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The Classroom Teacher's Technology Survival Guide

ISBN: 978-1-118-02455-3
240 pages
March 2012, Jossey-Bass
The Classroom Teacher
A comprehensive guide for integrating educational technology in the K-12 classroom

This is a must-have resource for all K-12 teachers and administrators who want to really make the best use of available technologies. Written by Doug Johnson, an expert in educational technology, The Classroom Teacher's Technology Survival Guide is replete with practical tips teachers can easily use to engage their students and make their classrooms places where both students and teachers will enjoy learning.

  • Covers the most up-to-date technologies and how they can best be used in the classroom
  • Includes advice on upgrading time-tested educational strategies using technology
  • Talks about managing "disruptive technologies" in the classroom
  • Includes a wealth of illustrative examples, helpful suggestions, and practical tips

This timely book provides a commonsense approach to choosing and using educational technology to enhance learning.

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About the Book ix

About the Authorxi

Introduction1

Why This Book? 1

Why Is an English Teacher Writing This Book Instead of Bill Gates?  2

Creating the Essential Conditions Needed for Successful Technology Use  3

Chapter One: Why Should Classroom Teachers Be Technologically Skillful? 7

Revolution or Evolution in Educational Change?  8

Developing a Framework for Thinking About Technology in Schools 10

Established Infrastructure 12

Effective Administration 14

Extensive Resources 16

Enhanced Teaching 19

Empowered Students 21

Chapter Two: Q&A About Some Basics 29

What Type of Computer Should I Have? 29

What Operating System (OS) Should I Choose: Windows, Macintosh, GNU/Linux, or Chrome?29

How Much Memory Do I Need, and How Fast Does the Computer Need to Run? 31

Desktop, Laptop, Netbook, or Tablet? 31

What Other Equipment Should I Buy? 32

What Basic Software Do I Need? 33

What Are Freeware and Open-Source Software? 34

How Do I Manage Files on Multiple Computers? 36

What Is Cloud Computing, and What Are Its Advantages and Disadvantages? 36

How Can Teachers Take Advantage of Cloud Computing? 38

Disadvantages of Cloud Computing 39

What Does a Technologically Well-Equipped Classroom Look Like? 40

Seven Stupid Mistakes TeachersMake with Technology 42

Seven Brilliant Things Teachers Do with Technology 44

Chapter Three: Using Technology for

Professional Productivity 47

Keeping Professionally Organized:Managing the Business of Teaching 48

Communicating Using Technology 49

Student Information System 52

Curriculum Management System 53

Course Management System 53

School Web Site and Teacher-Created Class Pages 54

Basic Productivity Tools 60

Word Processors 60

E-mail 61

Web Browsers and Search Engines 62

Graphics and Digital Image Editing Tools 64

Spreadsheets 65

Presentation Software 67

Basic Online Tools 69

Online Productivity Suites 70

Blogs 74

RSS Feed Aggregators and Readers 75

Wikis 76

Social Bookmarking Sites 77

Sites for Storing and Sharing Media 78

Options for Sharing andWorking Collaboratively on Documents 79

Chapter Four: The Technology Upgrade 83

Getting Started with Technology in the Classroom 83

Assessing Technology-Enhanced Student Work 88

What IT Skills Should Teachers Expect of All Students? 94

Survival Skills for the Information Jungle    104

Problem-Based Learning and Information Literacy    105

Information Problem Solving Meets Technology    106

Information Jungle Survival Skills    107

The Hazards Are Great, but So Are the Rewards    111

Chapter Five: Teaching 21st-Century Skills 13

The Fourth R—Research    114

Designing Technology-Enhanced Projects—the Four A’s    115

The First A: Assignments    117

The Second A: Activities    119

The Third A: Assessment    120

The Fourth A: Attitude    123

Everyday Information Problem Solving    126

Entertain or Engage? Why You Need to Know the Difference  127

A Few Thoughts About Creativity  129

Right-Brain Skills and Technology: A Whole New Mind(-Set)    131

I Will as a Teacher . . .  134

Chapter Six: Managing Disruptive Technologies in the Classroom 137

Some Approaches to Managing Technology in the Classroom    139

Using Technology in the Classroom to Support Student Learning    142

Computer Games in the Classroom    146

Why You Should Let Your Students Use the Internet

for Nonacademic  Purposes    147

Chapter Seven: Commonsense Practices for Safe and Ethical Technology Use 149

Teacher’s Day-to-Day Security Guide    150

Hardware Security 150

Passwords  151

Backups    152

Viruses    154

Data Privacy    154

Personal Privacy    155

Helping Students Stay Ethical and Safe Online    156

What’s Different About Technology Ethics?    157

Basics of Technology Ethics: Privacy, Property, Appropriate Use    158

Staying Safe on the Read-WriteWeb  161

What Are the Read-WriteWeb Safety Concerns, and How Valid Are They?  161

What Students Need to Understand About Technology Use  163

Guidelines for Educators Using Social and Educational Networking Sites  166

Social Networking Scenarios    168

Social Networking Scenario 1: Mr. Blake and Jennifer    168

Social Networking Scenario 2: Ms. Olson’s Camping Trip  169

Social Networking Scenario 3: Juan and Philip Trade Insults    169

Social Networking Scenario 4: The Social Networking Ban    169

Social Networking Scenario 5: The Blog About Blobs    169

Chapter Eight: Developing a Long-Term Learning Strategy 171

Keeping Your Sanity    173

The Librarian: Your Technology Partner  174

Bonus: Top Ten Secrets for Conducting a Successful Technology Workshop  177

Chapter Nine: Looking into the Crystal Ball 87

Three ‘‘High-Tech’’ Schools of the Future    188

Skinner Elementary School    188

John Dewey High School    189

Duncan Middle School    190

So What’s the Point?    191

How You Can Invent the Future and Take Charge of Your Own Technology Environment    191

Have a Personal Vision of Education and How Technology Should Be Used in It  192

Have a Voice in School Technology Policymaking and Planning    194

Experiment    195

Look for a Mentor, Coach, or Guide    196

Share Information  198

Support Others and Use a Team-Teaching Approach    198

Change from the Radical Center of Education  199

Adopt an ‘‘And’’ Not ‘‘Or’’Mind-Set    199

Look for Truth and Value in All Beliefs and Practices    200

Respect the Perspective of the Individual    201

Recognize That One Size Does Not Fit All (Kids or Teachers)    201

Attend to Attitudes    202

Understand That the Elephant Can Only Be Eaten One Bite at a Time    203

Make Sure Everyone IsMoving Forward, Not Just the Early Adopters    204

Don’t Be Afraid to Say, ‘‘I Don’t Know’’    205

Believe That Measurement Is Good, but Not Everything Can Be Measured    205

Know and Keep Your Core Values    206

The Giant and the Ants: How Problems Are Solved 207

Readings and Resources 209

Chapter One: Why Should Classroom Teachers Be Technologically Skillful?  209

Associations    209

Some Influential Writers in the Field    210

Technology Critics and Skeptics    210

Other Education and Technology Thinkers    211

Chapter Two: Q&A About Some Basics    211

Chapter Three: Using Technology for Professional Productivity  211

Chapter Five: Teaching 21st-Century Skills    211

Chapter Six:Managing Disruptive Technologies in the Classroom  212

Chapter Seven: Commonsense Practices for Safe and Ethical Technology Use  212

Chapter Eight: Developing a Long-Term Learning Strategy    213

Chapter Nine: Looking into the Crystal Bal 213

Index 215

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Doug Johnson is the Director of Media and Technology for the Mankato, Minnesota Public Schools and serves as an adjunct faculty member of Minnesota State University. His long-running column "Head for the Edge," appears in Library Media Connection and he maintains the Blue Skunk Blog.

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