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Learning about Careers in Technology

Learning about Careers in Technology


Learning about Careers in Technology blog post by Brittany Washburn

I remember career day like it was yesterday
I dressed up as a teacher after researching the career for homework. I was so excited to present what I learned- where to go to college, how much money I would make, and what the job would entail. 


Fast forward to teaching technology, I had an opportunity to instill this excitement in my 600+ students! 

It was important to me for my students to learn as many technology careers as possible in a short amount of time. I found this great set of (affiliate link follows) Technology Career Cards on amazon that I used for the activity. 
Learning about Careers in Technology

Learning about the technology careers

The deck of cards contains 48 cards. My largest class was 28 students. 

As the students walked in the door I handed out the technology career cards without saying a word. When they all made it to their seats I let them know that we wouldn't be having a "normal" day in technology. We were going to learn about real careers they could have if they keep building on the skills we practice in class. 

Learning about Careers in Technology blog post by Brittany Washburn
Based on their card, their assignment was to make a one page PowerPoint poster that explains the career in their own words. They were allowed to use the internet to look up any words they didn't know as well as to find a picture to represent the career. The career cards each included 4 sections: learn about it, think about it, talk about it, and do it. I asked them to write the information on the card in their own words and as bullet points. We had been working on using PowerPoint to make presentations for a few weeks, so they were ready to have free control over a one page file. 
Learning about Careers in Technology blog post by Brittany Washburn

The main challenge of this assignment is that they only had about 25 minutes to complete it. We had to present the careers that same class period. I was lucky enough to have a software called Lanschool, which allows the teacher to display any connected computer screen to all of the connected screens so that really cut down on the time it would have taken for each student to come up front, prepare their slide, and then present. They stayed right at their seats and spoke to the class about their work. 
Learning about Careers in Technology blog post by Brittany Washburn

I wish I had saved the examples because the students did a really great job. They were so surprised that there were technology careers that no one had ever heard about. Little do they know that most of them will have careers that don't even exist yet!

Learning about Careers in Technology blog post by Brittany Washburn

Just for fun, I put together this digital photo booth scene for you and your students. Share this image with them and then have them insert it into PowerPoint or Google Slides. Add a selfie between the headphones and then in the white rectangle add text saying something like "I am a Technology Teacher." What a fun thing to have scrolling through for a parent teacher conference day or back to school night if you make one file with all of the finished scenes! 

Thanks for reading this post. How do you like to teach about careers in your classroom?


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Brittany Washburn
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10 Student Approved Activities that Integrate Technology

10 Student Approved Activities that Integrate Technology


10 Great Activities for Early Finishers in Technology

My students work at vastly different paces so it is always a challenge to decide what the early finishers should do. Here is a list of 10 great activities for your early finishers that aren't just time wasters but will actually work to build their technology skills. 

10 Great Activities for Early Finishers in Technology  My students work at vastly different paces so it is always a challenge to decide what the early finishers should do. Here is a list of 10 great activities for your early finishers that aren't just time wasters but will actually work to build their technology skills.


1. e-learningforkids.org has 13 activities perfect for early finishers in the lab. There are also great activities that can be part of your technology lessons. My students have fun trying to get all of the gold stars in the lessons. 
10 Great Activities for Early Finishers in Technology  My students work at vastly different paces so it is always a challenge to decide what the early finishers should do. Here is a list of 10 great activities for your early finishers that aren't just time wasters but will actually work to build their technology skills.


2. AbcYa's Find the Technology activity is fun and challenging. Most people know about this website so I won't go into details, but there is a page for each grade level with subject area activities. 
10 Great Activities for Early Finishers in Technology  My students work at vastly different paces so it is always a challenge to decide what the early finishers should do. Here is a list of 10 great activities for your early finishers that aren't just time wasters but will actually work to build their technology skills.

3. Digital Math Manipulatives to help with any math activities. If your students are completing lessons on e-learning for kids or AbcYa, then allow them to use these math manipulatives as they work. 
10 Great Activities for Early Finishers in Technology  My students work at vastly different paces so it is always a challenge to decide what the early finishers should do. Here is a list of 10 great activities for your early finishers that aren't just time wasters but will actually work to build their technology skills.

4. Fun Brain's Grammar Gorillas activity brings ELA into the lab. This would be a good one to suggest if your students only have a few minutes of extra time. Nearly all of the games on the site would be great for early finishers. 
10 Great Activities for Early Finishers in Technology  My students work at vastly different paces so it is always a challenge to decide what the early finishers should do. Here is a list of 10 great activities for your early finishers that aren't just time wasters but will actually work to build their technology skills.

5. Code.org Studio Activities could be a whole unit of lessons, but also makes a fantastic activity for early finishers and differentiation. 
10 Great Activities for Early Finishers in Technology  My students work at vastly different paces so it is always a challenge to decide what the early finishers should do. Here is a list of 10 great activities for your early finishers that aren't just time wasters but will actually work to build their technology skills.

6. Games on Breakout Edu Digital are great for upper elementary students. Some of them require a google account, so if you have google classroom then you're already a step ahead for these activities. 
10 Great Activities for Early Finishers in Technology  My students work at vastly different paces so it is always a challenge to decide what the early finishers should do. Here is a list of 10 great activities for your early finishers that aren't just time wasters but will actually work to build their technology skills.

7.  Scholastic's Story Starters activity is ideal for primary to intermediate students. It could be an entire lesson, but also makes a great early finisher activity for your students who like to write. 
10 Great Activities for Early Finishers in Technology  My students work at vastly different paces so it is always a challenge to decide what the early finishers should do. Here is a list of 10 great activities for your early finishers that aren't just time wasters but will actually work to build their technology skills.

8. National Geographic Kids brings in science, which I love! 
10 Great Activities for Early Finishers in Technology  My students work at vastly different paces so it is always a challenge to decide what the early finishers should do. Here is a list of 10 great activities for your early finishers that aren't just time wasters but will actually work to build their technology skills.

9. You really can't go wrong with allowing students to spend a few minutes on Netsmartzkids.org. The website has videos, games, and activities for digital citizenship and internet safety. 
10 Great Activities for Early Finishers in Technology  My students work at vastly different paces so it is always a challenge to decide what the early finishers should do. Here is a list of 10 great activities for your early finishers that aren't just time wasters but will actually work to build their technology skills.

10. Last but not least, typing practice with Dance Mat Typing, a favorite of my students. Progressively more difficult typing activities.
10 Great Activities for Early Finishers in Technology  My students work at vastly different paces so it is always a challenge to decide what the early finishers should do. Here is a list of 10 great activities for your early finishers that aren't just time wasters but will actually work to build their technology skills.

Don't have time to set this all up for your class or wondering how to do it? Check out the #EXTRAS menu on my curriculum website: https://www.k5technologycurriculum.com

Would you add any other sites to this list? Let me know in the comments.

Would you like a free sample of 21 Technology I Can Statements Posters? Just click the button below and I will send them to you.
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Brittany Washburn
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How to use Digital Book Companions to Guarantee Successful Read Alouds

How to use Digital Book Companions to Guarantee Successful Read Alouds


How to use Digital Book Companions to Guarantee Successful Read Alouds

 What is a Digital Book Companion?

I'm so glad you asked! I LOVE read aloud books and my students do, too. Teaching in the technology lab doesn't leave a lot of time to do read alouds because they are usually only used as a warm up or early finisher activity. NOT any more! 

I want you to start using read alouds as the entire lesson in your tech lab or the library! This means you're going to need some technology themed read aloud books and the corresponding digital book companions. 

A digital book companion is similar to a regular book companion in that it asks students to identify things like the main idea, order or events, and make connections to the book. The main difference is that my students do these activities on a tablet or computer. This means that they can practice their technology skills right along with literacy skills! Win win.
Digital Book Companions

What makes a digital book companion an entire lesson?

I'm able to use these read aloud books and the digital companion activities as a whole lesson like this:
  • A little bit of teacher prep- get the book, get the digital book companion (split the activities into 3)
  • Read the book to your class at least one time
  • Have students access their digital book companion activities on a tablet, laptop, or desktop computer (or with the littlest students you could do it as a whole class on the interactive whiteboard)
  • Students complete 3 literacy activities and 1 creation tool activity, then do the early finisher stuff if they have time left. 
I design my digital book activities with 12 total activities (9 literacy and 3 tech creation tools) so that I can use 3 literacy activities and 1 tech creation tool with each grade level (grades 3, 4, and 5, for example). I am able to use the same read aloud book 3 years in a row with my students because they have different digital activities to complete each year.





Digital Book Companions

What makes a good book for a read aloud when doing digital activities?

I generally choose books with a technology theme so that they can meet the technology standards I teach. Think Internet Safety, screen time, computer troubleshooting, etc. This way I can pull in literacy standards with my technology standards and everyone is happy!

Check out my recommendations list on Amazon
OR read this blog post for my favorites:


I've started a line of Digital Book Companions and plan to add about 12 more books to it. Most of them will have options for grades K-2 and for grades 3-5. 





Thanks for reading! Do you have any books to request for digital book companions? Leave your ideas in the comments and I will put them on my to do list!
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Brittany Washburn
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How to Use Elementary Technology Curriculum FAQ

How to Use Elementary Technology Curriculum FAQ


Technology Lesson Plans and Activities Frequently Asked Questions

Technology Lesson Plans and Activities Frequently Asked Questions

Have you been checking out my Technology Lesson Plans and Activities but you have some questions? Have you bought the resource but you're not sure where to start? This post holds the most frequently asked questions and answers (and will be updated as needed) so keep reading!
Technology Lesson Plans and Activities Frequently Asked Questions

This curriculum was created over 3 school years when I had nothing for materials for my technology specials. I was spending my nights and weekends scouring Pinterest and Google for ideas because I knew my students deserved engaging lessons even if I had to do everything from scratch. 

I found myself exhausted and frustrated and just knew there had to be an easier way. That is when I discovered the magic of having my own class website and screencasting my instructions. I created a modified-flipped-classroom before I even knew that was a thing. Students were working at their own pace and they stopped asking me to repeat instructions. I felt like I had struck gold! 

I tested and perfected the activities with them and now I’ve made them available to you!

SPECIAL OFFER: Would you like to try my K-5 Technology Curriculum for 30 days to see if it is a good fit for your students? Click here and use the code TRYK5TECH1 at checkout to get the first 30 days for just $1!



If you're considering purchasing, read this section:

This k5tech.net Elementary Technology Curriculum includes over 200 lessons and activities for grades K-5 that will save you so much time coming up with what to do in the computer lab.

It is ideal for a technology teacher, media specialist, tech facilitator, or grade level teachers with mandatory lab time. All of the work is done for you!

This is for you if:

  • You want students who can log in, navigate a website, access any programs, type efficiently, and use technology to learn.
  • You want students who are confident in using the technology required for standardized testing. 
  • You have limited time– in one 45 minute session per week, your students can develop technology literacy while completing engaging projects.
  • You need it to be nearly effortless for YOU and fun for your students.

Question: How does student access work?

Answer: With your purchase you get one class account that all students use to access the lesson pages. Think of this website like a textbook but digital. The username and password’s purpose is to give students access to the textbook. Then from there you (the teacher) still facilitate student progress by letting them know which lesson page to go to and you’ll still collect their finished assignments for assessment. 

Question: Love this idea! What platform will the students be using? Are they done in google drive? Like an interactive notebook?

Answer: Thanks for your question! They are on a website I built for my class when I was a technology teacher. The lesson plans and rationale pages are for the teacher (and administrators, right?) and the website is set up to just click and go for the students to complete the activities. Visit it ahead of time at k5technologycurriculum.com to get an idea how it works. You can find several free pages on the Home dropdown menu. If/when you purchase access, you will create a class username and password to access all of the grade level pages.
Over 200 lessons and activities for grades K-5 that will make a great addition to your technology curriculum. These lesson plans and activities will save you so much time coming up with what to do during your computer lab time.
Question: I am interested in purchasing this package. I'm one of your followers and when I looked at the information you shared in your note to us, I saw I can statements. Are these included in what in this bundle? 

Answer: Great question! On each lesson plan there are I can statements typed in under the standards. They aren't in poster format in this resource but I do sell the posters separately. So I guess that leaves it up to you whether or not you want to write them on the board yourself or get the pre-made posters. I hope that answered your question. Thanks!
Over 200 lessons and activities for grades K-5 that will make a great addition to your technology curriculum. These lesson plans and activities will save you so much time coming up with what to do during your computer lab time.

Question: Do these include google apps or MS Office?

Answer: Both! Starting in 1st grade there are lessons to teach excel/sheets, word/docs, and PPT/slides.
You can pick and choose which lessons to do with your students. If you have access to Google Apps but not to MS Office, just skip the MS Office lessons and vice versa. 
Over 200 lessons and activities for grades K-5 that will make a great addition to your technology curriculum. These lesson plans and activities will save you so much time coming up with what to do during your computer lab time.

Question: Can I attach the lessons to Google Classroom?

Answer: No, these lessons do not integrate with Google Classroom in that way. Some teacher will choose to use Google Classroom as a way to collect student assignments in order to grade them, but there isn’t a way to assign one of my lessons in GC. 

Question: Is a subscription required in order for some of the lessons to be used?

Answer: Not generally, but it is optional for some activities. If you want to use the lessons for digital passport from common sense media (4th grade) then you will need to make a free teacher account. There are optional "early finisher" activities like Moby Max and discovery education that could be used if you have an account but there are tons of other options if you don't. 
Technology Lesson Plans and Activities FAQ

Question: My Kindergarten students only have iPads. Can they do the lessons from an iPad?

Answer: While it is possible, I don’t recommend it. The whole first quarter of lessons for Kindergarten are on mouse skills and navigating a computer. Completing these lessons on an iPad wouldn’t accomplish any of the same standards. 

Over 200 lessons and activities for grades K-5 that will make a great addition to your technology curriculum. These lesson plans and activities will save you so much time coming up with what to do during your computer lab time.
Question: Hello, previously I've noticed your stuff is geared towards pc use...are these Mac friendly lessons?

Answer: Eh, some but not all. From grade 1 up, there is at least one unit in each grade level on MS office products and Google Apps, so if you don't have those programs then you won't be able to use the lessons. The lessons that are web based (keyboarding, research, Internet safety, etc.) would probably be fine. Sorry that doesn't answer it for you, but hopefully now you can make a more informed decision. Thanks for asking before purchasing!
Over 200 lessons and activities for grades K-5 that will make a great addition to your technology curriculum. These lesson plans and activities will save you so much time coming up with what to do during your computer lab time.

Question: On the last page of the preview you have a page from your tech planning binder. Is the binder included with this?

Answer: No the binder is not included but I used my lesson planning template for all of the lesson plans in this resource. (Why reinvent the wheel when I love the lesson planning page, right?)
Over 200 lessons and activities for grades K-5 that will make a great addition to your technology curriculum. These lesson plans and activities will save you so much time coming up with what to do during your computer lab time.
Over 200 lessons and activities for grades K-5 that will make a great addition to your technology curriculum. These lesson plans and activities will save you so much time coming up with what to do during your computer lab time.

Question directly for the 5th grade lesson plans: Are these lessons simple enough they could be used at a Technology Center that students could complete on their own each week or do they need to be "taught" or "teacher guided"?

Answer: The 5th grade lessons require VERY little teacher instruction. Only a few of the lessons require any teacher direction to get started. If you have a few students that could be "tech helpers" for when students get stuck during the lesson then you'd be all set.
Over 200 lessons and activities for grades K-5 that will make a great addition to your technology curriculum. These lesson plans and activities will save you so much time coming up with what to do during your computer lab time.

Question: I'm looking for a real preview. Can you help with that?

Answer: Would you like to try my K-5 Technology Curriculum for 30 days to see if it is a good fit for your students? Click here and use the code TRYK5TECH1 at checkout to get the first 30 days for just $1!

Over 200 lessons and activities for grades K-5 that will make a great addition to your technology curriculum. These lesson plans and activities will save you so much time coming up with what to do during your computer lab time.

If you've already purchased, read this section:


Over 200 lessons and activities for grades K-5 that will make a great addition to your technology curriculum. These lesson plans and activities will save you so much time coming up with what to do during your computer lab time.
Question: What do you think is the best way to share the website links with my students?

Answer: Options- 1. Have the page linked to your school website (or whatever website is the home page when your students open the browser). 
2. Make a desktop shortcut on each computer that goes directly to k5technologycurriculum.com. 
3. Use a software like Lanschool to push the link out to your students. 
4. Bookmark the URL on the browser.  *Choose a super easy username and password when you register. 
Technology Lesson Plans and Activities FAQ

Question: I found a broken link in one of the lessons. Could you please fix it?

Answer: Of course. You know how websites are, changing things around whenever they want. I'm happy to fix it! I set aside time on Tuesdays to do this, so as long as you don't need it tomorrow then you will see the update after Tuesday. Email me info@brittanywashburn to let me know about these links.

Question: It looks like there are only about 35ish lessons for each grade level, but your product description says it is enough to last a year. Am I missing something here?

Answer: Several lessons are units and/or will take more than one week to complete. I've also learned in my experience that each teacher will need some built in weeks to do school-based lessons like teaching students how to use a program, or time when they are kicked out of the lab due to testing and such. These lessons are designed for one 45 minute session each week and should be more than enough to get you through your school year. 


Question: My administrator thinks these lesson plans and activities are great and thinks I should share them with the district. I wanted to check with you first because of the licensing. What would we need to do?

Answer: Thank you so much for checking with me and not assuming. The license you purchased is for 1-5 users (classes of students for each grade level), so if you're district is larger than that then it will need to purchase additional licenses. They can reach out to me directly for more information info@brittanywashburn.com

What other questions do you have about these resources? 

Let me know in the comments or email me directly. I have also put together this Common Questions page for Teachers

Ready to purchase Technology Lesson Plans and Activities?





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Brittany Washburn
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3 Tips for the First Week in Technology

3 Tips for the First Week in Technology


3 Tips for the First Week in Technology

The first week in the technology lab is so important. Get started on the right track with these 3 tips:


3 Tips for the First Week in Technology

Tip #1: Logins

Your students are going to need to log in to the computer. While it may be tempting to hold of on having them log in the first week, you shouldn't! This procedure is the most important one in your classroom, so they need the consistency from day one. 

I always print out my class lists with student log in information because I teach my students how to look up their number without my help. I put a folder on the back counter with all of the lists, separated by day of the week that they come to the lab. Each sheet has the teacher's name at the top and then the list of student names and usernames (no passwords). I encourage students to memorize their usernames and passwords, but some just never get it. By giving them the option to look up their username every week, it takes the stress out of it, and they don't have to bother me to get it. 

You at least will need the list in digital format for the first week so that you can look up the login information for the students who do not remember theirs. Since classes change so much in the beginning of the year, I could see the benefit of holding off printing them until things are more settled. 
3 Tips for the First Week in Technology

Tip #2: Rules

I'm sure you thought long and hard about what your computer lab rules should be. The first day, your students come in, sit down, and you go over the rules. Then what?


My advice to you is to have your students DO something with the class rules. For example, my older students (grades 4 and 5) make a poster using MS Word or PowerPoint on the first day. They are allowed to play with the fonts, clip art, and borders as long as their finished product has the class rules.

By the way, this makes a great display to show off in the hallway! With my younger students, they draw a picture of the most important rule. 2nd and 3rd graders caption theirs, but K and 1 just draw out a picture representation of which rule they feel is most important. I love to use the ABCYa! Paint tool for this, but you could certainly use a different program or even do it on paper. 

3 Tips for the First Week in Technology

Tip #3: Early Finishers

You've planned this amazing first day lesson. Your students are logged in to their accounts and using digital tools! Then, 2-3 kids raise their hand to say they are done, and there are still 15 minutes left before the session ends. 

Always have a firm plan for early finishers. I have a page set up on my class website with early finisher activities- websites with learning games. I also have a classroom library with great kids books related to technology themes. I make sure my students know from day one that these are their only two options. No "helping" friends, which is really just a distraction in the computer lab. No bothering me, either. Is that terrible? I like a peaceful classroom where everyone is working hard and knows what to do. 

3 Tips for the First Week in Technology

So, now you have three solid tips for starting the year on the right track with your technology students. These are things you can have prepared before the students even start. Did I forget anything crucial? Let me know in the comments. 

Looking for some ready-made first week activities? Click here to go to my curriculum website. You can find the free activities on the Home dropdown menu.


3 Tips for the First Week in Technology

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Brittany Washburn
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