Basics – 21 techie tchr topics

What are the


Hmmmm.  I am pretty sure that that is a very subjective thing and hard to really pinpoint.  I guarantee you that your basics are different from mine.  Some of my basics include knowledge of: wikis, blogs and podcasts.  Here is my attempt at identifying the basics, a techie teach must:

  • Know that there is a button to turn it off and on.
  • Know how to maneuver around the QWERTY board.
  • Know how to type

No seriously, basics would entail having at the very least a basic knowledge of word processing and the internet.  Without this basic knowledge and training, technology training is difficult.  The 21 things site talks about the basics as knowledge of computer shortcuts.  There are always tricks and tips that make life easier and these shortcuts do save time and effort.  Here is a link to Microsoft with some of the keyboard shortcuts that can make your keystrokes more efficient.  Here are some of the Windows shortcuts that I could not live my life without.

Windows program key combinations

CTRL+C: Copy, CTRL+X: Cut, CTRL+V: Paste, CTRL+Z: Undo, CTRL+B: Bold, CTRL+U: Underline and CTRL+I: Italic

I honestly feel that the most important basic skill needed is Knowing that in many ways technology can improve your life and the lives of your students.  Once we embrace this knowledge and work towards gaining skills and knowledge to this end, everyone wins.  The students, faculty, parents and teachers all benefit from technology training.

My basic is a little more complicated and not as basic.  I have grown accustomed to certain things in my life and I must continue to be privy to those things for me to function.  My basics are:

Online Document Storage

I must have 24/7 access to my work.  I do not always have the luxury of having my flash drive handy, and if I do, who is to say that it is the right flash drive?

Email account

How can someone live without one?  I have, OMG, about 40.  Yes, about 40.  I have 1 personal, 6 for my classes, 2 professional and 30 for googlewave accounts that I set-up for my class.

Twitter/Blog Reader

Only way for me to keep in contact with what is being talked about within my profession.  My Tweetdeck and my Blog readers are my means of speaking with my PLN.  (For those of you not familiar with the term, Professional or Personal Learning Network, I like to think of mine as Personally chosen Professional Learning Network.)  Imagine how much your spirit is lifted when you hear how another teacher is having the problems and looking for the same solutions that you are or how good you feel when you can show off a student’s great work.

Wireless Internet

I need to be connected to the internet without having to use a stinkin’ cord.  It’s is bad enough that I have to put up with a power cord when I have to charge my best friend, I mean my computer.

And One Stop Shops like Google, Discovery Education and 4 Teacher

These sites allow you to do several things from one site.

The Discovery Education website includes various tools for teachers to use in the classroom which are aimed at specific grade levels. There are videos, assignment builders, online quizzes, and lesson plans. There are many subject specific resources for all subjects including English, Math, Science and Social Studies. There are over 9,000 videos split into 71,000 video segments to use in the classroom.

Google products allow me with one email address to have access to many of the daily tools that I use in the class.  Google is a one stop shopping place for my blogging/emailing/blog reading/scholarly searches/organizing/news reporting/image hosting/mapping/googlewaving/class website hosting/document hosting needs.  It is my ultimate goal to create a site for each Marking Period and within the Marking Periods I will have the Unit Plans and the daily assignments will be posted as announcements.  Maybe.  Still working on it.

4 has been around for ages.  You can find current resources that align with standards, promote higher-order thinking, and support the development of writing skills. Monitor student research and writing, evaluate student performance, and create bilingual online lessons, classroom calendars, and quizzes in less time than traditional methods.

  1. QuizStar Construct online quizzes that can include multimedia.
  2. RubiStar Create customized rubrics in English and Spanish.
  3. Arcademic Skill Builders Educational Games for students to polish math and language skills.
  4. PersuadeStar Provides tools for students to write persuasive essays.
  5. Classroom Architect Design a floor plan for your classroom.
  6. Equity Locate resources and tools to help you meet the needs of a diverse classroom.
  7. TrackStar View thousands of online lessons or quickly create your own.
  8. Assign-A-Day Post your own online class calendar with hyperlinks and projects.
  9. Casa Notes Assemble take-home notes in English and Spanish.
  10. PBL Checklists Make custom checklists for multiple projects.
  11. Teacher Tacklebox Locate top-rated Tracks, WebQuests, and ThinkQuests for your subject.
  12. Web Poster Wizard Make and post a simple Web page within minutes.
  13. NoteStar Assist students with collecting group notes and citations for papers.
  14. Think Tank Helps student set up topics for reports. Use alone or with NoteStar.
  15. KidsVid Help teachers and students use video production in class support project-based learning.

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