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us Author Biography: I have been teaching middle school science for the past 7 years, the last 6 of which have been at Wilmington Middle School in Wilmington, MA. Prior to teaching, I worked for over 10 years in the biotech industry as a researcher. Bringing my real-world experience to students in my science classroom is a thrill for me! I am continually inspired by the creativity of my students and like to challenge them to demonstrate their learning through a wide-range of multimedia projects and hands-on activities. In addition to sharing engaging digital tools with kids, I am passionate about spreading my excitement of technology to other teachers. As one of the districts Technology Trainers, I design and facilitate afterschool workshops to help support teachers in their use of technology in the classroom as well as for their own professional use.
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Anniversary Book Project


Technology Timesavers for Teachers

By: Jennifer Judkins Creative Commons License: CC BY-SA

For busy teachers, incorporating technology can seem like an overwhelming task, given the already significant demands on their time. In reality, the use of technology can and should help teachers become more efficient and effective, allowing them to focus their time on addressing student needs. The following is a collection of tips, digital resources, and tools that can help even the most reluctant adopter of technology realize its important use for any classroom teacher. Before teachers can become energized about integrating technology into their curriculum, its necessary to expose them to the many ways in which their own practice can be enhanced through increased digital literacy. Class or subject area: General Education (teacher tools & resources) Grade level(s): K - 12 Specific learning objectives: Provide a summary of digital tools and tips for teachers own professional use and practice including: Limiting internet searches to specific file types Quickly finding information on a webpage or electronic document Accessing online tools to help organize important digital resources Identifing digital resources that can save time in lesson planning and development

Activity Summary


For busy teachers, incorporating technology can seem like an overwhelming task, given the already significant demands on their time. In reality, the use of technology can and should help teachers become more efficient and effective, allowing them to focus their time on addressing student needs. The following is a collection of tips, digital resources, and tools that can help even the most reluctant adopter of technology realize its important use for any classroom teacher. Before teachers can become energized about integrating technology into their curriculum, its necessary to expose them to the many ways in which their own practice can be enhanced through increased digital literacy. The following is a compilation of essential tools and strategies certain to save valuable time. Find out how to create, simple, effective internet searches to harvest the best the web has to offer through filetype searches. As you find valuable resources online, consider the use of a social bookmarking tool to organize favorite websites so they are accessible from anywhere and easily shared with colleagues. Create your own cloud storage account so that you can access files from home, school or any internet connected location. Explore teacher tools such as rubric generation tools, electronic planbook and educational game building tools and more in this chapter.

Search Tips

While many people know how to run a basic Internet search, few know how to take full advantage of the power of some basic search commands. Teachers searching for classroom resources such as PowerPoint presentations or student worksheets can quickly become overwhelmed by the sheer volume of search results returned in a basic search. What many dont realize is most major Internet search tools, such as Google, Bing and Yahoo, support a simple commands that can limit search results by file type. Searching by file type allows teachers to quickly see results in the desired format and reduce the number of unwanted results returned in a search. Limit your searches by the type of file youre looking for: In the search box type the command filetype followed by a colon : then type the three letter code for the type of file you want to search for. Example above: filetype:doc moon phases teaching

Notice the filetype:doc is typed without any spaces. After this command, add a space then type in your search string it can be one or several words. In this example, my search string was moon phases teaching Use the filetype: command and replace the doc with pdf to find Adobe Acrobat files or use ppt to find powerpoint presentations. Finding Information on a Page When searching for information on a webpage or within a large document its not necessary to read every word or even visually scan until you find the information youre looking for. Let the computer do the work for you, using the control F command. The control F command prompts the computer to find any word on a page instantly. Simply click control F and a pop up window should appear such as that

picture below. In some word processors and web browsers a search box may appear along the top or bottom of your frame of view. When prompted type in the word or words that you are looking for and click find next to be directed to that word on the page. If the word appears multiple times continue clicking next to move through each occurrence of the word within the document or webpage. To use Find: Find any word on a page with Control + F Press and Hold Control key plus letter F at the same time and the find window will pop up Type in a word and it will search the whole webpage This command will work in most applications including PDF & Word documents Reading & Decoding URLs Its not unusual for Internet searches to lead you to high-quality web content but for some users its not always clear what the source of that content is. Search results may take the user deep within a website. Understanding how to read s URLs can allow users to explore other parts of websites that show promising content. Try truncating the URL shorten the link back to the main page to see if you can find more great stuff. Click in the address bar and backspace to the first / that appears after the extension (.org in this example) Different extensions: .org Organization use of this extension is NOT well regulated, often used by nonprofits but dont assume its a trustworthy organization .gov Government restricted to use by government .com Commercial anyone .edu Educational institution generally colleges and universities

Electronic Bookmarking

The importance of organizing valuable Internet resources cannot be overstated. Just as its important to organize files on the computer so that they can be found again when needed, it is just as critical to be able to organize Internet resources and reliable and accessible manner. Two basic organizational systems exist to help teachers organize Internet sites they wish to access later. Favorite websites can be easily flagged within your Internet browser but its important to take the time to organize those favorites into folders much as you would files on your computer. Organizing your Favorites: Keep track of great web pages so you can easily return to them when you want Organize them into folders by subject area and subfolders by topic

At the top menu of your Internet Explorer Window click on Favorites, then click Organize Favorites Use this link to see more detailed directions from Microsoft if you need help!

An alternative to saving bookmarks through your Internet browser tool is to instead save them using a social bookmarking site, such as Diigo. Social bookmarking sites provide many advantages over bookmarking Favorites through your web browser. The most significant of these advantages is the ability to access your bookmarks from any computer with Internet access. Sharing bookmarks with colleagues is made easier by the fact that they are not isolated to a single computer. For users who are accustomed to saving websites to their Favorites moving to a social bookmark tool may be easier than they think. Most social bookmarking tools have the ability to automatically copy over your saved bookmarks on your computer in a few easy steps. Social Bookmarking Sites: Save and organize your favorite websites Access them online from any computer Easily share your favorite bookmarks Diigo Popular social bookmarking site Uses Tags so you can later find sites based on key words Great, easy to follow video to introduce you to social bookmarking:

Internet Safety & Security

Lost passwords and login information is not an uncommon problem but there are some web tools that can provide simple and secure solution. Threats to your digital security often come in the form of e-mail and can be innocently disguised as a friendly request from a friend. allows you to quickly identify whether suspicious e-mails are in fact fraudulent claims were contained inaccurate information. On Keep track of your passwords Passwordsafe A secure place to keep your user id and passwords to various websites. This tool will even automatically log you in. Password Generation PassPlex or Passwordbird Prompts you with 3 questions & generates a secure password based on your responses Auto-generation of secure passwords

Verify Suspicious E-mails - Email offer sound too good to be true? Is it fact or fiction? Quickly verify suspicious e-mails to determine if the information contains a possible scam, fraud or simple misinformation.

Tools for Teachers

There are a number of invaluable tools that can quickly gain a prominent place in any teachers toolbox. Whether assessing student work, organizing lesson plans digital tools exist to me teacher needs. Crafting rubrics to provide clear, well-defined criteria for a wide range of multimedia or traditional student projects is a snap with online rubric generation tools such as Rubistar and iRubric from RCampus. Sites like PlanbookEDU help teachers move beyond reliance on paper into a format that is accessible from any Internet connected computer. Create Professional Looking Rubrics in a snap! Rubistar and Rcampus Create a Rubric Choose topic to create a rubric based on templates Flexible formatting allows you to change specific wording & choose which elements of a given rubric you want to include Results in printable rubric which you can save to your computer and/or print Create a Rubric Search thousands of saved rubrics & easily modify to suit your needs Grade easily using iRubrics click-2-grade feature to automatically calculate student scores Create a free account to save created and favorite rubrics for later use Generate & Maintain Lesson Plans Online - PLANBOOKEDU Online lesson plan book Free web version allows you to enter text with lesson plan description by date Customize your planbook set up with the desired number of periods / blocks per day Paste in links you want to associate with a lesson plan Nothing to install planbook is accessible from any computer with internet access no more carrying a planbook from home to school!

Quickly Calculate Student Grades - QuickGrade Grade stacks of tests more easily! Automatically calculate the percentage grade by imputing number of questions & number wrong. Works just like an online version of EZ-Grader Access Files from Anywhere Dropbox Securely store files online and access them from any internet-connected computer Share folders with specific individuals (no Dropbox account needed) or make them publicly available Install Dropbox utility for desktop access to Dropbox folder (no need to connect online) Great way to have access to school materials from home or any classroom in the building Convert PDF files to Word Documents for Editing - PDF to Word or PDF Converter Convert PDF documents to Word documents Limit 2 pages, 30 minutes between conversions for free version Upload PDF & the site will email you the file converted into a Word document You can easily edit the new file to make any changes needed

Resources for Teachers

While its impossible to even begin to catalog the rich array of websites that provide quality content for classroom teachers of specific subject areas the following list of teacher resources have something to offer just about any general or special education teacher. Internet 4 Classrooms Daily dose of the web: Question of the day (SAT questions, math, science, trivia, brain teasers) Assessment Assistance: Uses TN standards but sorted clearly by learning standard Lots of resources for grade/subject such as online quizzes, worksheets, video clips, etc. On-line practice modules Step-by-step instructions on tons of computer applications such as MS Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Webquests, and more Varying levels of difficulty Links for K -12 Teachers Links available categorized by subject Look under Instruction to find Smartboard resources (training modules, lessons, interactive sites) Lesson plans by subject (a bit overwhelming!) Character education materials (separated by topic and grade level)

Webquests & Virtual Fieldtrips, and more! Look under Elementary to find Lesson plans & worksheets by subject area (nicely organized!) Searching Extensive list of search engines with brief description of each List of Kid-safe search engines

FREE Federal Resources for Educational Excellence Collection of free teaching resources from the U.S. government sources Includes materials on literature, math, science, the arts and much more! Original source material available as well as videos. Nicely categorized & easily searchable Locate Great Resources Easily - ALA Great Websites for Kids Great Websites for Kids by the American Library Association: This ALA website, collected by the Children and Technology Committee of the Association for Library Service to Children, offers links to a variety of Web resources organized by subject, including a Literature and Languages section. Jeopardy Game Builder Jeopardy Labs Jeopardy game builder allows you to create games using a Jeopardy template customized to your curriculum Search through the database of games that have been created by others or create your own Great tool for reviewing in class before a test! Built in scoring tool Nothing to Install PuzzleMaker Puzzlemaker Online Target: K 12 Teachers Create puzzles online for classroom use FREE Choose puzzle type (criss-cross, word search, math squares, cryptograms & more) Customize your puzzle with vocabulary words, definitions, etc for fun review Print your puzzle and solution NOTE: You cannot save these so print before you close the window that has your puzzle! Online Flashcard creation tool Quizlet Create your own flashcard sets and share with students via a link to aid in studying Text-to-Speech in 18 languages! Auto-define feature saves time when creating cards Easily search for and modify existing flashcard sets Multiple studying & test modes available Free App available for smartphones

Response to Intervention Strategies, Forms & More - InterventionCentral Free resources to help struggling learners Behavior charts, worksheet generators, wordlist generators, etc. Articles & videos provide introductory training on common learning & developmental disabilities