10-Rep Learning ~ Teague's Tech Treks

Learning Technology & Tech Observations by Dr. Helen Teague


Back to School Now!

As you begin to say goodbye to this school year, take just a minute to consider next year. Yes, next year. Time marches on faster than ants to a summer picnic blanket. A couple of proactive steps now will do wonders.

School Counselor Shannon Hutton, warns, “kids often get “antsy” about moving to the next grade.” And it’s no wonder, since 180 school days have just been spent getting used to their current classroom!

“They are leaving the comfort of their familiar classroom, established social group and teacher they’ve not only grown accustomed to, but usually really like. So the idea of moving to a new classroom, with a new teacher and a new set of classmates is often initially unnerving for kids,” says Hutton.

It may not be possible to get too many specifics about next year so let the Internet help!

Take a minute today and use Google Maps  to find your child’s school for next year. Just enter the address and let Google Maps do the rest. Use the Zoom feature to narrow and widen the scope of the neighborhood. Visit Schoolnotes.com  and enter your child’s school zip code to see if your son or daughter’s teacher has a webpage there.

Does the school website include links to teacher webapges on their home page?  Click over to next year’s teacher and play an Internet version of “I Spy.” (I spy a field trip link! I spy a class pet!) Take a look and navigate around.

Most teacher webpages have a calendar. Scan over to the first few weeks to get a possible idea of what will be covered. Even if you do not yet know your child’s teacher, you can navigate another teacher’s page in the next grade together and get an idea of next year’s curriculum.

Now is also the time to swing by and check out the computer lab at next year’s school or grade. Will Jr. move from a Mac lab to a Windows lab? Will laptop carts replace the traditional lab in the next grade? Will students next year use AlphaSmarts, Neos, or Palm Pilots as a component of their digital backpack? Is there a summer computer camp offered? Having a summer to become used to any new technology will make the transition to the next grade SO much smoother.

If possible, walk the halls of next year today or tomorrow. Many grades are located in different, specific halls. Counselor Hutton advises, “The best way for parents to help transition kids to a new grade is to allow them to get the lay of the land, so to speak, so they don’t fear the unknown. Giving children an opportunity to visit their new classroom and meet their new teacher greatly helps reduce their anxiety about moving to the next grade.”

Consider a pool party, park meeting, or other play date with friends this over the summer. If possible, exchange email with other parents and let your kids email each other via your email address-add a comment occasionally. (Notice the importance of using parent email, for added privacy and protection.)

“The more children know what to expect about the upcoming school year, the more comfortable they will be with the transition to the next grade,” says Hutton. So start planning for a successful future school year today!

For thoughtful advice, plus innovative summer projects, visit her website, “Believer in Balance”  http://www.sparkplugging.com/believer-in-balance/

Shannon Hutton, M.Ed., M.P.A., currently works as a school counselor and has a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Master degrees in School Counseling and Public Administration. She is certified to counsel students in kindergarten through twelfth grade. You can read more about how she balances working and raising kids at Believer in Balance.



Warmup Prompts Week of May 26

It’s Time For A Jazzy WarmUp Week!

1.) Jazz is both a “Team” and a “Music.”   Explain

2.) What is scat singing?

3.) Reread yesterday’s article and listat least two things from that you did not know

4.) Click on the timeline. List one year and tell what happened in Jazz History in that year.

5.) What instruments do you think of when you hear jazz?


Mr. Monk Learns Tech Vocabulary

My favorite TV detective is Adrian Monk. (I love how he still wears his wedding ring long after his wife has died.) He has many, many inductive reasoning skills, but technology has not been a priority.monk.jpg

In a recent episode, Monk told his fellow detectives that an email he received made him “LOL out loud.”   =))

In deference to Monk, here are some terms that have surfaced. I used Netlingo and Boolify search to look these up following several conversations (virtual and F2F) with tech pioneers (aka students). Add yours here as well.

Gweep: a hacker

Mashup: merging and combining internet data sources to create a new application, digital media combining and modifying text, graphics, audio, video, and animation into a new application

Rubber Banding: In making a computer game, rubber banding is the technique to allow computerized opponents to bend the rules to keep things exciting and “close” for the player.

Multimodal: man-machine interaction beyond the traditional keyboard and mouse such as speech, stylus, iPhone, etc…

Microblogging:  sending frequent, short content messages, usually from a cell phone, to a Web site such as Twitter

Crowdsourcing: pull together a bunch of smart, motivated individuals from across the Web to create a new product or business

Wikis: a collaborative website

Widget: A software component that responds or acts upon user interaction or data events

Silverlight: web browser plugin that provides support for rich internet applications such as animation

What is/are some of the most interesting Tech Vocabulary words you have learned? Are there words you need defined? Leave a comment and add your Tech Vocabulary here!


Tech BFF: Addictomatic Search


BFF is an acronym for “Best Friend Forever.” These websites and tips are so good that they will become your technology BFFs!

Today, visit Addictomatic Search  that searches everywhere, including Twitter, digg, technorati and Wikio for everything include news, blogs, videos, and images. (if it does not display properly, it may be blocked by your school filter)


While You Were Teaching…4OOPS EduTech News Feed

The kids need you and the web keeps marching on…not to worry, 4OOPS’ EduTech news Feed has these top stories of interest to educators:

May 12 From Yahoo Tech: XP vs. Vista, Possible Good News

May 15 From ASCD Smartbrief:  Collegeville, Minnesota school district will cancel classes on Monday next year and students will spend an extra hour in class on Tuesdays through Thursdays

May 9 From Teacher Magazine: Technology-Rich Classrooms Render Textbooks Useless

May 12 From Research Success: Google Scholar allows citation downloads

March, ’08 From Edutopia: “IYO txtng = NME or NBD?” Translation: “In your opinion, is text messaging the enemy, or no big deal?”Edutopia’s Poll says that majority of teachers think text messaging harms student writing skills.


Warmup Prompts Week of May 19

1.) What kind of computer do you like best? Mac/Windows/Other? Why?

2.) What are at least 5 things you like about computers?

3.) What are at least 5 things that you do not like about computers?

4.) What kind of rules do you have when someone uses your computer?

5.) What is your favorite website right now?


The Blogger Wears Prada…to End of Year Staff Parties


Be the hit of the end-of-the-school year parties when you carry in cookies shaped like popsicles baked in Norpro’s Nonstick Cake-Sicle Pan, available from Amazon which means Amazon Prime shipping! $13.99 cake-pan.jpg

Bakers Stow and Go keeps your stacked treats, well, stacked! Three tiny shelves keep everything organized even if your gradebook isn’t  $19.95    stacked-treats.jpg

Both of these would also be great for Food and Nutrition Classes, fundraisers, Booster Club Bake Sales, and more!


Ask One Question Today

“Teachers have not changed the way they teach. We are using $2,000 pencils.” Alan November

I don’t want this said about you.

As I type this, my computer freezes briefly and then mysteriously opens another MSWord window and types the rest of the word I had begun.

I should stop using the computer, right? Open the window of my hotel room and scream the rest of my thoughts to you.

But you wouldn’t hear me.

You wouldn’t hear me without the information pipeline.

And neither will your students.

So, today, please do not be a statistic. Set aside a few minutes. Just a few minutes.

Today, use the information.

Ask one question.

Go to http://www.dnatube.com/ let the Editor’s choice video play. It does not matter which one; all are amazing.  Don’t object because this is “science.” You don’t have to be a “science teacher” you are a “connecting teacher.”

(“But our filter blocks everything,” you say. Click here then and ask the same question…I guarantee this site will not be blocked.)

Ask one question: How does this relate to our study of__________

If students are at computers, have them type their answer,

If they are not, have them write or talk.

And then listen.

Take notes on what they say, make connections to what you are teaching.

Just ask one question.

If you want to ask more questions, click here for Greg Smith’s 3 Classroom Lessons for Using Gas Prices to Teach Math, Writing, Social Studies, and Technology

Please do not tell me you can’t do this because you have no  _____ or ______ or _______.

You can. You will see results with your students.

Trackback here and leave a comment about what you did.

Prove Them Wrong Today


tag cloud

What is so important about web-based learning experiences anyway? d2pbstagcloud.jpg


While You Were Teaching…4OOPS EduTech News Feed

While You Were Teaching…4OOPS EduTech News Feed

The kids need you and the web keeps marching on…not to worry, 4OOPS’ EduTech news Feed has these top stories of interest to educators:

From Tech meme, May 9: Google Confirms Plans To Put Display Ads On Google.com  4OOPS’ Comment: The non-filtered Party is officially over

From Zoho Company Website, May 2, 2008: IBM, Microsoft & Google Eras of Computing  4OOPS’ Comment: Great synopsis, give this to students to summarize and pick out main idea.

From TechCrunch, May 9, 2008: Three’s Company Or Three’s A Crowd? Google To Launch “Friend Connect” On Monday 4OOPS’ Comment: Move over MySpace. Teachers: watch that taskbar!

From Tech Meme, May 6: How Little Do Users Read? On the web  http://www.useit.com/alertbox/percent-text-read.html  4OOPS’ Comment: I knew y’all were skimming

From Crunch Base, May 11:  Top 100 blogs list

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