Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Tech Tuesday Tips Weekly Linky Party

So I thought I knew a little something about technology, and would add a tech tips page to my blog, right?  It seems that no one less than a computer programming genius can get around the pages posting issue, so I'll be hosting a Tech Tuesday Tips Link-Up for now (oh well, at least I can still share a little knowledge with you, and hopefully, more tech-savvy bloggers will link up to share theirs, too)!

Today's Tech Tips from me are:
1.  Visit Megan from:
 You might already know Megan's main blog, but her "Blog, Baby, Blog" site is FULL of helpful blogging tips.  She is super-powered!

2.  Check out this list of free apps to use in your classroom.  I have it pinned, but the link is to the original website.  you can check out my Pinterest Boards here for TONS of ideas.  My"It's Elementary, Dear" board is for pretty much anything related to school, but I also have math, science, and social studies boards separate from this one...not sure why, it just seemed easier at the time.
 3.  Kids L.O.V.E. technology, so incorporate it whenever you can!  If you have laptops for each child, you are SO ahead of the ballgame.  If not, maybe you have a laptop lab, a mobile laptop cart, or some other way to get enough laptops in your room for at least partners to use.  You'll need that to be most effective.  I have four laptops for kids to use, and my personal ipad, so I often take my class to our "mini-lab", which is basically a room full of old laptops.  That said, you need to lay down the LAW about technology rules:
     A.  Keep to the "Ask Three Before Me" rule you probably already use in your classroom.  Kids go NUTS when they're using technology of any kind, and even though they may have computers at home, you'll be a raving, and possibly raging, lunatic trying to help everybody at once.
     B.  Use 4x4 inch sticky notes as "I need help" signals.  Put a sticky note beside each computer.  The notes should stay there unless the user needs you.  Then, if the three before you can't help the user, the note can be stuck upside down (so it really sticks up) on the top corner of the back of the screen.  You can choose whether or not to have your students write the problem they're having on the note, but my rule is, wait quietly and patiently after sticking your note up, and DO NOT CALL ME!  I'll get to you ASAP.  Meanwhile, minimize the "problem program" and work on another site you know how to use, like Brainpop, Accelerated Reader, www.thinkcentral.com, or anything you've already trained your kids on how to do.
     C.  Use your laptop and Promethean board, Polyvision board, Show Me on your ipad, or Smartboard to walk the kids through every single step.  This can be hard in my case, because I have Windows 7, and the kids have Windows 1, maybe (I made that up, but it's an OLD version).  Really, I just show them what my screen looks like, and point out where the differences are, so they know what to do on their laptops.  This is only really a problem in using PowerPoint, etc., for the children to publish their work via multi-media applications.

4.  Use Microsoft Publisher to make almost anything!  I read so many bloggers talk about how they use PowerPoint to create their documents, and, yes, I like it for some things, but it is SO much easier for me to use Publisher!  I can make anything in half the time, and as far as having to flip pages around in PowerPoint, it's totally not necessary in Publisher.  Just rotate your text box left 90 degrees to have some pages in portrait, and others in landscape.  Simply said, I start out in landscape, in most cases.  If I want a page to print in portrait, I insert a full page sized textbox, click on the Drawing Tools tab at the top, click on Rotate, near the right, and choose "Rotate Left 90".  Then, everything I do is sideways on the page, but that doesn't bother me, because I don't have to fool with opening two different documents at once to insert pages of different orientations.  You can also save anything as a picture, so go ahead and create those Teachers Pay Teachers preview pages right there, too.  Save the page as a picture, and viola, it's your preview!  No more cutting and pasting from program to program to get your preview.  I promise next week, I'll make my whole Tech Tip Post on using Publisher for TONS of details, screenshots, and more!

Go ahead and link up with your tech tips...we can all learn from each other that way, and I know I can learn WAY more from you than you can from me!

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