Edutech for Teachers

Cool Tools for the 21st Century Classroom

The 12 Digital Days of Christmas 2017: Tech Treasure #4

December10

geeky girl santa1

What do you get when you combine the basics of electricity and circuitry with some copper tape, LEDs and a coin cell battery?

A super cool light-up Christmas card,of course!

Just click on the Geeky Girl’s Treasure #4 to learn more about how you and your students can create your very own customized STEM or makerspace project.

Are you ready to get your holiday greeting card on?

The full screen version of this interactive image can be accessed here.

Classroom Connection:

Use the resources embedded within the interactive image to have some fun celebrating the best holiday of the year!

In case you might be interested in checking out my 12 Digital Days of Christmas collections from previous years, here you go:

» The Twelve Digital Days of Christmas I

» The Twelve Digital Days of Christmas II

» The Twelve Digital Days of Christmas III

» The Twelve Digital Days of Christmas IV

» The Twelve Digital Days of Christmas V

Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more. ♥ ~The Grinch #somuchmore

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The 12 Digital Days of Christmas 2017: Tech Treasure #3

December9

thinglink santa hat2 transWhat’s behind Tech Treasure #8? How about one of the most visited sites from my holiday tech adventures. Brought to you by the makers of the Math Playground, check out Sugar, Sugar: The Christmas Special—a fun activity that is sure to make you think! The object of the game is to draw lines with your mouse to direct the sugar into your mug(s). See how many attempts you need to solve each level!

Just hover over the interactive image shown below to play the Sugar, Sugar: The Christmas Special.

The full screen version of this interactive image can be accessed here.

Classroom Connection:

Use the resources embedded within the interactive image to have some fun celebrating the best holiday of the year!

In case you might be interested in checking out my 12 Digital Days of Christmas collections from previous years, here you go:

» The Twelve Digital Days of Christmas I

» The Twelve Digital Days of Christmas II

» The Twelve Digital Days of Christmas III

» The Twelve Digital Days of Christmas IV

» The Twelve Digital Days of Christmas V

Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more. ♥ ~The Grinch #somuchmore

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I Can’t Even: My Christmas Be Like…

December8

In case you missed out on the why I have been generating these “I Can’t Even…” videos, check it out here. Otherwise, skip the read and scroll down the page for my latest episode. Hopefully you’ll get a good laugh… Maybe you’ll feel my pain… And hopefully you’ll share the love with others via your social media channels. After all, laughter is an instant vacation!

So here it is… Just in time for the holidays—My Christmas be like…

Stay tuned for additional edtech sarcasm… In the meantime, don’t worry… Be happy!

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The 12 Digital Days of Christmas 2017: Tech Treasure #2

December5

geeky girl santa1Another day, another fun Christmas-themed resource awaits you behind Tech Treasure #2. Making its first appearance in one of my December lineups is a Breakout EDU activity—a holiday-themed game, of course! If you haven’t yet jumped on the breakout bandwagon, then there’s no time like the “present” (Get it? ha!)

Besides being a ton of fun, these challenging activities reinforce a myriad of important skills including problem solving, creative and critical thinking, communication, collaboration and teamwork. Quite frankly, students love, love these games, both the physical and digital versions (although maybe not quite as much me!) But enough of that for now… It’s time to get busy with one super cool winter breakout!

It’s nearly the end of the year… You look forward to presents and cheer. With holidays anon… You find they’re all gone! Why would they all disappear?

Just hover over the interactive image shown below to play Holiday Hideaway and solve the mystery!

The full screen version of this interactive image can be accessed here.

A note from the authors, Aubrey and Moriah Yeh : This breakout, which is geared more for the middle and high school levels,  focuses on listening clues and reading for information. It even has a bit of coding thrown in there.

Classroom Connection:

Use the resources embedded within the interactive image to have some fun celebrating the best holiday of the year!

In case you might be interested in checking out my 12 Digital Days of Christmas collections from previous years, here you go:

» The Twelve Digital Days of Christmas I

» The Twelve Digital Days of Christmas II

» The Twelve Digital Days of Christmas III

» The Twelve Digital Days of Christmas IV

» The Twelve Digital Days of Christmas V

Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more. ♥ ~The Grinch #somuchmore

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Why We Should All Learn Coding

December4

Need some additional rationale for exposing your students to computer programming during the official Hour of Code—and beyond? Then be sure to check out The Why We Should All Learn Coding Infographic generated by OnlineCollege.org.

In case you aren’t sure, code is the stuff that makes most of the technology we use every day work. You obviously don’t really need to know how to reprogram your computer to operate it, but understanding how it works will help you imagine how programs can change to better serve you. So, if you’re among those of us who’ve always thought programming was impossibly hard or reserved for the tech-minded, that’s no longer accurate. There are plenty of free web resources and apps that individuals of all ages can utilize to become more savvy in this area.

That said, consider expanding your knowledge base—and that of your students—by becoming more familiar with code. As the interest of learning programming languages continues to rise, there’s never been a better (or more supportive) time to get ahead of the curve.

Why We Should All Learn Coding Infographic

Classroom Connection:

The info contained within the graphic makes a compelling case as to why students should learn a programming language. One of them could be the next software engineer that tech giants such as Google and Facebook hire for $1M—seriously!

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The 12 Digital Days of Christmas 2017: Tech Treasure #1

December3

thinglink santa hat2 transGet ready to “Tech the Halls” with my 6th annual 12 Digital Days of Christmas, a collection of digital treasures featuring Thinglink and a dozen fun and festive resources that are sure to spread some holiday cheer in your classroom.

So, starting today and continuing for eleven additional days before the holiday break begins, this Geeky Girl will share one Christmas activity that can be utilized with your students.

The 2017 adventure begins by hovering over the interactive image below to reveal Tech Treasure #1: The North Pole, a comprehensive holiday site that has it all for educators, students and parents—dozens of games, activities, stories, crafts and more—all related to Santa’s visit on December 25.

I’ve actually shared this resource in past Christmas playlists—three times actually, so to maintain tradition, I’m highlighting this award-winning site again as it includes more than enough activities to keep students busy until the holiday break. That said, if you’ve somehow missed this gem along the way, be sure to check it out this time around!

The NorthPole.com promotes a traditional look at Santa’s Secret Village, but with high-tech, creative features to keep students entertained—all for free. For example, check out the Elf Clubhouse for online games and activities including checkers with Santa, Trim the Tree, crossword puzzles, word searches, concentration, and mazes.

But free games are only the beginning of the fun your students can have at the NorthPole.com. Play Winter flash games, watch cool Christmas movies and cartoons at the North Pole Arcade, chat with some of Santa’s helpers and/or read stories about your favorite elf.

All of this and more awaits you and your students at the NorthPole.com! So, push the papers and pencils aside for a few minutes and celebrate one of the most exciting and magical times of the year by accessing this site. Just hover over The Twelve Digital Days of Christmas Thinglink interactive image shown below to get started on your holiday journey!

The full screen version of this interactive image can be accessed here.

Classroom Connection:

Use the resources embedded within the interactive image to have some fun celebrating the best holiday of the year!

In case you might be interested in checking out my 12 Digital Days of Christmas collections from previous years, here you go:

» The Twelve Digital Days of Christmas I

» The Twelve Digital Days of Christmas II

» The Twelve Digital Days of Christmas III

» The Twelve Digital Days of Christmas IV

» The Twelve Digital Days of Christmas V

Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more. ♥ ~The Grinch #somuchmore

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Get Your Hour of Code On!

December2

Did you know that computer science is a top paying college degree and computer programming jobs are growing at two times the national average? Yep, it has been projected that by the year 2020 there will 1,000,000 more jobs than there are students to fill them!

And that’s because although we live in a world surrounded by technology, only a small fraction of us learn computer science, the basics of how computers work, or how to create software, apps or web sites. Computer Science provides a foundation for virtually any career and everybody can benefit from learning the basics.

So, as an educator, what can you do to help address this issue? For starters, you can join the Hour of Code—an initiative supported by Code.org that encourages schools and teachers across the globe to help introduce students of all ages to computer programming during Computer Science Education Week, December 4-10, 2017. This event is held annually in recognition of the birthday of computing pioneer Admiral Grace Murray Hopper.

The Hour of Code started as a one-hour introduction to computer science, designed to demystify “code”, to show that anybody can learn the basics, and to broaden participation in the field of computer science. It has since become a worldwide effort to celebrate computer science, starting with 1-hour coding activities but expanding to all sorts of community efforts. Check out the tutorials and activities. This grassroots campaign is supported by over 400 partners and 200,000 educators worldwide.

Need some resources to make the Hour of Code happen in your space? Besides Code.org, the following sites are also curriculum providers for the Hour of Code: Tynker, Khan AcademyCodecademy and Code Avengers.

Another noteworthy place to snag some really nifty resources is Let’s Start Coding. This company has developed a series of kits and toys that teach students to code via hands-on examples and step-by-step guides. My Tech Club students have been experimenting with one of the base kits throughout this school year, and they love, love it!

Let’s Start Coding joins other organizations who have created free introductory coding activities that have been approved by the Hour of Code staff. Their totally cool Code Car Simulator allows students in Grades 4-12 to type real C++ code that controls the lights and buttons of a car-shaped circuit board via following seven guided lessons. The lessons allow students to blink lights and manipulate buttons on an on-screen circuit board. It’s a must-see so be sure to check it out!

This super cool activity—and so much more await you and your students right here, right now! There’s seriously more info than you’ll even know what to do with! #ForReal

Classroom Connection:

The founders of Google, Microsoft and Facebook all started their journeys with just one line of code. Like these successful entrepreneurs, our students should have the opportunity to create the technology of the future, not just use it! That said, join millions of students in 33,000 classrooms across 167 countries as they venture into the language of coding by participating in the Hour of Code.

Not only does coding help students learn problem solving and creative thinking skills, it teaches them to be risk-takers, persistent and to persevere in the face of frustration—skills that are relevant in all sorts of other activities in both school and the “real world”.

I realize that coding sounds intimidating to some, but the activities on the Code.org site require no computer programming skills at all. If your students can type, they can code! And you can learn, too!

And by the way—Although the official Hour of Code takes place during the first week of December each year, you can host an Hour of Code all year round. #winning

Here’s to your coding adventure! #kidsdeserveit

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I Can’t Even: Edtech Ramblings & Other Stuff

November28

A few weeks ago I received an SOS call from a teacher in distress. The Internet appeared to be down and that meant the tech lesson she meticulously planned was nearing epic fail status. When I entered the room, I could immediately sense that anxiety and frustration trumped her usual calm and patient demeanor. As she explained the issues she was encountering, I noticed that a few items necessary for her to be successful were not connected. It was that simple. But instead of adding to her mounting stress level and pointing that out, I poked around for a few minutes, pretending to diagnose the demise of civilization as we know it. And then just like that, power was restored, lights flashed and all was good in her world again… (OK, until recess duty began!)

When I returned to my office later that morning (as a Google super hero, of course), I sat in my chair and giggled, thinking about some of the really funny circumstances I’ve encountered in my role as an IT specialist, some of which belong in an episode of Seinfeld. And that doesn’t even count the 19 years I was trapped in a small space with 25+ sixth graders!

Rather than writing the prologue of my first best-seller, I turned to what I know best, my go-to for creating stuff with images and video—my iPhone. I unlocked the screen, tapped on the Snapchat icon and “I Can’t Even…” came to be.

So, here I am… Chit-chatting about some of the workplace things that just crack me up, or even make me shake my head in disbelief.  After all, if you don’t have a sense of humor in this profession, you should probably apply elsewhere.

Take some time to #feelmypain and then please #sharethelove with others via your social media channels.

Mondays & Edtech Intellect

Gettin’ Google with IT

From time to time, I’ll even include some remarks that reflect what’s happening in my life beyond school, which at times resembles a cross between the X-Files and  Everyone Loves Raymond. Case in point…

Talkin’ Turkey & Some Thanksgiving Truth

Stay tunes for additional sarcasm… In the meantime, I can’t even!

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Diigo Weekly Bookmarks

November21

What’s new this week in my Diigo bookmarks? Check out the links shown below for some super cool resources for the connected classroom!

» Watchkin

Watch YouTube videos without distractions in a student-friendly environment.

» Metaverse

A platform for creating augmented reality lessons, quizzes, games and more! Create experiences on the web and interact with them via the iOS or Android app.

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links can be found here.

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Tech Up Your Classroom: Thanksgiving Style

November13

Whether you’re looking for some neat themed lesson plans and activities to incorporate into your classroom to celebrate Thanksgiving, or maybe you’re just in search of some tech-based Thanksgiving games to keep your students engaged before the upcoming vacation… Either way, Edutech for Teachers has got you covered!

Hover over the interactive image to find tons of Thanksgiving-themed games and interactive learning activities for students and/or skip past the graphic to find additional (and recently updated) materials for teaching and learning about this popular holiday.

Check out the full screen version of this image here.

Additional Teaching & Learning Resources:

» New! Incredibly Fun Thanksgiving Science Activities & Experiments for Kids: A collection of STEM-related Thanksgiving activities that are simple, yet fun. Pick up all the materials you need when you do your Thanksgiving dinner shopping!

» New! The Case of the Pilfered Pie, a Thanksgiving-themed digital breakout game created by Mrs. Yeh.

» New! November & Thanksgiving STEM Challenges: Build a Mayflower ship, dinner table, and turkey hideout! Check out this Pinterest board filled with November and Thanksgiving STEM challenges for elementary students.

» New! Thanksgiving STEM Challenge Events: A collection of five holiday challenges that follow the path of Pilgrims settling in America.

» New! TeachHUB.com: Fed up with building pilgrim hats out of paper bags? Then try one of these less predictable, equally educational Thanksgiving activities for kids of any age.

» New! Thanksgiving Classroom Activities: 25+ Thanksgiving classroom activities ideas on Pinterest.

» Kids Discover Colonial America: A unit that focuses on the founding of major settlements and daily life in Colonial America. It describes everything from the Pilgrims’ landing to the colonies’ later growth and business activities.

» Kids Discover Native America: A unit that focuses on the most fascinating details of the history and culture of Native Americans. From their spiritual beliefs, artwork, and legends to harrowing accounts of the unfair policies, diseases, and battles that nearly wiped out Native Americans.

» Eight Great Ways to Be Thankful: A printable infographic to get students thinking about what they are grateful for this season… Perfect for all ages!

8-great-ways-to-be-thankful-kids-discover

Click here for a free download from Kids Discover.

» Multimedia Thanksgiving Turkeys: Learn more from Free Technology for Teachers about how students can create an interactive thankful poster utilizing ThingLink.  

» Scholastic News: A comprehensive site containing various resources for elementary students and teachers to learn about how the pilgrims reached America and celebrated the first Thanksgiving. Sections include The Mayflower, Daily Life, The Feast, Historical Letters, and Videos and Photos.

» Education World: Thanksgiving in the classroom doesn’t have to be limited to those lesson on turkeys. Instead celebrate this special season with some creative ideas via articles, lesson plans, site reviews, books, crafts, clipart and much more—all to help you meet all of your holiday needs. 

» TIME Magazine: An interesting article regarding “The Top 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Thanksgiving”.

» Teachers Love SMART Boards: A list of Thanksgiving-related activities that can be utilized with an interactive whiteboard.

» abcteach: Games, puzzles and coloring pages designed for elementary students.

» The Best Websites To Learn About Thanksgiving: From audio and video to engaging reading activities, Larry Ferlazzo’s comprehensive list of Thanksgiving web sites includes something for everyone!

» The History Channel: Tons of videos related to the origins, history and traditions related to Thanksgiving. A few noteworthy videos include The History of Thanksgiving and the Mayflower Deconstructed.

» National Geographic for Kids: Contains a funny fill-in turkey story/Mad Lib that can be used as for a writing activity.

» Thanksgiving Web Quest: Visit Web sites about the Pilgrims, the Wampanoag and the famous harvest feast and learn new facts along the way!

» 10 Thanksgiving Myths Dispelled: A cool infographic created by Misconception Junction.

» The Pilgrims and the First Thanksgiving: A web adventure in which students have to answer questions along the way.

» Thanksgiving Trivia: The Huffington Post challenges you to take the ultimate quiz about Turkey Day.

» Thanksgiving Quiz: Another fun holiday quiz created by Funnel Brain.

» How Thanksgiving Works: A variety of Thanksgiving related articles and videos about the History of Thanksgiving as well as related customs, traditions and more from the creators of How Stuff Works.

» What Really Happened? Comparing Stories of the First Thanksgiving: A great feature from the New York Times Learning Network that also contains links to other useful resources.

Classroom Connection:

Use the resources and materials listed above to teach students about the Thanksgiving holiday.

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Looking for some technology integration ideas to enhance your classroom lessons? Then be sure to check out my "Tech Tips" for the latest and greatest Web 2.0 tools, applications and web sites that can be incorporated into activities and/or projects. Although some posts may not be applicable to your content area or grade level, be sure to check back often as I will be varying ideas in order to provide resources across the K-12 curriculum.

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