Tag Archives: ict in education

Free Computer Lessons for Kids

Do you need teaching ideas for when you take your students into the computer lab? Great news! TechnoKids Inc. has free computer lessons for kids in grades K-12. Download them today!

free computer lessons for kids

Sign up to receive a free monthly lesson.

UPDATE: TechnoKids has free lessons for Google Docs, Office 2016, and Office Online.

Each month TechnoKids Inc. will send you a free computer lesson. The lessons are for Office 2013, Office 2010, and Office 2007.

There’s lots of variety! You will receive lessons that use Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Publisher, and more!

The lessons easily integrate into your curriculum. Use them to as a way to infuse technology into language arts, social studies, science, or mathematics.

Each month you will be pleased when your latest lesson arrives in your Inbox. There are a range of topics! Save the files and use them to teach students about the environment, entrepreneurship, Internet safety, and more!

Receiving Free Computer Lessons for Kids is Easy!

sign up

Watch the video to see how simple it is to download the assignments and resources. This short 30 second clip will answer all your questions.

The lessons are for K-12 teachers. Some monthly lessons will best be suited to primary children, others for middle school, and still others for high school. Download the lessons that are a perfect fit for your students.

Sign up today, to receive your free computer lessons for kids in grades K-12. Please note, you can unsubscribe at any time.

TodaysMeet – Can I Ask an Out Loud Question?

July 2018 Update: Please note that TodaysMeet is no longer available online.


I recently went to an education conference. One of the sessions I attended was a panel discussion regarding BYOD. There were about 100 people in attendance. The presenters used TodaysMeet. TodaysMeet is a web based tool that allows for audience participation. Participants can join the meeting room to ask questions or post comments that appear as a live stream.

How Does it Work?

The presenter sets up a “room” which is a temporary URL. Participants then visit the URL. They can “listen” in on the conversation, which means that they can read the live stream. Or if they would like, they can join in the conversation and type in a question or comment.

What are the Benefits?

TodaysMeet is an excellent way for a presenter to tailor their presentation to address audience needs. As well, it offers participants an opportunity to learn not only from the speaker but also fellow participants in the room.

Can I Ask an Out Loud Question?

During the session I actively engaged in TodaysMeet and posted a range of questions and comments digitally. However, at one point during the discussion the speaker addressed a TodaysMeet question that I had a follow up question I wanted to ask. It was directly related to his response.

To use TodaysMeet would have put my follow up question in amongst a stream of mini conversations happening between participants. It would have gotten lost in the stream and the moment would pass.

So I did the unthinkable…

I raised my hand and said, “Can I ask an Out Loud Question?”

The moderator laughed nervously.

Someone in the audience repeated, “An Out Loud Question?”. There was more laughter.

To which the moderator responded, “We will take those at the end”.

Technology Should Not Restrict Teacher-Student Interactions

If this was a classroom and not a conference room;

the presenter a teacher not a speaker;

and the people in attendance students not conference attendees…

it would be said that a “teachable moment” had been ignored.

Technology in schools should not restrict teacher-student interactions instead it should expand them. To that end, if you use TodaysMeet or something similar with your students leave space for “Out Loud” questions and grant permission for face to face conversations. If not, you might miss an opportunity for learning.

Are Your Students Hiding Their Lack of ICT Skills?

You are looking at a printed poster and the work looks excellent. Does that mean your student possesses strong ICT skills? Not necessarily!

Here’s why…

Your students might be applying inefficient techniques to create the desired result. Let me give you an example.

At the school where I am teaching as a guest instructor, the students begin using TechnoKids Computer Curriculum in kindergarten. By the time these students reach Grade 7 they have spent years completing technology based projects.

ict skills

I have noticed over the past few weeks of teaching that some of the students lack basic ICT skills. Since I am a guest instructor, I am unfamiliar with which students are newer members to the school community. After inquiring about the situation, I learned that some of the students in my class have not been at the school since kindergarten, so there are gaps in their skillset.

The strategies these students are applying are not noticeable in a printed copy. For example, the Grade 7 class just completed the poster activity for TechnoWonderland. They look fantastic!

Looking at the posters you can’t tell if the students:

  • aligned text using the alignment tools or the spacebar
  • wrapped text around a picture using text wrapping tools or if they manually arranged text
  • limited their formatting choices because they did not know how to apply other tool options
  • used time saving techniques or not

How can teachers notice the lack of ICT skills?

As a teacher you cannot judge ICT skills based solely on the printed version. Instead, you need to watch your students work as well as preview the digital copy. Here are some tips:

  • Watch Your Students Work: Walk around the room or position yourself in a location where you can preview the monitors. Observe your students working.
  • Activate Show/Hide: Ask students to temporarily turn on Show/Hide. It is a tool in Microsoft Office that displays hidden formatting symbols. The ENTER key produces a paragraph mark ¶, SPACEBAR a dot, and TAB key an arrow. These marks will help you determine if students are formatting text properly.
  • Challenge Students: Make a suggestion that will improve the layout or design of the publication. If students possess the ICT skill, without instruction they will be able to produce the suggested result. If they can’t, this gives you an excellent opportunity to introduce a tool or feature.

ICT skills can’t be measured just by viewing the final printed copy. By following these tips you will be able to identify students who might be hiding their lack of skills. This will allow you to help your students discover new, more efficient ways to produce quality publications.

Create a Shared Student Folder on your Server

Teachers need to be flexible! They must adjust their lessons based on their students’ needs. In addition, they need to capitalize on their students’ unique interests. To do this, they need a shared student folder on the server.

What is a shared student folder?

Many schools have a server that is used for file management. Typically, teachers and students have folders on the server where they save their work. Permissions are used to control who can view or change the contents of the folders. In most cases, students can only access their own folder, whereas teachers can access folders for students in their class or sometimes the entire school.

folder with documents

Have your IT Specialist create a shared student folder on your server.

For teachers to share files with students, they often have to copy and paste a document into EACH student folder. This can be VERY time consuming and is often not feasible if the teacher has multiple classes. The solution is to have a shared student folder.

A shared student folder is a location on the server where teachers can place files. All the students in a particular class or sometimes the entire student body can “read” or open the files in this folder. The files are then viewed or resaved by students into their own folder.

Do you need a shared student folder?

Of course you do!
Not everything can be PLANNED at the beginning of the school year. Spontaneity is part of teaching!

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Have you ever stumbled across an informative website you know would be perfect for a particular group of students working on a research project? Can you easily share a bookmark?
  • Have you ever realized that some of your students are struggling to complete a task? Are you able to easily share a template that will help them complete their work?
  • Have you ever noticed that some of your students are not paying attention or require a review? Are you able to develop a “pop quiz” that can be easily accessed by everyone in the class?
  • Have you ever noted that some of your students are struggling with learning a concept? Are you able to create a sample file or instructional video that can easily be viewed by all students?

If you answered YES to any of these questions, then you need a shared student folder on the server.

What can you do with a shared student folder?

There are many types of files you might want to share:

  • bookmark to a website or online educational video
  • template that offers a starting point for completing a task
  • digital assessment tools such as a checklist, review, or quiz
  • sample of a completed project that students can review to get ideas
  • instructional video that demonstrates the steps to complete a task

Be flexible! Be spontaneous! Improve student learning!

If you don’t have a shared student folder you should request that your IT Specialist create one for you. It is easy for the technician to do and will make a huge difference when you are teaching.