Tech-KNOW-ology Notes

April Issue

Taking Care of Your Teacher Laptop

I've been in classrooms recently and noticed that a lot of the teacher laptops are very dusty and dirty. When you sign out your laptop each year, it is your responsibility to take care of it. That includes keeping it clean. Dust can get into the motor of the laptop and shut it down. The laptops are getting old and we have to take care of them in order for them to stay in working order.


How to Take Care of Your Teacher Laptop


  • At night, turn it off and close the lid. (If you are cycling the battery, you can leave it on overnight.)
  • At least once a week, cycle the battery. This means, let the computer run on battery power until the battery dies or drains to less than 50%. You can do this at night.
  • If the laptop is dusty or dirty...clean it. Use a damp wet cloth to wipe off the plastic case and keyboard. DO NOT use water on the screen.
  • To clean the screen, spray WIndex on a cloth and use the cloth to wipe the monitor screen. I also have some screen cleaner wipes. If you submit an ETT request, a Tech Assistant can clean your screen for you.
  • Be sure that the vents on the laptop are not covered up or obstructed by papers or other supplies. Air needs to circulate around and through the laptop case in order to keep it cool and running. Don't push stuff up close to the laptop.

IMPORTANT - Computer Lab Use During SOL testing

This year the Computer Lab will be closed during SOL testing (May 19 - June 12). This means that a lot of classes will not be able to use the Computer Lab during your assigned time. This doesn't mean that you can't use technology with your class, though. During SOL testing (May 19 - June 12) teachers can check out one of the iPad carts during their regular Computer Lab time and use the iPads with your students. Never used the iPads before...this will be a great way to learn what all you can do with the iPads. Ms. Faust will be available to offer suggestions and ideas for activities with the iPads, but she will not be available to work with your class due to her duties during online testing. :-( Be sure to sign up early. Don't wait until the last minute to try to find an iPad cart. Computer Lab classes have until 9 am each morning to check out the carts after that checkout will be opened up to anybody.


IMPORTANT - Grade levels and classroom teachers who have been checking out the iPad carts on a regular basis each week will be able to continue that routine until May 16. After that iPad check out priority will be given to classroom teachers during their assigned Computer Lab time (30-40 minute periods). After 9 am each morning, anybody can check out the cart during the open times.


Using iPads in the Classroom

Apps on the School iPads

I've updated the apps on the iPads are are housed on our two iPad carts. Here's an updated list of the apps. Don't forget to sign out the cart using the Equipment Checkout Calendars on the Teacher Portal.


Updated - List of apps on the school iPads (carts)

Make Your Own Interactive Jeopardy Game

Do your students like to play Jeopardy? Isn't Jeopardy a great way to review before SOL testing? Here's a website called Jeopardy Labs that lets you enter your own questions and categories to create a customized Jeopardy game that you can use with your Promethean board.


Make Your Own Jeopardy Game

Turn Off the Projector!

It is VERY important that you turn off your Promethean projector whenever you are not using it. I frequently walk the halls and see projectors turn on in empty classrooms. This will extend the life of your bulb more than anything that you do. Leaving your projector on ALL the time will shorten the life of the bulb and the life of the projector.

Using Stamps in Your Classroom

Have you ever thought of using stamps as a teaching tool in your classroom? I found this really cool site called Stamps Teach Plus that provides you will lesson plans and ideas on how to use stamps in your classroom. They have ready to use lessons plans for all grade levels. Looking over the list of lessons I see several topics that align with the Standards of Learning. They have lessons for math, language arts, science, social studies and fine arts. You don't have any stamps to use for the lessons. No worries, this site also provides you with the stamps. All you have to do is sign up for a free classroom stamp kit.

FYI - Teacher Discount for Colonial Williamsburg

Do you ever visit Colonial Williamsburg? Next time you visit, be sure to take your school ID and you can get 50% off your admission ticket.

Thank You

Thanks for taking the time to read my entire newsletter. In appreciation, I'd like to teach a Computer Lab lesson (classroom teachers only) and you don't have to stay in the Lab. That means you get an extra 40 minute planning time. All you have to do is fill in the form. This offer is available for classes taught between April 21 - May 2.


4/8/2014 1:40 pm - Sign Up for FREE Computer Lab classes is now closed.