Teaching Today publishes innovative teaching tips on a weekly basis. Written with the busy teacher in mind, each tip is concise, practical and easy to implement in the classroom right away. Topics covered in Teaching Today are classroom management, career development, high stakes testing, instruction and planning, parental involvement, reading in the content areas, using technology in the classroom, and portfolio development. Teaching Today also offers free weekly downloads that correspond to the tips. Our free downloads make implementing the teaching tips even easier. Teaching Today provides educational resources for teachers looking for everyday solutions to the challenges of the classroom.
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Integrating Technology in the Classroom

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Weekly Tips

The use of technology, the Web in particular, has become an important skill for both students and teachers to master. The Internet has a vast amount of information and infinitely many uses, but it takes practice to learn to effectively navigate its resources. This week’s tips focus on finding ways to guide students in their research and use of the Web.

Creating a successful class Web site demands more than just technical skills. Planning, organization, and a good sense of how your students will use the site all contribute to its effectiveness. This week, learn techniques for producing a class Web site that works.

Search engines help you find what you need on the Web, but various engines perform searches in different ways. This week, we provide tips to help you get results when using search engines.

You want to cover the required content standards and utilize technology, but there just doesn’t seem to be enough time. WebQuesting may be the answer! This week’s tips will help you plan, create, and evaluate your own WebQuest.

There are many things to think about when planning for an Internet-based curriculum. The Internet provides a medium in which one can research and share information and collaborate with others on a variety of fronts. This week we offer some food for thought on using the Internet in the classroom.

Educators are always looking for new and innovative ways to integrate the Internet into classroom activities. One of the most logical ways is to use it to enhance and extend material presented in the course textbook. This week, we look at a variety of ways to use Internet resources to extend textbook content.

Using the Internet to improve learning can be a difficult task for even the most Web savvy teachers. To help you improve your Internet teaching practices, we offer suggestions for getting more out of your Internet assignments.

Teachers regularly use software programs such as PowerPoint to develop overheads and presentations. This week, we will provide five “power” tips, featuring powerful or unusual functions and resources.

Increasingly, new electronic technologies such as digital video and the Web are being used for student projects. These technologies also lend themselves to the documentation of student progress in the form of digital portfolios. This week, we examine issues to consider when using digital portfolios in the classroom.

Technology seems to be everywhere we look, but for many teachers, finding enough computers for students can be a daunting task. To best leverage the resources available, teachers must use technology in creative ways. This week, we focus on getting the most from a limited number of computers.

The Web provides an extremely useful resource for our classrooms and our lives. Occasionally, though, aspects of the Web can frustrate us immensely. Here are a few tips for improving your time on the Internet.

This summer, spend some of your free time exploring Web sites relating to your content area. For each day this week, we feature a different content-area Web site that truly stands out from the crowd.

Many teachers use the presentation software PowerPoint in the classroom as a teaching and learning tool. PowerPoint provides opportunities for teachers and students to incorporate multimedia to liven their presentations. Learn how to improve your use of PowerPoint in the classroom with this week’s tips.

Schools are increasingly making digital cameras available for use in student projects. Follow these tips to mkae your experiences with digital cameras in the classroom a success.

Digital formats refer to the different file types used to encode digital images. Digital files can be very large initially. If left in the original state, with no compression, they can occupy considerable hard drive space and take a long time to download over the Internet. Because the types of images that are captured digitally vary from photographic to illustrative, there are many different file types for encoding. This week, we offer a series of tips on digital image formats and terminology.

Technology can be an effective educational tool for supporting learning. Teachers have the unique challenge of keeping up with advances and integrating recent technologies into their lessons. Unfortunately, technology glitches occur more frequently than we’d like. Teachers who are armed with techniques for preventing mishaps and plans for dealing with breakdowns when they occur are one step ahead in successfully integrating technology into their classrooms.

Rubrics are tools specifically designed to define the criteria for assessment. They are shared with students at the onset of a project or assignment to improve performance. Rubrics define the qualities that will be assessed and identify the levels of performance that students might demonstrate for each quality. Many educators believe that rubrics improve student achievement by establishing clearly defined learning outcomes before products are created. This week, we offer tips addressing the guidelines for developing rubrics.

Free Downloads

This handout can be used throughout the portfolio collection period to get students to think about the items they want to include in their portfolios. It also provides a space for teachers to write feedback about those items selected.

This diagramming handout can be used to help students visually organize concepts and facts that relate to a central theme or topic.

This reference sheet will help students learn the proper method for citing online resources, based on the MLA style.

This Class Web Site Map template will help you see visually how your site is organized. It will also help you decide where information should logically be placed within the site's structure.

This five-point checklist provides students with guidelines for evaluating Internet resources. Space is allotted for writing notes on each criteria and a forming a final assessment.

This reference tool illuminates the options one has when conducting a through search by providing a search case using seven of the major search engines.

This WebQuest Lesson Planner will give you an easy-to-use design template for creating WebQuests for your classroom.

This easy-to-use worksheet will help guide students through the initial step of key word clustering.

Use this graphic organizer to help students visually organize causal relationships in complex ideas or events.

Use this graph to organize steps in a process, to trace plot development, or to record the stages of an event.

This handout provides students with ten tips to improve performance on essay exam questions.

This Internet Rules of Conduct poster outlines five simple rules that will help establish appropriate Internet-use behavior among students. As always, be certain to check with your school to see if there are established procedures for Internet use.

Rubrics work well for project-based assignments like WebQuests. On this form, fill in the objective criteria, make copies, and then use it as an assessment tool on your next WebQuest project.

Print this handy reference sheet and post it next to your personal computer or classroom computers. The list provides shortcuts for eighteen common Internet tasks.

Use this graphic organizer to support expository text reading.

These digital camera rules can be used as-is or as guide for developing your own rules. The accompanying sign-out sheet is ready to use in the classroom today.

Conduct this experiment in your computer lab.

Educate yourself before using new technologies in the classroom.


Feature Articles

The Internet and other new digital technologies have profoundly changed the world we live in and the way we respond to information. These changes are making an impact on students' learning styles and preferences. This month, we explore some of the shifts that are occurring and steps teachers can take to maximize learning for the Net Generation.

Conduct a simple Internet search on just about any subject these days using one of the big search engines and you're liable to be come up with several hundred thousand related Web sites. How do you, or your students for that matter, separate the wheat from the chaff? This month, we focus on five simple criteria to apply to any Web site to determine the credibility of an online source.

How many times have you clicked on a Web link or entered a Web address in your browser only to reach a "Page Not Found" message? This month, you can learn a few simple tricks for finding your way to that "lost" page.

Imagine a classroom where the teacher electronically beams assignments and grades to pocket-sized computers that students can take home. Imagine students working on group projects and exchanging information without pen, paper, or photocopy machines. This month, we report on a surprising technological leap occurring in K-12 classrooms across the nation.

If you are like most Internet users, you haven't delved much beyond the address bar and back button on your Web browser. Fortunately, most Web browsers are far more powerful than that, offering a range of tools that make Web browsing more efficient and responsive to our needs. Read our short Tech Trick article today and move more quickly and effectively through the Web tomorrow.

Electronic plagiarism is on the rise. When even the most prestigious academic institutions struggle with students submitting unoriginal work, how can secondary teachers keep on top of the problem? This month, Teaching Today looks at a number of ways teachers can combat this detrimental practice.

Within the past year, activity at the Department of Education has shifted into high-gear to increase resources dedicated to education, but did you know that the federal government has been publishing millions of free materials online since the Internet began? This month, we provide a road map to the most valuable federally funded Web sites for teachers.

Since the early days of the World Wide Web, the WebQuest has been making an impact in classrooms across the country. Because technology integration has become a desired, but sometimes elusive goal, teachers have favored the solid instructional process WebQuests offer. This month, we delve deeper into the role of the WebQuest in today's classroom.

Building your first class Web site is an exciting and sometimes intimidating experience. While there are many software programs that can help you design a simple Web page, there are numerous other details that you will need to know before you can launch your class Web site. This article, our first in a series about Web publishing, offers you basic information about how Web pages are displayed, where they "live" in cyberspace, and what to watch out for when arranging for a hosting service.

HTML is the building block of Web pages, and gaining a basic understanding of how it is structured will help you as you build your class Web site. Whether you are building your page line by line or simply trying to troubleshoot code generated by your Web page authoring software, this article will set you on your way to getting your site online.

In this second part of our series on publishing class Web sites, we get down to the nuts and bolts of creating Web pages, including authoring software, FTP, Web graphics,and file directories.

Using software products in the classroom can be an effective component in your overall technology integration plan. Choosing the right software for your subject area and classroom, however, can be a formidable task if undertaken without some preplanning. This month, we'll look at a set of criteria that can be used to evaluate most software products.

Can't make it to Washington for a tour of the White House? No busses available to take your students to the local aquarium to study marine mammals? Rather than scrapping your field trip plans altogether, why not consider taking your class on a virtual field trip? This month, we review issues to consider when planning a virtual field trip and provide links to some of the hottest educational destinations on the Web.

If you are returning to school and preparing for, or already underway with, a laptop implementation program, you may find yourself scrambling for strategies on how to deal with the new technology. Whether your school has 35 or 350 laptops, you can find creative ways to make the most of them. Find tips on training and inspiration from others who have been in your shoes.

Internet security is a critical technology issue that affects both teachers and students. Understanding the reasons why school technology coordinators set up computer-related policies and procedures can help make the inconveniences and seemingly excessive rules for using the Internet all seem worthwhile. This month, we provide an overview of the types of Internet security and safety measures operating in schools today.

Making technology work in the classroom isn't always a simple proposition. Not all teachers possess the skills required to pull off a seamless technology lesson—particularly when the technology is less than cooperative. Some teachers aren't clear about the best way to integrate technology into their lessons.

Digital technology and the Internet are proving to be as effective as methods of ferreting out plagiarism as they are tools for comitting it. This month we look at the ways teachers are using these new tools in their efforts to find unoriginal work.

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