Category Archives: Tech Stuff

Technology is powerful!

Technology is powerful. Powerful enough to make you a happy teacher or a frustrated teacher! 🙂

I’m going to do a short venting session (you’ve had one of these before haven’t you??), then I’m going to turn it into something positive!

First of all let’s just say that I am a teensy weensy frustrated (but getting over it). My teacher computer CRASHED last week and I spent all last week printing from down the hall in my best friend’s classroom. I had NO computer to print from within my 4 walls. I have 2 student computers (only 1 will hook up to the internet through a cable that stretches across the room-can’t find one long enough to run through the ceiling-well, I could buy one, probably going to have to do that!). I do have 2 wireless adapters (Dell), but something’s wrong with the drivers or something and they won’t work. Worked last year, not sure why they don’t work now, maybe they are still on summer vacation! 🙂 The new “teacher” laptop that we all have in our rooms this year is not compatible with our school printer. OK-I’m not even going to say anything else about that one!

Anyway, it’s going to be sort of hard to teach the Alabama Technology Course of Study Standards WITHOUT computers! 🙂

Wait-I’m not finished! I am planning on giving my 6th graders a reading baseline assessment tomorrow online. Yes, I could give them the paper version of the assessment, but the online version will grade them for me (Sigh), AND it will give me a breakdown of what they need to work on: main idea, cause and effect, generalizations, etc. WOW! That would be wonderful to help guide my instruction in small groups or with individuals.

So, I wanted to check out the laptop cart that has 25 laptops on it.

1. Only about 20 work. OK, the students can’t really share a computer to take a test on. 🙂

2. Of the 20 that work about 4 are missing keys. Huh? Yes, they’ll still be able to press the key as long as they know what letter USED to be there. 🙂

3. AND, the biggie. A wheel is broken on the cart so we can’t roll it from the high school building down to the elementary building. My students will have to CARRY the laptops from one building to another. OMG! Please pray that we do NOT drop them! 🙂

Now-I’m finished venting! OOPS-I said it was going to be a short vent, my bad! 🙂

After I got home I decided I was going to try to turn lemons into lemonade. I was perusing the internet and found this blog post:

Mrs. Owens-a 4th grade teacher- has so generously posted a “Tech Binder” cover, and I thought it was cute so I saved it to google docs, printed it, and have now made my own TECH BINDER! See the gorgeous picture of my new binder here:

 Don’t you love it? The 1st thing I am going to put in my new TECH binder is the Alabama Technology COS standards. The 2nd thing I am going to put in it is a copy of the letter that I will send to the AL Education Superintendent requesting the proper funds to TEACH the Technology standards that he says we have to teach! Just joking-not really gonna send that letter. But thinking about sending one sure did make me feel better! 🙂

I may not have the equipment to teach the technology standards, but by golly I can organize the standards and activities for that day in the future when I WILL have the equipment to teach it! 🙂

Gotta go-going to surf the web for some great tech ideas that I WISH I could teach! :):):)


Pinterest is way cool!

If you have not heard of the site you have got to check it out!! It is a website FULL of images that people have “pinned”. It is free, but you have to receive an invite to join. Once you receive the invite and set up your account, you will need to add the “pin it” button to your toolbar to make life easier. Then you can start pinning away!!

You set up different boards (categories) that you want to pin to. For example, I have the following boards:

1. Education (of course!)

2. Yummy Eating (pictures of food-of course, again)

3. For the Home

5. Take it outside

and more.

I just added the “Follow me on pinterest” button to my left sidebar on my blog.

If you want to see my boards and pins click here:

Here is a screenshot of my pinterest page:

Boy, oh boy, it’s lots of fun!!!

And if that’s not enough, you can also join this pinterest linky part. (Or you can just stalk it!)


Tagxedo word clouds

I heard of this “technology tool” website several months ago, but never had time to play around with it. Then I saw a post on Jen’s blog- that reminded me that I wanted to try it out. Thanks, Jen!

Here is my 1st trial and error “reading” checkmark.

If you want to create your own word cloud go here:

Wouldn’t it be cool to have my 6th graders make a word cloud after reading one of their books-just think of the thinking that would be going on!

Here is another website where you can create word clouds. Have fun!

Teching it up!

I have been taking 3 online classes this summer through my state department (FREE!), and all of them have pertained to incorporating technology into the classroom. I’m going to admit-this is one my WEAKEST areas so far!!! It has always seemed like another thing to get done in the course of a day that is already too cramped as it is. Fortunately, these classes have given me some ideas on how to use technology in the classroom IN PLACE of things that might already be taking place. 🙂

So far I have learned about wikis, blogs, pod casts, and social bookmarking. Here is a link that will show you a video about using moodle, google docs, blogs, and wikis:

These are the things that I will try to embed in my plans for the upcoming year:

1. Blogs- have my 6th graders blog about the books they are reading-this would be done throughout the entire year

2. Wikis- have my students write about the character traits of our read aloud (s) that we do; do an author study and create and collaborate on a wiki about the author/books

3. Social bookmarking- I would use this to put the links that I want my students to go to if we do a project like writing a biography about a famous person or if I wanted to build background knowledge about a topic that we are going to be reading about

4. Google docs- I really, really want to have them do a weekly or monthly classroom newsletter. I have never done this before, but I feel like it would be an authentic writing assignment

How do you use technology in your classroom? Do you use any of the above?

Our new digital world

I am taking 3 online classes this summer, 2 of which are all about web 2.0 tools/technology. We have been discussing the fact that students today are used to a multimedia rich environment which also means that they are used to retrieving information anytime, anywhere, and RIGHT NOW! One of the other teachers in one of the classes gave us this link to this cute youtube video that “says it all”.