Posts Tagged ‘tech ed’

25 Techie Problems Every Student Can Fix–Update

09 Sep

problem solvingThe Number One reason–according to students–why their computer doesn’t work is… It’s broken. Can I move to a different computer??? Doesn’t matter why they’re wrong. My teacher’s job is to provide strategies so they can independently solve problems like these.

As a tech teacher, I know that half the problems that stop students short in their tech lessons are the same few. Once they’ve learned the following twenty-five trouble shooting solutions, they’ll be able to solve more than half of their ongoing problems.


In the three years since I first posted this, I haven’t changed my mind about these problems. These transcend platforms, curricula, and Standards. When your youngest students can’t double click that tiny little icon to open the program (because their fine motor skills aren’t up to it), teach them the ‘enter’ solution. When somehow (who knows how) the task bar disappears, show them how to bring it up with the ‘flying windows’ key. When their monitor doesn’t work, go through all possible solutions together (monitor power on, computer power on, plugged into duplex, etc.)

Once they know the solution, I play Socrates and make them come up with it when faced with the problem. I reinforce the solutions by having them teach each other when called for. By the end of the year, they’ve got all twenty-one, and we can move on to more complicated issues.

Here are a few of my favorite posters that will get these solutions across:

–from 55 Technology Projects for the Digital Classroom and 19 Posters for the Tech Classroom

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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, IMS tech expert, and a weekly contributor to TeachHUB. Currently, she’s editing a techno-thriller that should be out to publishers next summer.


It’s Here! K-5 Tech Curriculum Aligned with Common Core!

16 May

collage of 5th ed K-6  textbooks- with AATT copyThe educational paradigm has changed. New guidelines (most recently, the National Board of Governors Common Core Standards) expect technology to facilitate learning through collaboration, publishing, and transfer of knowledge. Educators want students to use technology to work together, share the products of their effort, and employ the skills learned in other parts of their lives.

If you purchased SL’s Fourth Edition, consider the tech changes in education since its 2011 publication:

  • Windows has updated their platform—twice
  • iPads are the device of choice in the classroom
  • Class Smartboards are more norm than abnorm(al)
  • Technology in the classroom has changed from ‘nice to have’ to ‘must have’
  • 1:1 has become a realistic goal
  • Student research is as often done online as in the library
  • Students spend as much time in a digital neighborhood as their home town
  • Textbooks are considered resources rather than bibles
  • Teachers who don’t use technology are an endangered species
  • Words like ‘blended learning’, ‘authentic’, ‘transfer’, ‘evidence’ are now integral to teaching
  • Common Core Standards have swept like a firestorm through the education community, most timed to take effect after 2011

Here’s what you’ll find in the SL Technology Curriculum–5th Edition (see slideshow below):

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CSTA Conference Coming Up!

01 May

CS13_logo-bigThe 2013 CSTA Annual Conference (click here for conference link) is fast approaching. This lively get-together provides professional development opportunities for K-12 computer science and computer applications teachers who need practical, relevant information to help them prepare students for the future.

Here are some details you’ll want to know:

Dates: July 15-16, 2013
Location: Quincy, Massachusetts, USA

Conference Hashtag: #CSTA13

Important Dates:

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Take Tech into the Classroom

23 Jan

tech lab--classroomIf you are the tech teacher and teach in a lab, there’s a fundamental truism about students and tech that you know: Students don’t make the connection that tech in the lab is the same as tech in the classroom–just smaller. Whether the classroom has a laptop cart or a pod of desktops, students think that they’ve never seen the programs and icons before and none of the rules they learned two doors down (or wherever your lab space is in relation to the student classroom) applies to tech use in the classroom.

It requires your physical presence in their classroom, speaking to them for the transfer of knowledge to take place.

Here’s how I do it:

Before going:

  • Make sure the class computers work
    • CPU turns on
    • monitors work
    • headphones works
  • Make sure class computers have all the links required for class work and that are used in the lab. Ask the class teacher what those are and make sure they are on both the lab computers and the classroom laptops/pod. These are some favorites:
  • The school website
  • Tech lab class internet start page
  • Typing practice program
  • Google Earth
  • Starfall
  • A math program

If it’s not possible, be ready to explain the differences to students so they can reach a comfort level

  • Find out what the class teacher understands about the computers. Is she comfortable? How are students using them? Has she had problems? If there are reasons she doesn’t use them, what are they and can you solve them?

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New Year’s Gift: 113 Digital Citizenship Links

09 Jan

That’s right. We’ve updated the Digital Citizenship Link page, in preparation for the release of K-8 Digital Citizenship Curriculum. Enjoy!digcit

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Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-8 technology for 15 years. She is the editor of a K-8 technology curriculumK-8 keyboard curriculumK-6 Digital Citizenship curriculum, and creator of technology training books for how to integrate 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, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing TeachersCisco guest blogger, a columnist for, featured blogger for Technology in EducationIMS 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.


Do You Make These 9 Mistakes

26 Sep

…with your child’s computer education?tech ed

  • Show your child how to do something rather than allowing him to discover
  • Do for them rather than let them do it
  • Say ‘no’ too often (or the other enthusiasm-killer, Don’t touch!)
  • Don’t take them seriously
  • Take technology too seriously. It’s a tool, meant to make life easier. Nothing more.
  • Underestimate their abilities
  • Over-estimate their abilities
  • Give up too quickly
  • Think there’s only one way to do stuff on the computer

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

18 Aug

tech ed38 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 digital delivery from:

Teachers Pay Teachers

Publisher’s website


The Elephantine Impact of Technology on Education

19 Jul

Have you noticed what’s happening in your child’s school? Technology. There’s rarely a lesson taught, be it math or science or health, that doesn’t include some form of technology

education reform

Education has changed

to enhance its message, increase its reach, improve its communication. If you haven’t been in the classroom lately, drop by this week when you pick up your wonderful student. There’s likely to be a Smartboard (or some sort of interactive screen) on the wall, a pod of computers (if not 1:1 laptops) overflowing from a corner, maybe iPads on desktops or in a mobile cart, a digital camera and microphones to record events, streaming video from Discovery Channel. Those ubiquitous samples of student work that traditionally clutter the walls now include many created with computers.

Today’s education happens by standing on the shoulders of technology innovation.

If you don’t have a school-age child, take a peek at Cisco’s VNI Service Adoption blog. There’s an uptick in the impact of technology on all parts of consumer life. As Cisco suggests, these changes are all about connecting students to their future, empowering them with responsibility for their own education in areas such as:

  • access to learning
  • quality of instruction and education assessment
  • innovative learning models
  • decision making
  • reduced costs with administrative efficiency (not yet, but it’s a good goal)

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Weekend Website #95: AIRR Math

28 Apr

Every Friday, I share a website (or app) that I’ve heard about, checked into, gotten excited to use. This one is a math book and app. Since ‘math’ is by far the most popular search term of readers who seek out my blog, I know you’re going to enjoy this review.


AIRR Math--a math workbook with an app for iPads, iPhones.

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Should Tech Teachers be in the Classroom or the Lab–Follow Up

29 Mar

A couple of months ago, I posted an article called Should Tech Teachers be in the Classroom or the Lab?I got the question from a reader and wanted to see what the tech ed community

thought about what has become a hot topic among technology teacher, coordinators and integration specialists. I summarized the common thoughts on the subject and received quite a few thoughtful responses from readers.

I also cross-posted the article to LinkedIn and wanted to share those responses with my blog readers. You’ll find them an important contribution to your knowledge on this subject, with lots of anecdotal stories and varied viewpoints. Enjoy!

Gail Flanagan • Using technology as a tool in all parts of the school day integrating it into the students and teachers day. We implemented 1:1 iPad for a 6th grade team and mini pilot of iPad carts for the rest of the school. Digital natives use the iPad intuitively for collaboration, organization, creativity, productivity and communication. Keyboarding, word processing, spreadsheets and multimedia presentation tools are still used with laptops and desktop computers.
Lucky to be a teacher of Middle School ~ Allied Arts computer class. We reassess the standards to adapt to essential questions of what to know using technology in everyday lives and 21st century skills,

Dale McManis • Around classroom technology integration and professional development for teachers I really like the work of Dr. Karen Swan-Research Professor, Research Center for Educational Technology / College & Graduate School of Education, Health and Human Services, Kent State University.

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