It has been a while since we have made a blog post. With christmas break over and the new year beginning we wanted to talk about new things that have been going on. As you know, we both teach business and computer/technology classes. With teaching these subjects many teachers know that technology changes constantly. There seems to be constant new updates on software, devices, websites, etc. which can be overwhelming to most people. We try our best to stay up to date with the newest resources that can be used in our own classrooms and our fellow teacher's classrooms. Over the past 8 months we have added a lot of new websites, technology devices, etc. to our pages for you to try out in your classrooms. We also have created many more lesson plans, assignments, projects, and semester courses! Continue reading to check out some of our newest resources that we would like to share with you all!
Some of our New Resources:
I, Samantha, have been teaching Game Design for the last 2 years to Juniors and Seniors. It was going well but I have been searching for some different and more up to date curriculum in use in my classroom. The main issue was everything was so expensive. However, I am happy to share that after a couple years of searching I have found an amazing new website with a great Game Design course. The website is www.codehs.com The free version of this course has everything I need, but you can pay to get more features, but I personally am satisfied with the free version. You don't have to download any software, as it is web-based and my students are loving it! Check out this site for yourself, as there are many other courses offered on this site.
Note: this is just one of the new websites we have added to our 6-12 websites page, so go take the time to check out all the other websites we have added on our pages.
This past year has been such a blessing for us. We both had little girls and Samantha is expecting a little boy this fall! Being new mothers is truly a blessing and we couldn't be happier with our new roles. With being new parents we are constantly reading, researching and educating ourselves to make sure we are helping our kids meet their milestones.
Being home with our girls during the summer is one of the many perks to being a teacher, but along with that we want to make sure we are providing our girls with a summer full of love, happiness, laughter, activities, and stimulation. The love and happiness is an easy task for us to meet, however we aren't early childhood educators so we decided to do a little research on what we can use around our households, neighborhood, or city to entertain and educate our growing little girls.
This is why we created an daily activities list to differentiate the activities with the girls. The list includes activities for indoors and outdoors around our households. Then there is an additional list of fun, and creative activities to take the girls to in city that we live. This document is completely editable for all parents to change to meet your personal household needs. Along with the activities we have listed what skills the activities are meeting for the kids. We also have a checklist box next to each activity so we can mark when we have completed that activity so we don't repeat activities often.
We wanted to share this document with any parent, family member, daycare provider, or educator who feels like this could help them as much as it has helped us. Hopefully it will give you plenty of ideas to stimulate and entertain you active kiddos this summer!
Feel free to download this document below and edit it to your household needs. (Tip: We printed these and laminated them. Then we placed them in our house hold where we can write on it with a expo marker). Hopefully you get some use out of these documents and enjoy your wonderful summer with your family and kids!
Download Daily Activities Document Below!
We wanted a quicker way to connect with our fellow educators on what we are doing and using in our classrooms. After some research we found the best way to share with you all our daily activities, lessons, tips, and tricks in our classrooms is through our Instagram account. We have already started posting daily stories so please go follow us @kstechtwins on Instagram and check it out! We are excited for to connect with you!
P.S. We will still be writing blogs on our website, but on Instagram you can expect daily posts and stories.
The Tech Twins
*No Prep Needed!*
This unit covers internet safety and cyberbullying while teaching students how to prevent and protect themselves while using technology. This unit is extremely important to teach to our youth today since technology is a part of their everyday life.
This unit includes:
- Internet Safety Power Point with Multiple Videos
- Cyberbullying Power Point with Multiple Videos
- Student Notes with Power Point
- Vocabulary Worksheet
- Internet Safety Scavenger Hunt
- Internet Safety Worksheet
- Project with Rubric (students create their own pledge poster on how to prevent themselves from cyberbullying, and how to protect themselves online.)
- 1 Student Example of Project
If you would like this product click on the link below to access our free download!
Business Essentials Semester Course Preview/ Description
9-12 Computer Applications Semester Course
Right now their business has tutorial videos available on Teachers Pay Teacher's website. Their amazing video tutorials are over popular and new technology that us educators are using, Right now on Teachers Pay Teacher's website they have a FREE tutorial video over Google Mail Preview Pane and it can help you and your fellow coworkers. Check out the free tutorial by clicking on the picture below!
Free Video Tutorial
Julie Jensen is the Exec. Dir. of Curriculum for El Dorado Public Schools and an Apple Distinguished Educator. Doug Jensen is the Executive Director of Technology and also an Apple Distinguished Educator, we organized a 1:1 Laptop Initiative for the district high school thirteen years ago, a middle school 1:1 Mini iPad initiative eight years ago, and 1:1 iPads for the four elementary buildings over the last four years. Both the middle school and the high school have been recognized as Apple Distinguished Schools. We both have been educators for over 30 years in K-12.
Blended Learning with the the integration of technology.
HONORS/AWARDS/SHINING TEACHER MOMENT
Both Doug and Julie are Apple Distinguished Educators
Bachelors of Education from Emporia State University Masters in School Administration and Superintendent Certificate from Pittsburg State University
ADDITIONAL BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION
-List of Presentations Mid America Computers in Education, 1994, 1995, 1996,1997, 1999, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2012, 2015, 2016
-Apple Leadership & Learning Panelist, Wichita, KS, 2005, 2014 K-12
-iPad Initiatives & Implementations, Kansas State University, 2014;
-ISTE Conference in Philadelphia, PA, 2011
-KSDE Conference in Wichita, KS, 2011
-Greenbush Education Technology Conference, 2005, 2010, 2011
-United School Administrator Conference in Wichita, KS, 2001, 2002, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2012 -Kansas Dropout Prevention Summit, Wichita, KS, 2009
-Governor’s Mentoring Conference, 2008
-Apple Video Conference Briefing, 2008; for Lexington, NE
-Apple Headquarters Briefing, Cupertino, CA, 2007; for Kansas City, KS
-Apple 1:1 Digital Learning Institute in Cupertino, CA, 2007; for Kansas City, KS
-Apple 1:1 Digital Learning Institute in Chicago, IL, 2007; for Battle Creek, MI
-Apple Leadership and Learning, Wichita, KS, 2014
-Apple Technology Learning Institute in Lake Elmo, MN, 2007
-Apple Video Conference Briefing, 2007; for Cedar Rapids, IA,
-National North Central Accreditation Conference in Chicago, IL, 1997, 2000, 2001, 2006
-Kansas North Central Accreditation in Wichita, KS, 1996, 1999, 2005, 2006
-Kansas Association of School Boards, Topeka, KS, 2001, 2003, 2006
-TAKE Conference in Topeka, KS, 2003, 2006
-Apple Education Leadership Forum, Chicago, IL, 2005
-Kansas Technology Leadership Conference in Topeka, KS, 2000, 2003, 2005
-Universal Professional Development Day in Wichita, KS, 2001, 2005
-Connecting Education Conference in Wichita, KS, 2005
-South Dakota TIE Conference in Rapid City, SD, 2005
-VPL Conference in Wichita, KS, 2005
-Wichita Public Schools/Friends University Technology Fair, 1997
-Kansas Association of Secondary Administrators Summer Seminar, 1996
-Kansas Regional Association of School Boards, 1996
-Southeast Kansas Service Center, Greenbush, KS, 1994, 1995
Naturally you would think that we would of been overwhelmed but we both were thrilled to be able to teach new content. We love creating lesson plans that are personalized for our students and classrooms. With the new classes we taught we had our creative juices flowing and created over 50+ new unit plans, activities, semester courses, etc.
Now all these new materials are available to all teachers who are interested on https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Tech-Twins. Total we have over 130+ Lesson Plans, Activities, Projects, Whole Semester Courses, Training, PowerPoints, etc…Covering topics from Business, Technology, and Computers. ANY TEACHER CAN BENEFIT FROM THESE PRODUCTS! Us tech twins have been hard at work and updated all of products to make sure they are the top quality! With all of our products there is absolutely no prep needed for the teacher!
Shown below are a few of our newest products we have posted in our store. Click the button below to access our store.
Us Tech Twins have had a very exciting 2017. Samantha had a baby girl this late winter and Nichole is expecting a baby girl this early Fall! We both are thrilled about motherhood and look forward to these beautiful and exciting life changes. Maternity leave is something to look forward to on a personal level but as secondary educators its also stressful because we know a lot of preparation is ahead of us.
As teachers we want to make sure our students are still receiving a proper education even though we aren’t personally in the classroom to educate them. Long-term subs are great and we understand that once they are in the classroom they are now the teacher. However, us Tech Twins like to provide our long-term subs with all the materials to cover our class with little stress. It can't be easy to walk into a classroom and take over multiple classes, for 6-12 weeks, without any resources and curriculum to help them. That’s why we created the Maternity Leave Bundle for other secondary educators.
We did a lot of research on Maternity Leave and most of the information we found was for Elementary teachers, not Secondary teachers. Therefore, after a lot of research, time, and effort we feel very confident leaving our classes to our long-term subs. We want to share what worked for our planning with fellow secondary educators who too are in the same position as us.
As we all know babies can make a random appearance at anytime, so its best to be prepared. Samantha teaches a total of 6 different preps at her high school. All but 2 of her classes are 9 weeks long. Samantha’s maternity leave fell at the end of the 3rd 9 weeks and the beginning of the 4th 9 weeks. Because of these circumstances she had to make sure the long-term sub could take over at any point in her 3rd 9 weeks classes and begin her 4th nine week classes. Nichole teaches 4 preps at her school and she has to plan an entire semester worth of materials for all of her classes. This is because her due date falls at a time where she could be gone towards the beginning of the semester or be gone the 2nd half of the semester. Preparing an entire semesters worth of materials allows the long term subs to be able to pick up where ever we left off in our classes.
Here is what we provided for our long term subs.
- A video over how we organized our lesson plans for all our classes.
- Video of what the binders look like when it’s all put together!
- A binder for every class taught, the following documents are included:
- Instructions on how the class works, and what’s included in this folder.
- USB Drive with all digital materials.
- Class syllabus.
- Class objectives outline.
- All the course unit plans, lessons, and activities in order.
- In the unit plans we have found that leaving very detailed lesson plans really helps the subs be successful. This way they know exactly what is to be taught. This will take some time to prep for all your unit plans but in the long run it will leave you and the sub stress free.
4. A “Maternity Leave” Binder with the following documents in it:
- Thank You Page
- Long-Term Sub Information
- Class Schedule
- Classroom Calendar
- School Information
- Logins & Passwords
- Grading Information
- Sub Plans
- Class Roster/Seating Charts
- Student Information
- District Calendar
- Any other documents you find important for your sub to be successful in your room.
This can range from computer scavenger hunts, cross word puzzles, video reflections, website explores, article reviews, etc. These are great activities to have students learn other useful information that might not be tied into a unit plan. Shown below are a few activities of our products that you could purchase.
Projects are a wonderful way to have students learn a new application or reflect on previously taught lessons while being engaged. Below is a video explaining how we have our project instructions set up and there is also a free lesson plan you can download for an example.
End of Semester Reflection
These are activities or projects you can create to have students reflect on the knowledge they have gained during the semester. Students are also being innovative with an computer application such as word, power point, etc. Click on the picture below to check out the projects we have in this area.
As educators, we know lecturing is a part of the classroom and learning process. However, with today’s classrooms lecturing isn’t the only option to use. In our opinion its honestly one of our least favorite ways to educate. The classroom structure is changing and so is the way students learn. We have seen great success in our classrooms by lecturing a small percentage and then using other forms of educating. Some of our favorite strategies we use are project-based learning, flipped classroom, and I do, we do, you do method.
Listed below are some examples of how we use these in our classrooms:
Project-Based Learning: We love projects to help our students gain knowledge and to asses them. With our projects we always like to tie in real world application.
Example: Students learned about a new method to share information in a graphically appealing way which is called an infographic. Students then learn about infographics by actually creating their own infographic over the history of a technology device. Students now are not only learning about infographics but are also learning the history of technology and how devices are evolving over time. Students are gathering information and making it visually appealing with creating an infographic. When we have lessons like this students engagement is always high. Click the image below to check our this entire unit plan on out teachers pay teachers store.
Example: Watch the flipped classroom video that explains how we use it in our classrooms. Then look over the infographics we created to help break down those steps.
Example: When teaching an excel unit students have to learn the basics of excel, which are the ribbon,tabs, formatting, columns, rows, formulas, etc. When covering these areas students open up excel along with the teacher and students follow along with every step the teacher is completing. This way they can have a full understanding on what is being taught. Then when it comes to assignment and project time students know how to complete the tasks because they have already practiced those skills and become familiar with excel. Click the image below to check out this entire unit plan on our teachers pay teachers store.
The Tech Twins