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Tech Curriculum

Tech Curriculum
Technology Curriculum

Brittany's Favorites

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Technology Tutorials and PD Presentations for Teachers

Technology Tutorials and PD Presentations for Teachers


Technology changes so quickly! It can be hard to keep up with all of the newest educational technology tools and even harder to learn how to use them in the classroom. The goal of the Technology Toolbox for Teachers is to take all of that pressure off of you! Technology changes so quickly! It can be hard to keep up with all of the newest educational technology tools and even harder to learn how to use them in the classroom. The goal of the Technology Toolbox for Teachers is to take all of that pressure off of you! 

This premium member's library has over 80 tech tool tutorials with more being added every week. In addition to the tutorial, each tech tool page includes a downloadable (in Google Slides or PowerPoint) PD presentation that walks you through the tech tool and gives ideas for using it in the classroom. 

Technology changes so quickly! It can be hard to keep up with all of the newest educational technology tools and even harder to learn how to use them in the classroom. The goal of the Technology Toolbox for Teachers is to take all of that pressure off of you!
This is a peek at what the library looks like. You can view more by clicking on the image. 

FAQ for the Technology Toolbox for Teachers

Wondering what you’ll use this for? Here are some ideas:

  1. Teach yourself the latest and greatest tech tools as your own pace. Feel like a pro when it is time to use them with your students. 
  2. Use the tutorials and ideas to guide a PD presentation for the staff at your school. They will really appreciate learning from you. *Reach out to me if you want to use this information for a bigger-scale presentation. 
  3. Get inspiration for lessons to try with your students. These ideas are just the beginning! 

How are the tech tools chosen?

I pride myself in staying up to date on technology tools. I read publications, blogs, and Facebook groups daily and keep a running list of new edtech tools to check out. The vetting process includes making sure the tool is useful for elementary age students. If I can come up with at least 2 ideas for use at the elementary level then the tech tool makes the list. 

How many tutorials are included?

As of June 2020, when this blog post was written, there are over 80 tech tools. I have 100 more tech tools planned as of now, and the list keeps growing. As new tech tools come out I research them and add them to the list. Since I started the Tech Toolbox for Teachers I've added dozens of new tools to the list and only 6 tools have been discontinued. 
Technology changes so quickly! It can be hard to keep up with all of the newest educational technology tools and even harder to learn how to use them in the classroom. The goal of the Technology Toolbox for Teachers is to take all of that pressure off of you!

Why is the tech toolbox a subscription?

In total it takes me about an hour for each tech tool to research it, create the tutorial steps, create the PD presentation, and make the page for it in the library. As I continue adding new tech tools ( I have about 100 more planned) I want subscribers to have access to them. A monthly subscription means you can access the library at any time, find what you need, and know it is the most up to date information. 

Can I use the PD Presentations to give training to staff at my school?

Yes you can! This membership is perfect for technology facilitators and instructional resource teachers because all of the work is done for you. Just download the PD presentation, read it over, consider adding your own presenter notes, and you're ready to go. I just ask that you don't share the presentation file with anyone else. 

Where do I sign up for the Technology Toolbox for Teachers?

You can find all of the details and sign up by clicking here. There are 10 sample tutorials and PD presentations that you can check out to make sure it will be a good fit for you. 
Still have questions? Email me any time! 
Technology changes so quickly! It can be hard to keep up with all of the newest educational technology tools and even harder to learn how to use them in the classroom. The goal of the Technology Toolbox for Teachers is to take all of that pressure off of you!

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Brittany Washburn
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STEM and My World - Physical and Digital STEM Activities for Social Studies

STEM and My World - Physical and Digital STEM Activities for Social Studies


As we prepare our youngest students for the future, we believe in the promotion of digital literacy as well as the importance of "unplugging" for hands-on collaboration. Created by Brooke Brown and Brittany Washburn, STEM and My World brings early childhood social studies to life with interactive digital activities and an engaging collaborative STEM challenge.
As we prepare our youngest students for the future, we believe in the promotion of digital literacy as well as the importance of "unplugging" for hands-on collaboration. Created by Brooke Brown and Brittany Washburn, STEM and My World brings early childhood social studies to life with interactive digital activities and an engaging collaborative STEM challenge.

STEM and My World activities are designed for the primary grades classroom but are also great to do at home. Since there are so many great activities included, it can be something done over multiple sessions at school and at home. These STEM Challenges and Digital slides make a great addition to the social studies units on the same topics. 

DIGITAL SLIDES
The digital slides that go with each unit are in Google Slides but can also be used in PowerPoint. Students interact with the slides by completing drag and drop and simple typing activities. We've included links to videos to enhance the understanding of each topic. 
STEM and My World

STEM Challenges
These hands on STEM Challenges are a great opportunity for collaboration and problem solving. You can complete them with materials on hand, and the teacher charts and vocab cards are provided to help you facilitate learning. 
STEM and My World

MAKERTECH MATS
We all want our students to master technology tools and use them to create original works. Each of the tech tools in the MakerTech guide are designed to allow students to explore digital tools while creating something using the steps of the engineering design process. The best part is that nearly every topic and subject area can be explored using these tools, so they can be used as a part of your daily academic activities, not as an extra thing to fit into your schedule.
STEM and My World

Right now we have 3 units available to try with your students. 

STEM and My World - Landforms and Mapping

Landforms Includes the following:
*32 slides of interactive digital Google Slides activities for landforms and mapping, compatible with ANY device
STEM and My WorldSTEM and My World
STEM and My World
*FOUR STEM Challenges with lesson plans, teacher charts, vocabulary cards, and student templates:
1) Me on the Map
2) Road Trip
3) Crafty Compass
4) Landform Construction
STEM and My World

STEM and My World

*Makertech Mat choice board for Makerspace extensions
*App poster
STEM and My World

STEM and My World - My Family

My Family Includes the following: 
*13 interactive digital Google Slides activities for family structures, compatible with any device
STEM and My World

STEM and My World

*"Building Generations" (Family Tree) STEM Challenge with lesson plan, teacher chart, vocabulary cards, and student template
STEM and My World

*Makertech Mat choice board for Makerspace extensions
*App poster
STEM and My World
Click here for the My Family Unit


STEM and My World - Fire Safety

Fire Safety Includes the following:
*16 interactive digital Google Slides activities for fire safety, compatible with any device
STEM and My World

STEM and My World

STEM and My World

*"Escape to Safety" STEM Challenge with lesson plan, teacher chart, vocabulary cards, and student template
STEM and My World
STEM and My World

*Makertech Mat choice board for Makerspace extensions
*App poster
STEM and My World
Click here for the Fire Safety Unit

When students are finished
• Create a class eBook in Google Slides where students each get one slide to insert their final product.
• Create a Padlet and have students upload their final product.
• Have a “gallery walk” where students have their final product up on their screen while they walk around to see classmates’ creations.
• Have students present their final product to the class.
As we prepare our youngest students for the future, we believe in the promotion of digital literacy as well as the importance of "unplugging" for hands-on collaboration. Created by Brooke Brown and Brittany Washburn, STEM and My World brings early childhood social studies to life with interactive digital activities and an engaging collaborative STEM challenge.

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Brittany Washburn
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Unplugged Keyboard Practice - Typing Story Mats

Unplugged Keyboard Practice - Typing Story Mats


Students practice spelling and typing words with story mats and printable keyboards (or you can use real keyboards).
Students practice spelling and typing words with story mats and printable keyboards (or you can use real keyboards). There are 4 levels of each story and 28 different keyboard layout options to make differentiation a breeze. Prep them once and use it as a station all year long.
Students practice spelling and typing words with story mats and printable keyboards (or you can use real keyboards).
This series was created in collaboration with Mrs. D's Corner as a way of teaching the skill of keyboarding to all levels of learners in an engaging and developmentally appropriate way. 
TOPICS INCLUDED
2D Shapes
Colors
Counting
Days of the Week
Months
Numbers 0-10

PREPPING THE STORIES
Once you’ve decided on the level of challenge you want for your students, print the Keyboard(s).
If you print the black and white keyboards, you can put them on colored paper to save ink while still making the page look appealing.

Students practice spelling and typing words with story mats and printable keyboards (or you can use real keyboards).
Cardstock is recommended since the keyboards are going to be touched the most. Laminate them if you can.
Students practice spelling and typing words with story mats and printable keyboards (or you can use real keyboards).
The story pages print two to a page. All you have to do is cut across the line and the halves are the same size. No trimming!
Students practice spelling and typing words with story mats and printable keyboards (or you can use real keyboards).
BINDING AND STORING THE PREPPED STORIES
You have a lot of binding options. Putting the stories in a binder is a great option if you know you’ll be putting them away and taking them back out regularly (or asking your students to just grab and go). All you have to do is 3-hole punch on the gray bar.
Students practice spelling and typing words with story mats and printable keyboards (or you can use real keyboards).
If you have a binding machine, spiral bound stories are also easy to store and look so cute!
Stapling the tops will also work, just take the time to fold back the pages or show students how to if they are using a freshly made story. 
Students practice spelling and typing words with story mats and printable keyboards (or you can use real keyboards).
USING THE STORIES
Regardless of how you decided to bind the pages together, these activities are meant to be easy to use and independent for most students.
Students simply
  • read the words,
  • type the indicated word on their printed keyboard, and then
  • flip to the next page and continue.
You could have them read the words out loud and spell out the typed word as they find the letters. You could have them do the activity silently. We’ve found that it makes a great independent word work station.
There is a nearly limitless combination of keyboard layouts and story levels included in this resource that you can use to differentiate for your students.
Students practice spelling and typing words with story mats and printable keyboards (or you can use real keyboards).
For example, use a level 1 story (Uppercase with box) with the matching simplest keyboard (color coded) until mastery and then change out the keyboard for one with more keys or different color coding to add a challenge.
OR Use the same keyboard layout the whole time but with increasingly harder versions of the story each time.

Students practice spelling and typing words with story mats and printable keyboards (or you can use real keyboards).
We would love to see pictures of how you put together your Typing Story Mats. Don't forget to tag us on social media!

Students practice spelling and typing words with story mats and printable keyboards (or you can use real keyboards).

Students practice spelling and typing words with story mats and printable keyboards (or you can use real keyboards).

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Brittany Washburn
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6 Student Options for Making a Digital Avatar Character

6 Student Options for Making a Digital Avatar Character


So your students want to make a Bitmoji or Facebook Avatar but they're too young or it isn't school appropriate? This list of alternative options for building digital characters is the solution, and some of them are even educational!
So your students want to make a Bitmoji or Facebook Avatar but they're too young or it isn't school appropriate? This list of alternative options for building digital characters is the solution, and some of them are even educational!

In no particular order, here are the digital character builders you can use to have students make their own avatar:

Mini-Mizer (requires flash)

This one is so much fun for kids because the end result looks like a lego mini figure!

Create Your Avatar

Great option for students with an email address (that is how they save the final image).

Avatar Builder Digital Glyph

This option combines digital literacy and the fun of making a character. Students have to copy and paste across slides (In Google Slides or PowerPoint) and then resize the pieces to layer together to build the Avatar. They can make as many variations as they want!

Made with Code Avatar Project (hopefully still available for a while)


The Made with Code project teaches students about coding concepts while they build a character. There are only "girl" options but it is versatile enough for most elementary age kids to be able to use it. This activity is part of a Coding Lesson I have for 3rd graders on k5tech.net and you can try it for free - Code an Avatar Lesson Page

Build a Character Digital Glyph

The build a character digital glyph is perfect for primary grades students and it is educational! Students build their tech skills by needing to copy and paste across slides and resize the pieces to fit.

Portrait Avatar Maker

The portrait avatar maker is so simple yet gets the job done. Students will love seeing how theirs turns out!

How are you using these digital characters in the classroom? Students love to have an avatar that looks like them as their profile picture and it is a safer alternative to a real photo. I think it is important to have a conversation with students about their digital reputations before they make their avatars so that they can think through which private information about their physical appearance they want to share. We also chat about how when we are looking at a profile picture online, we have no way of knowing if that is really the way the person looks. All important topics of discussion! 

There you have it! 6 Alternatives to Bitmojis and Facebook Avatars for Students to use to build their own characters. Pin this post to get back to later and share it with your teacher and parent friends! 
So your students want to make a Bitmoji or Facebook Avatar but they're too young or it isn't school appropriate? This list of alternative options for building digital characters is the solution, and some of them are even educational!



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Brittany Washburn
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Tips for Using Google Forms in the Classroom

Tips for Using Google Forms in the Classroom


Google has so many amazing ways that teachers and students can use it, and Google Forms is one of the best ways to collect research, survey the students, or have them submit assignments. It is so simple to use, it saves you time, and you can get all the data in a spreadsheet when you’re done.

Google has so many amazing ways that teachers and students can use it, and Google Forms is one of the best ways to collect research, survey the students, or have them submit assignments. It is so simple to use, it saves you time, and you can get all the data in a spreadsheet when you’re done.

If you’re not familiar with Google Drive, this is where you can begin to build your Google Forms. When you go to create a new file, click on Forms, and you are on your way!

Quick Tips For Google Forms

1. Make the instructions clear.
When you set up your form remember to give instructions for the form. If the form is not an anonymous survey or research project, then make sure to have a section for the student’s name at the beginning. 

2. Make sure to ask for the student’s name at the beginning of the survey.
I’ve made the mistake before where I didn’t have the name of the students who submitted forms. Unless you ask for a name, it might be difficult to know who completed the assignment or survey.

3. Explore the different question options.
What’s this research project all about? Should the answers be long or short answer. Should they be check boxes, a Likert Scale, multiple choice. Think through the best ways to organize and simplify the research.

4. Use Section Headings When Necessary
Depending on the intensity of your research, you might need to have multiple sections. If your using forms for assignments, you might have multiple choice questions first, and then loger paragraph or short answers sections next. If only Google Forms could do all the grading for you too. 

5. Connect your forms to Google Classroom!
If you need your class to do a form or a survey or a quiz or a short story, just add it to an assignment and post it in the stream of your Google Classroom. You can even put a due date, and return assignments, just like paper--but no paper!


Ways To Use Google Forms:

Now that you have fully explored how incredible Google Forms is, and all the different ways you can set it up, here’s ways you can use it! 

1. Quick polling, surveys, or voting.
What is your favorite ice cream? How tall are you? Dogs or cats? Instagram or TikTok? Who will represent our classroom in the Student Council? With Google Forms you can quickly set up a survey and see a live pie chart of what people choose. 

2. Research for a project.
Whether you are doing research as a teacher, or your students are doing research for an assignment, Google Forms are a great way to collect raw data anonymously. You can collect data in the classroom, from teachers, parents, administrators, or anyone in the community. 

3. Social Emotional Check-ins
How are you feeling today? What is one tough thing that happened this week? What is one good thing that happened this week? Is there anything that you want your teacher to know? Google Forms is a GREAT way to check in with students who might not always be open to tell you exactly how they are feeling. It also gives you a chance to encourage and compliment students that are having a tough time at home.

4. Assignments or Quizzes
If you create a Google Form in your Drive, you can actually connect that to an assignment in Google classroom. Students may even be able to submit questions for an upcoming test or quiz.


How have you used Google Forms in your classroom? It’s so amazing how easy and useful it is!

Google has so many amazing ways that teachers and students can use it, and Google Forms is one of the best ways to collect research, survey the students, or have them submit assignments. It is so simple to use, it saves you time, and you can get all the data in a spreadsheet when you’re done.

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Brittany Washburn
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