- If you want a technology curriculum, select the K-8 textbooks.
- If you want a selection of lesson plans organized by topic, grade and software, select the 55 Technology Projects Vol. I and II and arrange projects any way it suits you.
2. The curriculum seems repetitive.
It is–on purpose. A ‘curriculum’ is a course of study unfolded over time based on a pedagogic curriculum map for the subject area. The Edglossary defines it as:
“…typically refers to the knowledge and skills students are expected to learn, which includes the learning standards or learning objectives they are expected to meet; the units and lessons that teachers teach; the assignments and projects given to students; the books, materials, videos, presentations, and readings used in a course; and the tests, assessments, and other methods used to evaluate student learning…”
If you select one of our three curricula (tech skills, keyboarding, digital citizenship), you’ll see that each lesson/unit builds on itself, scaffolds lesson-to-lesson, and gives students time to do and redo. The goal is always to achieve overarching ideas that require a much greater amount of time than one lesson plan ever would.
Lesson plans, on the other hand, provide step-by-step directions for completing a project. Its goals can typically be achieved in much shorter amounts of time because it focuses on one skill. These are perfect for PBL (Project-based Learning).
Here’s an example:
- The 1st grade technology curriculum is here, but you can also find 1st grade lesson plans here
- The K-5 keyboard curriculum is here, but you can also find keyboarding lessons here
3. Does the curriculum cover broad topics such as decision making, critical thinking, problem-solving?
Those are topics that are thoroughly covered in both ISTE, Common Core, and higher-order thinking needs of the 21st Century student. You’ll find a lot of tie-ins. For example:
- grades K-8–#4 in Scope and Sequence, itemizes skills for Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
- grades K-8–#5 in Scope and Sequence, itemizes skills for Digital Citizenship
- grades K-8–#3 in Scope and Sequence, itemizes skills for Research (and information fluency)
- grades k-8–address ‘problem solving, critical thinking’ as a fundamental skill to be reinforced with every lesson. It is introduced as a unit in 2nd grade and grows from there. In fact, every grade level includes a unit on this subject to reflect its importance in a student’s educational growth. ‘Problem solving’ is a skill that tech is uniquely suited to teaching (as is math). By 3rd grade, students participate in a ‘Problem Solving Presentation’ where they are encouraged to teach each other how to solve problems (the oral presentation also supports Common Core speaking and listening skills). By 4th grade, students participate in an ‘Evidence Board’ to share how they transferred tech knowledge from the classroom to other parts of their life. 5th graders use blogs to write articles that critically think about a particular topic.
- grades K-8– address digital citizenship skills every time students use the internet,. There are 17 topics covered between K-5th (when it is age-appropriate) with a chart for tracking student progress
- Search skills start in kindergarten with a unit on ‘Explore the Internet’. In 3rd grade, students learn the intricacies of internet search/research, as well as how to stay safe in the online environment. In 4th grade, students cover 3 units throughout the year on search/research for classroom educational needs.
- Decision Making is covered throughout the SL K-8 curriculum. Starting in kindergarten, students are expected to think about their approach to a project and decide if that’s the right way and why. The teacher always asks, Why this program and not that one? When students use visual organizers, the teacher discusses this approach–different ways students learn and share. By 7/8th grade, students get options for address projects, sharing information. They pick any of various approaches as long as they can support their decision.
- Excel training (spreadsheets) begin in 1st grade and always includes a discussion on critical thinking, problem solving, decision making
- Presentation skills start in 2nd grade (with PowerPoint) and always include a discussion on how best to communicate ideas, information to listeners. What options might students select? Which is best for what? This includes software, online tools, widgets, graphic organizers, infographics (8th grade)
- 2nd grade–Unit 12 is about Problem Solving
- 2nd grade–Unit 23 is about finding pictures on the internet (search/research and digital citizenship)
- 3rd grade–Unit 4 is on Problem solving
- 3rd grade–Unit 15 is on Search/research
- 4th grade–Units 6/7/24 are on search/research
- 4th grade–Unit 23 is on data analysis
- 7th grade–Unit 4 is all about Problem Solving
- 7th grade–Unit 10-12 is on Digital Citizenship
- 7th grade–Unit 16-18 is on Search/research
- 8th grade–Unit 5-7 is on Digital Citizenship
- 8th grade–Unit 8-9 is on Search/research
- 8th grade–Unit 11-12 is on Problem Solving
If you click this link and scroll to the grade levels, you can select more detail on each grade. On the subpage, you’ll also find a green download box that includes a preview of the book.
Because this is a curriculum (not a project book), these themes are woven throughout the K-8 activities. The teacher is always prompted when there’s an opportunity to reinforce ongoing themes (such as ISTE’s six). Teachers using the curriculum can join a co-teaching wiki, and chat with an experienced teacher using the curriculum on a weekly basis–to be sure all tie-ins are covered. These are free (info in the book on how to access)
Did you know we offer a whole lot of freebies to anyone who visits? Here are some of them:
- each book includes a free sample from the book on the website, often including full lesson plans
- we offer free lesson plans here on a wide variety of topics, software, and tools
- get a weekly newsletter with free tips on teaching and using teching
- get a weekly newsletter with resources (many online, for free) you can use in your classroom
- join our SL Newsletter and get 10% off on your next purchase
- If you own the K-5 tech curriculum (5th ed), you get free weekly training. Check the front piece of your book
- if you subscribe to the SL Newsletter or Ask a Tech Teacher, every month we offer a special deal on a tech ed product. Check out this month’s!
Check back often for more freebies. Zeke can’t seem to control himself.
Overall, the curricula lessons focus on 1) big ideas and essential questions, 2) Common Core Standards–meeting them through technology, and 3) inquiry-based teaching. I think you’ll find that push to get students thinking in all of the lessons.
With the site license, every student gets:
- a digital copy of the Essential Guide to Keyboarding. This includes K-8 so students can spiral up or down as needed for their personal learning curve.
- the digital Keyboard curriculum includes links to required websites, which they can access from home, the library, a friend’s house, wherever they have an internet connection
- materials like rubrics, quizzes, grade level keyboarding Scope and Sequence where they track their progress
- access to the master Keyboarding wiki (or a YouTube link if you prefer) with 15 video lessons on keyboarding. These are each one hour and can be viewed at the student’s pace. Suggested: every 2-3 weeks. This aligns with a typical school requirement of 30-60 minutes a week of keyboard practice. These are being updated this summer.
- print and digital copy of the Essential Guide to Keyboarding
- access to the master Keyboarding wiki with 15 video lessons on keyboarding.
- access to a Master Teacher who can answer questions about your keyboarding curriculum as you progress. She is your ‘guide on the side’, helping you make it happen at your school
4. How do I pick between Essential Guide to Keyboarding and 2-volume Ultimate Guide?
- The Ultimate Guide:
- is Common Core compliant
- includes more detail/images/how-tos on each activity than the Essential Guide.
- expanded detail makes it perfect when keyboarding is taught across grade-level classes, often by teachers without a background in teaching keyboarding
- is aligned with new K-8 Student Workbooks
- includes enriched assessments (to reflect changes since the 2012 publication date of the Essential Guide)
- includes a detailed timeline of what to introduce when, by week and/or month
- includes a slightly-expanded research section
- responds to reader requests since the Essential Guide’s 2012 publication (which is why it’s over three times as long!)
- can be enriched with student workbooks and videos
- can be a student-directed activity when student workbooks and videos are used
- The Essential Guide
- is more compact (less than a third the size of the Ultimate Guide)
- covers all essential keyboarding material in one book rather than two, and as such, is more portable and affordable
- is available in print or digital (Ultimate Guide: K-5 is available in both formats, but the Middle School volume is only available in digital)
- is perfect for teachers looking for a curriculum map of activities more than how to do them
- has no associated workbooks or videos
- well suited when keyboarding is taught by one teacher
- The price you’re looking at may be for a special that has expired
- The price you have may be in one of our books/ebooks. Those are current only for ‘a while’ after publication. We’re always adjusting pricing to serve customers (I just lowered three in the last five minutes)
- The price you’re thinking of may be for an earlier version of the book/ebook than what is currently on the website
- The vendor may be having a sale (Amazon does that often).
- our author blog, Ask a Tech Teacher
- our co-teaching wikis (click for sample)
- Zeke Rowe (see email above)
- Kali Delamagente (our tech-teacher-in-residence) (kali dot delamagente at structuredlearning dot net)
- Mentoring–we work one-on-one with teachers via Google Hangouts, Skype, email. Prices vary depending upon requirements
- Training–we train faculty to use the curriculum via Google Hangouts, Skype, email. Prices vary depending upon requirements
3. Can I substitute items in the New Teacher Survival Kits?
- to have a book on their desk
- to have easy access away from the computer
- to take notes in it–how a particular lesson plan worked from year to year
- to share it with grade-level teachers so they can collaborate on a project (yes, you can share with an iPad, but you can’t really leave the device without giving up everything else on it)
- it stands nicely on a book shelf, quickly available and a reminder of your resources.
- to display on a Smartscreen for students or faculty meetings
- links are active
- images are in full colo
- have all books on an iPad–no carrying armloads of books
- easy to print one page–say, a rubric or a sample–and duplicate it for a class. That’s much more difficult in a print book.
- to be able to zoom in on pages for easier reading and viewing of details
- are great for PBL
- call out higher-order thinking skills
- are well-suited to a classroom rather than a tech class
- samples of projects
- assessment, i.e., grading rubrics
- sequence of steps
- list of required elements
- access to interactive links required for the lesson
- encourage them to move at their own pace, solve their own problems
- have background material from prior lessons immediately available
- reference samples and rubrics as they work
- work on projects at home (if you have a 1:1 school with the appropriate license option)
7. What’s a ‘single user license’?
- Single user: a pdf available for teacher use on her digital devices. Usually purchased to display on Smartscreen while students work
- Multi user: a pdf formatted for use on many digital devices (iPads, tablets, laptops, Chromebooks) in many locations (classroom, lab, library, student digital device)
- Class set: print copy of textbook for each student for their class use. Like the traditional class textbooks.
- makes it easier for students to work independently on the lessons/projects during class time
- saves on printing costs–the samples, rubrics, assessments are right there for students
- allows students to work on their tech when you aren’t showing it on the Smartscreen–during recess, after school
- allows students to work on tech at home and use the skills more easily on home computers (if you have this license option)
- gets parents involved in the process and helps them buy-in to the importance of tech in education (especially if you have a license that allows the ebooks to be loaded at home)
- easily loaded onto iPads for 1:1 schools
1. What do I need to show my accountant to prove I took a class that contributes to my profession?
We do not send out 1098 documentation. However, to use our courses as an educational expense write off, you simply show your accountant your receipt, and give him/her our Federal Employee Identification number or EIN#. Please contact Zeke Row at StructuredLearn.net for that.
- Windows has updated their platform—twice
- iPads are the device of choice in the classroom
- Class SmartScreens are more norm than abnorm(al)
- Technology in the classroom has changed from ‘nice to have’ to ‘must have’
- 1:1 has become a realistic goal
- Student research is as often done online as in the library
- Students spend as much time in a digital neighborhood as their home town
- Textbooks are considered resources rather than bibles
- Teachers who don’t use technology are an endangered species
- Words like ‘blended learning’, ‘authentic’, ‘transfer’, ‘evidence’ are now integral to teaching
- Common Core Standards have swept like a firestorm through the education community, most timed to take effect after 2011
Because of trends like these, we try to update every three-four years.