Tech Tips

February 2016: Volume 3- Number 22

"A good teacher can inspire hope, ignite the imagination, and instill a love of learning." Brad Henry

You'll find a wide variety of apps, articles, and websites in this issue.

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Introducing AP Computer Science Principles
Research in Google Docs

Let Students Figure it Out

Let Students Figure it Out:


"When we know how to do something, we can feel that we should show this to students. This has the potential of limiting student ideas and creativity as they think that is the way to do it. There could be other ways. We tend to want to put constraints, provide a rubric, give directions… these limits can sometimes curtail student creativity.


If you do not know how to do it, the students have to work with each other, look it up, and figure it out. Isn’t this often what you have to do in your everyday life? We likely were not given enough PD on different programs or tools and no matter what we have to figure out how to use it. Being able to push buttons, see how things work, experiment, fail, try again, look things up, seek out suggestions from others, receive feedback from peers are important life skills.


The person doing the work, is the person doing the learning.


If we want students to be critical thinkers that means we have to stop thinking for the students. Providing step by step directions robs students of the opportunity for discovery. I’ve spent many hours preparing tutorials for students and other times I’ve simply told them to check something out. Why am I spending hours on tutorials when I can instead spend time giving students high-quality feedback that improves their learning. Let students try a ThingLink, do not look it up. When they turn it in, have their peers provide feedback for suggestions on how to improve it. Include your own suggestions for ways the student can improve on “clearly communicating their ideas.” Not grading 30 of the same thing is a beautiful thing."

Speech to Text in a Google Doc

Speech to Text in a Google Doc

Seeing Tech in the Classroom

Seeing Tech in the Classroom

Jam-packed curriculum. State assessments and required lessons. Field trips and school assemblies.

Our lesson plan books are already packed to the gills.

Class time is so precious. With all the interruptions and impositions on it, we feel like we have to make the most of every minute, especially when lots of goals and benchmarks ride on student performance.

Adding something else to that already full plate can feel back-breaking and impossible.

When teachers talk to me about using technology in the classroom, they’ll sometimes say, “I don’t have time in class to add technology. We already have this and this and this to accomplish.”

They see technology as “just another thing” that they have to squeeze into their already overloaded schedule.

I can sympathize with that, but I also know there’s a whole different perspective to it.

Don’t see technology as “just another thing.” See it as your secret sauce. Your secret weapon to doing more and doing it better than ever.

Using technology in the classroom isn’t the silver bullet to cure all education ills. But it can be the key that opens up:

  • More engagement with students
  • More efficiency in classroom activities
  • Extra access to information and resources
  • New experiences students couldn’t get otherwise

Read More....

Explore in Google Sheets
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Fluency Tutor™ for Google™ - An Introduction
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SCS Instructional Technology Information

Contact me if you have any questions or would like help using these tools.


The Turner Time Daily


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