June 14, 2013

10 Steps to Tech Savviness This Summer

digital summer copySummer 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:

  1. Teach online--that’s where education is going. I take a lot of webinars and online seminars. I love them. Why not offer that to my students as well? what a great way to help those who are sick or didn’t get what I was saying the first time and want to review.
  2. Work on my blog–That’s this one, Ask a Tech Teacher, and one for my writing hobby called WordDreams. Blogs get stale if you don’t pay attention to them. I need to review the sidebars, the footers, links, menu items, make sure they’re still relevant.
  3. Update the co-teaching wikis for my tech classes–the framework’s in place. I need to review and upgrade
  4. Increase my PLN–I’m looking. Anyone have ideas? ISTE will be a resource. I am still trying to arrange to attend that in San Antonio.
  5. Read tech books–but I need a list. What are your favorites? I have a few listed here, but it’s a small start to the wealth of information I know is out there.
  6. Learn one new web-based tool every day–take weekends off. On my list are Evernote, Google Hangouts, WizIQ, Alice. What’s on your list?
  7. Notice one tech use around me every day. Like QR codes. Do you believe how they’re everywhere? How about Siri? How can I use that in the classroom to connect tech class to everyday life?
  8. Learn more about the iPad. These are taking over education.
  9. Try tech tools I don’t understand. I’m learning Minecraft this summer. I am amazed at the passion even kindergartners have for this game/simulation. I need to understand it so I can use it to teach things like problem solving, collaboration, logical thinking. How about you? Pick one you think you won’t like. What about Twitter? or Facebook? Try them out. See how they work. Then, you’ll have good reasons why you don’t like them or you’ll change your mind)
  10. Join an ed tech effort that’s bigger than me. I know I’ll come out of it motivated, inspired, ready to return to teaching in the Fall.

What are you doing this summer?


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 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.

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