Tech Tips for Teachers
By Leah Peterson
Tech Tips for Teachers is a blog for adult education teachers and tutors looking for straight-forward help on integrating technology into instruction. We post step-by-step lesson ideas that demonstrate ways to weave technology into your lessons without losing site of the original lesson plan. We hope that our lesson ideas give our readers inspiration to try new things and to find ways to use current technology to aid their teaching. Tech Tips for Teachers is written by Steve Quann and Leah Peterson of World Education, Inc.
Last year we explored a wide range of topics and tech tools and we’ve started 2014 looking at subjects including timelines and infographics. You can find an index of last years’ lessons in our January 2nd post. Some of our posts highlight interesting online resources, and others explore different uses of basic software such as the Microsoft Office suite. Most lessons can be adapted to use for classes of different levels, both for English Language Learners, basic skills students, or high school equivalency classes. We also include ideas for a range of tech skill levels, for teachers who are still just getting started using technology in their classrooms and for more sophisticated users looking for interesting new tools to try out. Below are three of my favorite posts from the last year.
Excel Activity for Basic Skills
In this post we use MS Excel to determine averages using data either from the students in your classroom or from census data. Options are offered for doing this as a class with one computer and projector, in a computer lab, or using Google Drive. This is a simple activity with lots of options for variations and modifications.
Helping ELLs Select Alternative Phrases
This lesson is an exploration of a use of Ginger Software, which can be downloaded and installed for free. Ginger has a “Rephraser” that takes sentences you enter and offers other options and variations. Judging by Tweets and “likes” this has been one of our most popular posts.
Sorting Out Pros and Cons
This post draws inspiration from the Fall 2013 issue of The Change Agent magazine on technology. The Change Agent is available via subscription, but you don’t need a copy of the magazine to do the activity. The first step of the lesson involves making a chart in MS Word to sort out pros and cons, in this case, the subject was social media. Other suggestions are offered to take it further, adding formatting and colors to your chart or using a website to build your chart.
We hope you enjoy the blog and choose to subscribe, “like” and share our posts. We are always interested in hearing from our readers. If you’d be interested in having us post an activity you’ve done in your classroom using technology, I’d be happy to work with you to craft a guest post about it. You can email any comments, ideas, or requests to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.