Subscriber Special: March 6-15

Every month, subscribers to our newsletters get a free/discounted resource to help their tech teaching.

March 6th- 15th (ten days only):

Get 10% off for early sign-up for Summer Online Professional Development:

20 K8 Tech Curriculum Webtools in 20 Days


Participants in this four-week online class (you can set the dates for your group as long as it ends by July 31st) will explore twenty of the digital tools used in the Structured Learning K-8 Technology Curriculum. These include 20 webtools from the following comprehensive list:

Participants will prepare one webtool every week that they will then teach to classmates in a group Google Hangout. Participants can select a webtool they’re familiar with, that they use in their classes (from the list above) or one they’d like to get to know. This can be done individually or in groups, as a live presentation or a moderated screencast. Each weekly Google Hangout will include five presentations of webtools by class members. They are about fifteen minutes each, with the goal of completing all presentations within 90 minutes.

This is a high-energy, innovative, and motivating class that can be reproduced in a Professional Development setting. Assessment for certificates is project-based so participants should be prepared to be fully-involved and eager risk-takers.

Course Objectives

At the completion of this course, participants will be able to:

  • use twenty new webtools from the Structured Learning K-8 Curriculum that integrate technology into classroom learning
  • evaluate webtools they wish to use to determine which is the best fit for classroom needs including a summary, pros and cons, educational applications, step-by-step how-to details, and a sample
  • present an overview of webtools to stakeholders in your school community such as administrators, library media specialists, students, parents, and colleagues
  • feel a high degree of confidence unpacking the Structured Learning technology curriculum 
  • rely on classmates during the upcoming school year regarding questions about webtools used for the Structured Learning technology curriculum

Course Highlights

Class is four weeks. Students spend about one-two hours preparing their webtool presentation and about 90 minutes at the weekly Google Hangout discussing the webtools classmates explored

Need help on a topic? Arrange 1:1 time with instructors.

At the course end, receive a certificate of achievement to validate accomplishments.

How Class Works

Students teach classmates how to use one webtool each week during the weekend Google Hangout. Each takes about ten minutes and includes a summary, pros and cons, educational applications, step-by-step how-to details, and a sample. This may be presented as a screencast (or annotated screenshots). Student also posts an example of the webtool project and the screencast/ screenshots to a community board as a resource for classmates.

Grading is self-assessed using a community Google spreadsheet (link provided).

The goal is to share your knowledge with others so we all leave this experience smarter, more informed, and more resilient.

Who Needs This

This course is designed for educators who:

  • have purchased the K-8 curriculum and want a solid understanding of webtools being used
  • worry about being able to use authentic webtools that are both transformative and normative 

What Do You Need to Participate

  • Internet connection
  • Accounts for Google and various web-based tools (if any)
  • Commitment of 2-5 hours per week for 4 weeks to learn tech
  • Risk-takers attitude, inquiry-driven mentality, passion to optimize learning

NOT Included:

  • Software and webtool membership (if there are any)
  • Assistance setting up hardware, network, infrastructure, servers, internet, headphones, microphones, phone connections, software.

Curious? Here’s a sample:

20 Tech-curriculum Webtools in 20 Days 2017 Preview



Covers a group of five individuals and all required materials

We take PO’s–contact Zeke Rowe for details–zeke rowe at structuredlearning dot net

Click for more information or to pay through PayPal (with your PayPal account, your credit card, or school credit card)

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Subscriber Special: February

Every month, subscribers to Ask a Tech Teacher get a free/discounted resource to help their tech teaching.

February 4th-13th:

20% discount on Early Bird sign-up for online professional development offered this summer:

20 Webtools in 20 Days

with coupon code SUBSCRIBERSPECIAL

What You Get With Enrollment

  • 4 weeks of online, rigorous learning
  • 4 virtual training sessions
  • 9 tech ed videos
  • 1 tech ed lesson plan
  • 12 Hall of Fame tech ed articles
  • Unlimited questions/coaching during virtual meetings and pre-arranged times. We stay until everyone leaves.
  • Membership in class wiki—you’ll get an invitation
  • Certificate of Completion

In fact, price includes all necessary materials.

More information, click here.

Other online classes available this summer:

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Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-8 technology for 15 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-8 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, CSG Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer, CAEP reviewer, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, and a weekly contributor to TeachHUB. You can find her resources at Structured Learning. Read Jacqui’s debut tech thriller, To Hunt a Sub.

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Best-in-Category Awards for 2016

edtech awards

tech ed categoryWe hear from readers all the time about how much they rely on Ask a Tech Teacher for tech-in-ed resources. Weekly, we share favorite websites, apps, and pedagogy that make a difference in the classroom.

This year, for the first time, we’ll share which tools had the greatest impact on readers. To award this Best in Category badge, we looked for the uncommon resources (meaning: not the ones everyone knows about, like Khan Academy) most visited by our readers in each category. Then we looked for the following qualities:

  • how dependable is it
  • how versatile is it for time-strapped teachers
  • does it differentiate for the varied needs of students and teacher
  • do educators like it (fairly subjective, but there you have it)

Here are the Best-in-Category and Honorable Mentions for the following Categories: Read More…

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Subscriber Special: January

subscriber special

Every month, subscribers to our newsletter get a free/discounted resource to help their tech


Check out our freebies!

Check out discounted discontinued items!

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A Shout Out for our Donate Button

PayPal - The safer, easier way to pay online!

18619875 Donate black stamp text on yellow Speech BubbleAsk a Tech Teacher is a small group of tech-ed teachers with a big goal: provide free and affordable resources to anyone, anywhere that integrate technology into education. It’s an ambitious goal and we rely on donations from readers like you to make that happen.

About this time of each year, when several of our larger bills come due, we give a shout out for help. We thought we’d share some of the costs of running Ask a Tech Teacher:

  • Site hosting–we use WPEngine–an excellent company that keeps the site up and running over 99% of the time.
  • Domain name hosting--for that, we use GoDaddy. They always take our calls, walk us through how to fix problems in terms we understand. we’re teachers, not network geeks, but they don’t hold that against us.
  • Constant and chronic techie problems–such as IPNs and plug-in updates and so much more. Again, we’re teachers. This double geek stuff makes our heads hurt.
  • The geeky tools and programs that deliver content–like the apps we review and the programs we use for webinars.

We could sell ads, but we don’t want to clutter the pages. That’s distracting as you search out resources for your classroom. We rely on donations. Here’s our gift to you if you’re willing to donate to us:

When you spend $25 or more on Structured Learning, get a free copy of the

Hour of Code bundle

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169 Tech Tips–8 Tips for Chromebooks

tech tipsIn these 169 tech-centric situations, you get an overview of pedagogy—the tech topics most important to your teaching—as well as practical strategies to address most classroom tech situations, how to scaffold these to learning, and where they provide the subtext to so many daily tech-infused education.

Today’s tip: #94–8 Tips for Chromebooks in Class

  1. Be clear what the Chromebook can and can’t do. Then you won’t expect the impossible.
  2. It is sturdy–reinforced hinges, water-proof keyboard (waterproof everything), able to survive a drop from desk-height–but still teach students to handle it with care.
  3. Chromebooks are platform agnostic. It doesn’t matter if students create documents in Macs or PC. Once they load it to their cloud storage, they can view it and/or share it.
  4. Taking screenshots is easy. Review this early and often with students.
  5. Get students used to the most fundamental Chromebook shortkeys. They’re much faster.Here’s a big list of ones they’ll find useful.
  6. The Chromebook operating system (Chrome OS) is Linux-based. I won’t bore you with what that means. Just be clear that you’re not working with an OS X or Windows operating system. That will inform a lot of the stuff you do along the way.
  7. Chromebooks will operate more efficiently on the Chrome browser than IE or Firefox.
  8. Who you buy your Chromebook from will affect how much Cloud storage each user gets.

Read More…

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Subscriber Special: November


Every month, subscribers to Ask a Tech Teacher get a free/discounted resource to help their tech teaching.

November 1st-15th:

When you spend $25 or more on Structured Learning, get a free copy of the

Hour of Code bundle

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Read More…

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169 Tech Tips #160–14 Assessment Strategies

tech tipsIn these 169 tech-centric situations, you get an overview of pedagogy—the tech topics most important to your teaching—as well as practical strategies to address most classroom tech situations, how to scaffold these to learning, and where they provide the subtext to so many daily tech-infused education.

Today’s tip: #160–14 Assessment Strategies


Sub-category: NA

These fourteen strategies are well-suited to formative assessment:

Read More…

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Office Hours–Questions? Let’s Talk

tech ed help
tech ed helpIf you are using the SL K-5 Technology Curriculum, you’ll love this free service. Every Sunday, Ask a Tech Teacher will offer online, virtual Office Hours to answers questions about the curriculum. Any questions you have about how to unpack lessons, teach a skill, or tie into class inquiry can be asked at this weekly real-time Google Hangout:

Sundays, 2pm PDT

Just like your college professor, doors are open to whoever shows up. Here’s how it works:
  • Sign up for the Companion Wikis (for grades K-5)
  • Fill out the form at this link or below with the dates you would like to attend and the topic you’d like to discuss.
  • Sundays, you’ll get an invitation to the Google Hangout. Click it. If you aren’t familiar with Google Hangouts, check the Skills tab on the wiki, under ‘Google Hangouts’ for guidance
  • Join in!
Interested? Here’s the sign-up sheet: Read More…
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169 Tech Tip #146: 18 Ideas for Warm-ups, Exit Tickets

tech tipsIn these 169 tech-centric situations, you get an overview of pedagogy—the tech topics most important to your teaching—as well as practical strategies to address most classroom tech situations, how to scaffold these to learning, and where they provide the subtext to so many daily tech-infused education.

Today’s tip: #146–18 Ideas for Warm-ups, Exit Tickets


Sub-category: Classroom Management, Writing, Differentiation

Here are eighteen ideas for class warm-up and exit tickets:

Read More…

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Professional Development

Whether it’s for you personally, for your grade-level team, or for your school, we can help.

Here are six options. Click the blue title for more information and/or to purchase:


Tech Coach

Work with a dedicated master teacher to answer your tech education questions on a weekly basis. You meet online at your convenience for about an hour. Topics discussed can include anything–curriculum maps, difficult classes, how to accomplish particular tech skills, a required activity at your school, the pedagogy behind AUP, or another. You name it; we’ll help you.

For more information, click ‘Tech Coach’  above.

Online Classes

Participate in a variety of online classes for college credit or certification. Each is three-five weeks (or can be customized to your group of five or more). We provide all the materials. Learning is a blend of digital resources and virtual meetings. Expect to be a risk-taker and learn by trying. 

For more information, click ‘Online Classes’ above or contact Kali Delamagente at 949.385.2543.
Tech Training

Each session addresses a specific topic such as Common Core and tech, Digital tools for the 21st century classroom, Teaching writing with technology, popular 21st Century pedagogy, developing a curriculum map, and more. These sessions can be done individually or in groups, as independent study or guided instruction. We provide all the materials (if required). Some options include weekly virtual meetings.

For more information, click ‘Tech Training’ above.


We help you succeed in your educational goals by answering questions, providing pedagogic training, developing a timeline and roadmap, or other options developed in conversation with you. In a nutshell: We help you get from where you are to where you want to be.

For more information, contact Kali Delamagente at  949.385.2543.
Online Webinars

Dig into edtech topics like Common Core, how to organize your class for tech, Tech tools/skills for the 21st Century classroom, How-tos on tech skills, and Pedagogic topics (like Habits of Mind and mouse skills). Purchase the stream and watch the videos when your schedule allows.

For more information, click ‘Online Webinars’ above.

Professional Development

Address specific topics you need for your professional development. We’ll teach you around your schedule and provide a certificate to verify time spent. All teaching is online with digital resources and virtual meetings. Can be customized for groups of five or more.

For more, click ‘Professional Development’ or contact Kali Delamagente at 949.385.2543
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Blend DoK into Lesson Plans without a Comprehensive Rewrite

depth of knowledgeI recently got a question from a reader asking how the lessons in my K-8 curriculum supported Dr. Norman Webb’s Depth of Knowledge philosophy — an integral concept to her school’s mission. It got me thinking about lesson plans in general — how far we’ve come from lecture-test-move on. Now, exemplary teachers focus on blending learning into the student’s life knowledge base with the goal of building happy, productive adults. There are several concepts that address this reform in teaching (such as Art Costa’s Habits of Mind, Bloom’s Taxonomy, the Hess Cognitive Rigor Matrix, or the tech-oriented SAMR Model). Depth of Knowledge (DoK) is arguably the most thorough with its four concise levels, each supported by a collection of words that contribute to delivering content at that level. Like the SAMR Model, involvement grows with each level from a basic recall of knowledge to the ability to use that information in new circumstances.

Here are general details about Webb’s DoK:

  • With Webb’s DoK chart, not only can you figure out how to teach a subject more deeply and expect students to demonstrate complex understanding, but teachers can evaluate where students are in the four-step process starting at the rote application of knowledge to its synthesization from various sources that is then transferred to other uses.
  • Level One: Identify details in the text, specific facts that result in a ‘right’ answer. Tasks that require Level One thinking include words like memorize, state, and recognize.
  • Level Two: Show a relationship between an idea in the text and other events. ‘How’ and ‘why’ are good questions to bump an activity into Level Two. Tasks that require Level Two thinking include words like compare, infer, and interpret.
  • Level Three: Analyze and draw conclusions about the text. Support conclusions with details. Use a voice that is appropriate to the purpose, task, and audience. Tasks that require Level Three thinking include words like hypothesize, differentiate, and investigate.
  • Level Four: Extend conclusions and analysis (which might be the result of Level three) to new situations. Use other sources to analyze and draw conclusions. Tasks that require Level Four thinking include words like connect, analyze, and prove.
  • As Dr. Karin Hess says, DoK is not about difficulty, it’s about complexity. Level  One may be difficult for some students, but it isn’t complex. They may memorize a calculus formula (which I’ll stipulate is beyond difficult), but it doesn’t represent rigorous thinking. That happens in Level Four’s application to the real world.
  • For DoK’s Level One and Two, there are usually right answers. That’s not true in Levels Three and Four.There, it’s about higher-order thinking.
  • DoK is not a taxonomy (like Bloom’s). Rather, it itemizes ways students interact with knowledge.
  • To work at a Level Three or Four requires foundation. Show students how to accomplish Level One and Two goals first.

With that in mind, here are seven steps to transform your current lesson plan into one aligned with DoK guidelines:

Read More…

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