways before crossing the (virtual) street, don’t go places you know nothing about, play fair, pick carefully who you trust, don’t get distracted by bling, and sometimes stop everything and take a nap.

In internet-speak, students learn to follow good netiquette, not to plagiarize the work of others, avoid scams, stay on the website they choose, not to be a cyber-bully, and avoid the virtual ‘bad guys’. Current best practices are not to hide students from any of these, but to teach them how to manage these experiences.

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Categories: classroom management, education reform, opinion, Web 2.0 | Tags: , , | 6 Comments

7 Technology Tools Every Educator Should Use

teachers internet

Click for a full list of resources

A big part of my job as technology teacher is IT coordinator, which means I must keep up with tech ed widgets and tools so I know what to recommend to the teachers at my school. I have a robust PLN that constantly shares what they are using in their classrooms, programs like PowToon, Dipity, Tikatok, Yacapaca, Glittertools, Chart Gizmo, Noteflight–you get the idea. Still, there are more than any one teacher can test properly.

In a perfect world, here’s how I determine which of these hundreds (thousands?) of tools are student-ready:

  • I try it myself. Does it work easily and as promised? Is it intuitive? Are there intrusive ads that will distract students as they work through the steps?
  • Next, I query my social networks. Have my fellow tech teachers had success with this tool? What problems did they run into? Is it stable? If my e-colleagues find the glamor is only skin deep, I move on.

If a tool passes these two tests, I try it in class. Since I teach over 430 students every week, that’s the true barometer. If a program survives the hands-on  grade-level labor of dozens of students, if they can create a project that supports their learning in new creative ways and still have fun, I’ve found a good tool.

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Categories: Web 2.0, websites | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

Book Review: 38 Web 2.0 Articles That Will Turn Your Class Around

tech ed

Tech ed pedagogy

38 Web 2.0 Articles That Will Turn Your Class Around

by Structured Learning IT Team

Seventy-six pages of the 38 most requested articles from Ask A Tech Teacher©. They cover critical Web 2.0 topics like how blogging makes students better writers, the importance of social media to education, how to teach keyboarding the right way, top ten tips for teaching MS Word, why technology is important for all learners, what to include on the youngest child’s computer, using internet start pages in tech lab and more. Each article is quick (1-2 pages), pithy, and easy-to-understand. They’re written by a working tech teacher with fifteen years experience teaching technology to all age groups.

Available for next-day digital delivery from:

Teachers Pay Teachers, Scribd.com, Publisher’s website

Categories: Book reviews | Tags: , | 2 Comments

Weekend Website #106: ZimmerTwins

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.

zimmer twins

Create a comic movie

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Categories: problem solving, teacher resources, Web 2.0, websites, writing | Tags: , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Weekend Website #105: Voki

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.

avatars

Create talking avatars to assist teaching

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Categories: problem solving, teacher resources, Web 2.0, websites | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

Weekend Website #104: Animoto

Every Friday, I share a website (or app) that I’ve heard about, checked into, gotten excited to use. I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Animoto–create a video in a minute (if you’re in a hurry) or take your time to make it perfect. Either way, it’s easy.

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Categories: teacher resources, Web 2.0, websites | Tags: , , | 7 Comments

Book Review: 55 Tech Projects for the Digital Classroom

55 Technology Projects for the Digital Classroom: Everything you need to integrate computers into K-8 classesWith 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!

55 Technology Projects for the Digital Classroom: Everything you need to integrate computers into K-8 classes

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.

If you send a proof of purchase for the print textbook to the publisher at sales@structuredlearning.net, you can buy a discounted pdf of the book here. Continue reading

Categories: Book reviews, K-5 Tech training, lesson plans, teacher resources | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Summer Keyboarding Class–Here are the Details

keyb oarding

Photo credit: Public domain pictures

Keyboarding is one of my most-requested topics. I get lots of questions about when to start, how to do it, what makes it fun, and more. If you’re struggling with teaching keyboarding to students, check these posts out and then keep reading:

  1. How Fast Should Kids Type
  2. 18 Online Keyboard Sites for Kids
  3. Ten Best Keyboarding Hints You’ll Ever See
  4. What are Your Favorite Summer School Keyboard Activities
  5. #55: Keyboarding in the Classroom
  6. 6 Kindergarten Keyboard Basics
  7. How to Teach Keyboarding in Lower School
  8. 20 Best Keyboarding Websites
  9. Weekend Website #47: Online Keyboarding
  10. Weekend Website #21: Test Your Typing Speed
  11. #57: Yes, You Should Assign Keyboarding Homework

Every summer, I teach a keyboarding class to 3rd-6th graders. It’s fifty minutes a day, five days a week, for three weeks. To keep myself organized and make the class as student-centered as possible for a rote sort of subject, I created a Keyboarding Wiki. There, I collected what we did each day, keyboard websites, finger exercises, teaching strategies and more. This enabled those precocious souls who didn’t get enough keyboarding during the class to get more at home, though that was never required.

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Categories: fifth grade, fourth grade, free tech resources, Keyboarding, second grade, third grade, websites | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Book Review: Kindergarten Technology Textbook

kindergarten technologyKindergarten Technology: 32 Lessons Every Kindergartner Can Accomplish on a Computer

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:

  • PDF version is in full color
  • PDF version has active links so you can click through to enrichments when required for student-centered learning
  • each lesson summarizes a 45-minute class period–usually 2-3 activities, arranged temporally throughout the year for ease of understanding by students. For example, a lesson is likely to include 2-3 activities from among typing practice, student presentations, project that ties into core class activity, problem-solving that assists with 1:1 initiatives
  • each lesson is aligned with NETS standards
  • each lesson includes required vocabulary
  • each lesson provides integrations to core classroom units and topics
  • each lesson includes trouble-shooting solutions to the problems most likely to come up in the classroom
  • each lesson includes enrichments for those precocious students who finish the lesson and want more
  • includes a list of websites (PDF has active links, print version goes to Ask a Tech Teacher Great Websites). Both print and PDF can access a webpage on Ask a Tech Teacher that is updated yearly with new websites by grade level and category
  • there’s a help link (to this blog) to a teacher using the curriculum will help you through the prickly parts of a lesson plan. This is FREE–no charge.
  • Where lessons center around purchased software, the authors made an effort to offer free alternatives. For example, instead of KidPix, teachers can use TuxPaint. Instead of Type to Learn, teachers can use a list of online keyboarding websites like Dance Mat Typing and Typing Web
  • If you buy the print book, the PDF is discounted
  • includes pedagogy articles to help think through critical issues like keyboarding, use of the internet, how to use wikis in classrooms, and more

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Categories: Book review, Book reviews, classroom management, homeschool, Kindergarten, teacher resources, Tech ed, Web 2.0 | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Communicate the Web 2.0 Way

My school is an IB school. We follow the philosophy that to educate students requires an

web 20

international understanding of the world, people and ideas. Part of the curriculum requires fifth graders to participate in an Exhibition where they use knowledge accumulated over six years of education to communicate their ideas on a global issue such as displacement, global warming, lack of education, pollution, world hunger, and limited access to fresh, clean water.

Last year, the fifth grade team asked me to brush students up on Publisher/PowerPoint/Word skills so they could construct their presentation. This year, I’m taking a different approach by encouraging students to think of other ways than these traditional ways to communicate their ideas. We’re spending six weeks studying and teaching each other some of the amazing online communication tools that offer motivating and inspirational ways to share thoughts.

Here’s how we’re doing that:

  • I reviewed with students the concepts of communicating ideas, the shortfall of confining themselves to tools such as MS Office, and then gave a quick overview of seventeen Web 2.0 Communication Tools. All are free and as many as possible require no log-in
  • Students broke into three-person teams and selected a Web 2.0 tool from the list (note to self: let students create the list next year).
  • All students joined the class wiki and created their own page (using only first names). On this page, they will share the tool they’re teaching as well as those learned through classmates
  • I demo’d how a presentation would work using the wonderful online program called Tagxedo.
    • I reviewed the tool and everyone created a Tagxedo
    • I showed them how to incorporate the Exhibition theme into the Tagxedo. This will be expected of all tools they teach
    • I showed them where to find Tagxedo’s embed tools so it could be added to their wiki page. All students did this and they loved it. To see that image animate is an epiphany in communication
  • I reviewed the rubric that I would use in grading. It includes four broad areas:
    • knowledge of the tool
    • ability to teach students
    • reflection on the lesson
    • group work
  • In their preparation, I encouraged students to embrace mistakes, problem-solve, be curious, as this will help them help classmates during the presentation
  • Each week, a different team of students taught the class. One team member provided instruction while the other two roamed the classroom helping where classmates got stuck. Estimated time of presentation: 20 minutes (though longer is OK)
  • In the presentation, students modeled how to incorporate this tool into an Exhibition

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Categories: critical thinking, K-5 Tech training, lesson plans, teacher resources, Web 2.0 | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

What Every Parent Should Know About Computers and the Internet

kids and internet

How do parents protect kids from the internet

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:

  • Research–whether your child’s in second grade or seventh– from a computer is more productive. With training on how to use search skills, students can find the information they want from the comfort of their home or the library and fill in the blanks on the topic you’re covering, be it landforms, the Civil War, or photosynthesis.
  • Communication within your homeschool group is much easier using the new collaborative tools available. These include wikis, Google Tools, and more. These allow multiple students to collaborate on a project at once, then embed the result into a digital portfolio (like a wiki page) for all to see
  • Finding out what‘s going on in your community so you can use local resources to extend the reach of your homeschool. Most towns have pages sharing what’s going on in the neighborhood, as do local museums, libraries, and more. Once students have learned to search, it can be their responsibility to find and organize.
  • Using Web 2.0 tools to bring traditional topics into the child’s world. For example, use Twitter to teach writing skills (click the link to see how)

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:

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Categories: Parent resources, Tech ed | Tags: , , , | 3 Comments

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