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Showing posts with label Computer Lab. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Computer Lab. Show all posts
Warm Up Activities for the Computer Lab

Warm Up Activities for the Computer Lab


I LOVE Literacy so it is no surprise that I use books as a warm up activity for almost every technology lesson. Both print and digital books (and even audiobooks) can be used, and reading to my classes is a way to connect with my students. The discussions that come from it are amazing and make me feel like I'm building community even in just 45 minutes once a week.

I LOVE Literacy so it is no surprise that I use books as a warm up activity for almost every technology lesson. Both print and digital books (and even audiobooks) can be used, and reading to my classes is a way to connect with my students. The discussions that come from it are amazing and make me feel like I'm building community even in just 45 minutes once a week. 

There are amazing Technology Themed Children's Books available. I compiled my favorites into a spreadsheet. You can make a copy of it here

For the past year I've been hard at work putting together over 80 eBooks on technology topics. I thought I knew a lot about technology until I started researching to be able to write these books! I have learned so much and it really fuels my desire to teach others. I think students are going to love being introduced to topics with these eBooks. 

Here are the ones I have done so far:

Computer Basics eBooks

 

  • Parts of a Computer
  • Computers
  • The Internet
  • Web Pages
  • Operating Systems
  • How a Mouse Works
  • Using a Mouse or Trackpad
  • Using a Keyboard
  • History of Computers
  • Inputs and Outputs
  • Parts Inside a Computer
  • Taking Care of a Computer
  • Email
  • File Storage
The Computers basics booklets can be use any time of year to introduce these technology topics. 

Digital Citizenship eBooks

  • Conflict Resolution
  • Cyberbullying
  • Media Literacy
  • Public Forums
  • Private and Personal Information
  • Social Media
  • Viruses and Hackers
  • Blogs
  • Distance Learning (freebie)
  • Peer Pressure
  • Online Reputation
  • Screen time
  • Online Sources
These digital citizenship booklets make great discussion starters. Read them whole group to introduce students to the terminology that they'll be using in your internet safety unit. 

Online Research Skills eBooks


  • Search Engines
  • Search Results
  • Ads in Search (and Advanced search techniques)
  • Reading a Web Page
  • Evaluating a Web Page
  • Copyright
  • Taking Notes
  • Citing Sources
  • Avoiding Plagiarism
Read the Online Research Skills eBooks to your classes to introduce the terminology they'll be using for research projects. 

People Important to Technology eBooks


  • Ada Lovelace
  • Alan Turing
  • Alexander Graham Bell
  • Annie Easley
  • Benjamin Banneker
  • Bill Atkinson
  • Bill Gates
  • Chester Gordon Bell
  • Christopher Sholes
  • Douglas Engelbard
  • Edith Clarke
  • Ellen Ochoa
  • Elon Musk
  • Gitanjali Rao
  • Grace Hopper (freebie)
  • Hedy Lamarr
  • Jerry Lawson
  • John Atanasoff
  • Joy Buolamwini
  • Katherine Johnson
  • Larry Page
  • Marie Curie
  • Mark Zuckerberg
  • Mary Spio
  • Mary Wilkes
  • Nikola Tesla
  • Philip Emeagwali
  • Sergey Brin
  • Steve Jobs
  • Ted Hoff
  • Thomas Edison
  • Tim Berners Lee
Phew that is a lot of people important to technology! These eBooks make a great introduction to a unit on Technology Careers. Students can even use the Booklets to research a person and then create a research report or presentation on the information. 

  • Audio files
  • File Sizes
  • Fonts
  • Image Files
  • Multimedia
  • Software Basics
  • Presentation Software
  • Word Processing Software
  • Spreadsheet Software
  • Algorithms
  • Bugs and Debugging
  • Decomposing
  • Events and Conditions
  • Loops
  • Programs
  • Sequencing
  • Values and Variables

Coming soon is a series on Creativity with Technology! 

Pin this post to get back to later:

I LOVE Literacy so it is no surprise that I use books as a warm up activity for almost every technology lesson. Both print and digital books (and even audiobooks) can be used, and reading to my classes is a way to connect with my students. The discussions that come from it are amazing and make me feel like I'm building community even in just 45 minutes once a week.


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Brittany Washburn
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Teaching Your Kids About Passwords

Teaching Your Kids About Passwords


Passwords are a part of life in the 21st century. Begin by taking time to talk to your students/kids explicitly about passwords.  It may seem like these basic concepts should go without saying, but every stable building has to be built on a strong foundation.
Passwords are a part of life in the 21st century. Begin by taking time to talk to your students/kids explicitly about passwords.  It may seem like these basic concepts should go without saying, but every stable building has to be built on a strong foundation. 

Cover things such as:

  • how passwords keep their digital identity and online goods safe
  • passwords should not be shared verbally
  • remember to log out and select not to save passwords on public computers

Passwords with young kids

You can start introducing the concept of passwords as early as preschool (all without even touching a device).  Try these ideas:

  • Don’t say the secret word (i.e. playing Taboo style games).

  • Make a fort and have an individualized secret password each child needs to enter

  • Practice using polite phrases as "passwords" for everyday actions.

  • Put kids in partners, then have them take turns thinking up "passwords" and making sure their partner can't guess it.

  • Suggest an at-home project: Parents keep a special snack in the pantry in a locked box.  If the  child forgets to lock up their treats again after eating one, the parents remove and hide the contents of the box.

Passwords are a part of life in the 21st century. Begin by taking time to talk to your students/kids explicitly about passwords.  It may seem like these basic concepts should go without saying, but every stable building has to be built on a strong foundation.

Passwords with school-age kids

Targeting lower-mid elementary students (but usable for any level that needs it), take a look at this comprehensive introductory lesson:

Powerful Passwords

This lesson from code.org has students explore why people use passwords, learn the benefits of using passwords, and discover strategies for creating and keeping strong, secure passwords


A picture book is also a great conversation starter. Check out Cici's Cellphone Circus: Passwords that I wrote.

Passwords tips for all

No matter what their grade level, secure passwords can be especially difficult for children to remember, so try this method to help your students have the best of both worlds:

  1. Have students begin by grabbing a pen and paper (or opening a note-taking app) to write down the ideas they come up with.

  2. First, demonstrate thinking of several one or two sentence phrases that your students can remember.  They can be centered around favorite foods, objects or activities.  They can also be lines from a favorite book or song.  Once they have their sentences, begin converting them into passwords.  Start by taking the first letter of each word and noting it.  Then think if any capitals were present in the sentences and replace those letters as capitals. Finally, check if and special characters can be applied, such as & for and, 2 for to and too, 4 for for, * for star, and @ for at.  

For example: 

Sentence: Jack and Jill went up the hill to fetch water

Password: J&Jwuth2fw 

Sentence: Chocolate ice cream is my favorite!  But I like vanilla too.

Password: cicimf!BIlv2

  1. You may also want to see if you can think of some sentences that may help students remember which website matches which password.  For instance, a password for abcya.com might be based on the sentence “C is for cookie, and that’s good enough for me”, and a password for youtubekids.com could be a lyric from their favorite song to listen to on YouTube.


Here are some more fun ideas for teaching and reviewing the concept:

Passwords are something you and your students will be forced to deal with, so hopefully these tips make things a bit less painful for everyone!



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Passwords are a part of life in the 21st century. Begin by taking time to talk to your students/kids explicitly about passwords.  It may seem like these basic concepts should go without saying, but every stable building has to be built on a strong foundation.



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Brittany Washburn
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Technology Inventory Check-Out Systems

Technology Inventory Check-Out Systems


Whether it’s the end of the year, the beginning of the year or just high time for a change here are some tech inventory management and check out system ideas to get you on the road to a better organizational system.

Whether it’s the end of the year, the beginning of the year or just high time for a change here are some tech inventory management and check out system ideas to get you on the road to a better organizational system.


  • A Google or Excel spreadsheet and a generic barcode scanner or barcode scanner app are all you really need.  Check out this guide or grab any free inventory template off the web for some sheets with pre-made formulas


  • AssetTiger is a free, cloud based asset management system that includes maintenance scheduling and check-in & out features. 


  • The Stock and Inventory app on Google Play can be used to inventory any kinds of items, making it an extremely flexible choice.



Whether it’s the end of the year, the beginning of the year or just high time for a change here are some tech inventory management and check out system ideas to get you on the road to a better organizational system.


Alright, now that you’ve chosen an inventory system you’ll need to decide what tech you’re going to inventory.  Classroom teacher tech, student tech, accessories such as remotes and headphones, special tech such as 3D printers and codable bots… do you want to keep track of it all or just certain items?  Do you want it to be set up so teachers can check things out themselves, or do you want to control what goes in and out?  Where will things be stored over the summer?  How often will you track the inventory?  Will you be including usage logs for things that can be checked out?  Ultimately you’ll do what works for your school, and finding out what that is may take a few tries.  Here are some tips you might want to consider as you set things up:


  • Give all your teachers a gallon zip lock back with a check out paper in it. The last day of school they have to bring the bag with all their remotes (projector, Apple TV, teacher and student mic, etc.). 

  • You may actually want to wait until a month or two into school to implement an inventory system, since at the beginning of a school year equipment is still finding its way out of storage and into the correct classrooms.  Teachers may also have a bit more time both to help inventory tech and learn new equipment locations away from the hustle and bustle of the beginning or end of a school year.

  • If you are implementing a system for the first time, it will be a big project.  See how much you can get your classroom teachers to help, and make sure you are allowed some set aside time to implement it.

  • Barcodes and labels are your friend.  Seriously.

  • Including maintenance schedules and notes about broken tech could help you notice patterns in what brands are not working as reliably as you’d like.

Did I miss anything? Let me know in the comments if you have any other recommendations to add.

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Whether it’s the end of the year, the beginning of the year or just high time for a change here are some tech inventory management and check out system ideas to get you on the road to a better organizational system.


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Brittany Washburn
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Using Podcasts to Generate Deep Discussions in the Classroom

Using Podcasts to Generate Deep Discussions in the Classroom


Listening to, dissecting, and responding to topics via podcasts can be a great way to get kids to engage in important discussions.  As an audio-only medium, podcasts also foster listening skills.

Listening to, dissecting, and responding to topics via podcasts can be a great way to get kids to engage in important discussions.  As an audio-only medium, podcasts also foster listening skills.  You can have a class-wide discussion about the selection, and/or whip up some reflection sheets to help focus your students and get them thinking critically about what they heard.  In addition to listening to podcasts whole-class, they can also be added in as an independent choice station.  


You can find podcasts on just about any subject!  A quick Google search for podcasts to use in the classroom will provide dozens of curated lists to get you started.  Alternatively, search for something specific by using wording such as “[subject] podcast for [age range]”.  Kids Listen is also easy to navigate, hosts podcasts all in one spot and if you click “Find Podcasts” it will categorize them into the age levels.  You can look for guidance on a podcast review website to get a feel for whether or not a podcast will be appropriate for your classroom.  If you’re unable to get good information about a podcast, you can always preview it for suitability by having it on the background while you grade, have lunch, or even on the drive home.  


Here are some of our favorite podcasts, loosely organized by topic and accompanied by a suggested age range:

  

Storytelling 

Primary - What If World, Circle Round, Story Pirates  

Middle/Upper Elementary - Storynory, The Story Seeds Podcast 

Middle School/Early High School - Eleanor Amplified, Flyest Fables, Book Club for Kids, StoryCorps

High School - This American Life, Welcome to Night Vale, Serial 


Science/Discovery 

Primary - But Why

Middle/Upper Elementary - Brains On, Tumble, Wow in the World, Flash Forward    

Middle School/Early High School - StarTalk, Science Friday 

High School - Freakonomics, Stuff You Should Know, Radiolab 


History 

Middle/Upper Elementary - The Radio Adventures Of Dr. Floyd, The Past and The Curious 

Middle School/Early High School - Stuff You Missed in History Class 

High School - 1619, Code Switch  


Current Events 

Middle/Upper Elementary - KidNuz, Short & Curly  

Middle School/Early High School - Listenwise, This I Believe, The Way I Heard It

High School - Youth Radio, Criminal 


Other Notable Podcasts

Primary

  • Pants On Fire seeks to help young students how to sort out truth from “fake news” using a fun game show format. 

Middle/Upper Elementary

  • Smash Boom Best is a kid-friendly debate podcast you can use in your speech class, or any class in which you want to teach your students how to defend their arguments.

  • Fate and the Fablemaidens or Dungeons & Dragons & Daughters are family friendly podcasts following Dungeons & Dragons games, which not only provide imaginative storytelling but also highlight ingenuity and creative thinking on the part of the players as they seek to meet challenges that arise in the game.  You may find one of them to be a great addition to your language arts or drama class.

Middle School/Early High School 

  • The Allusionist explores the roots of words and phrases that we use every day in a fun, humorous way.


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Listening to, dissecting, and responding to topics via podcasts can be a great way to get kids to engage in important discussions.  As an audio-only medium, podcasts also foster listening skills.




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Brittany Washburn
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