Managing the Internet in the Classroom

Managing classroom Internet can be a challenge for teachers. If you’re looking to have more control over the Internet in your classroom there are different ways to keep students in check throughout the school day.

The Breadboard
The Breadboard

Having access to the Internet is a must for teachers preparing students to navigate the world outside of their classroom. Here are a few ideas from the Class Tech Tips website  on how to manage classroom internet when incorporating web tools into your instruction.

Fully Baked by Seth Godin

From Seth Godin’s blog –

In medical school, an ongoing lesson is that there will be ongoing lessons. You’re never done. Surgeons and internists are expected to keep studying for their entire career—in fact, it’s required to keep a license valid.

Knowledge workers, though, the people who manage, who go to meetings, who market, who do accounting, who seek to change things around them—knowledge workers often act as if they’re fully baked, that more training and learning is not just unnecessary but a distraction.

The average knowledge worker reads fewer than one business book a year.

Read the rest of Godin’s blog post here.


The Future of Public Education in BC

On the evening of October 5th, The Tyee is hosting an evening of discussion on the future of public education in BC.

The evening will feature speakers who will explore what is, and what could be, for public education in British Columbia. From innovations to challenges, and from the perspective of teachers, academics, students and parents, the discussion will delve into the possibilities ahead for BC’s education system.

The Featured Speakers:

  • Dr. Gillian Judson, lecturer, Simon Fraser University, director, Imaginative Education Research Group (IERG), and coordinator, Imaginative Ecological Education (IEE) program
  • Jennifer Stewart, co-founder, Families Against Cuts to Education
  • Hana Woldeyes, Youth Advisory Team member, Fresh Voices Initiative
  • Sajedeh Zaki, Youth Advisory Team member, Fresh Voices Initiative
  • Trevor Stokes, teacher, Streetfront Alternative Program

Other speakers will be announced soon.

Location of the Discussion:

  • Segal Building, 500 Granville Street, Vancouver
  • 6:30 pm Doors open
  • 7:00 pm-9:00 pm Talks
  • 9:00 pm-10:00 pm Reception with drinks and light refreshments

For Tickets:

Rethinking Your Message

If you add into your email a message such as, “Sorry for sending you this email” or “Sorry this email is so long…” then you really need to rethink your message. 

Why are you apologizing? Own your email – assume that it is important information that the recipient is looking forward to and will value. 

If you are apologizing because of the length of the email, then shorten it up. Cut out the extraneous information before you hit send. 

Ten Things to Know About BC’s New Curriculum

Here are the 10 things you need to know about B.C.’s new curriculum:

  1. The basics of reading, writing and math remain at the heart of the education systemStudents will learn – and be tested – on these core skills needed to succeed in university, in the workforce and in life.
  2. Tomorrow’s skills today – collaboration, critical thinking, and communications. New curriculum is designed so students learn these skills – which are exactly what post-secondary institutions and employers say they need.
  3. New curriculum builds on success. British Columbia has rising graduation rates and some of the best learning outcomes in the world – and the Province is building on this so B.C.’s kids keep succeeding.
  4. The focus is on concepts. Students will understand and work with the big ideas, rather than simply memorizing the facts.
  5. In this together. B.C.’s new curriculum was developed in consultation with more than 200 teachers nominated by the BC Teachers’ Federation, the Federation of Independent School Associations and First Nations Schools Association. Together, global best practices were looked at.
  6. Coding is coming for all students. Coding is a path to careers in the booming tech sector – and it teaches logic and critical thinking needed in almost every path in life. By 2018, every student will experience basic coding between grades 6 and 9. Government is helping train teachers this year to implement the module.
  7. Broad perspectives are embedded. Aboriginal perspectives are included throughout the curriculum and students will learn about the historical wrongs faced by East and South Asian immigrants and Aboriginal people in B.C.
  8. Provincial exams will test bedrock skills. Between grades 10 and 12, students will write provincial exams in English and mathskills that cut across every subject and at the heart of the courses that universities and colleges look at during admissions.
  9. Testing will be rigorous. In other subjects there will be rigorous classroom-based exams, assessments, tests and projects to measure student progress.
  10. Training the teachers, buying technology. Government is providing $6 million for teacher training and technology purchases, as well as dedicated training time, so schools can bring coding and the new curriculum to life.

Email Etiquette and Eliminating Reply-all

While it is easy to get frustrated with the person who hits reply-all on an email just to say “thank you” or some other inane comment that should have been sent solely to the writer of the first email, the individual at fault in this situation is the person who sent the original message.

When sending an email to a group of people it is important to ask yourself, “is there any good reason for everyone on this email list to see who else this email is going to.”

Typically, the answer is no.

When writing an email to a group or a list of people, put the list of email addresses in the BCC field so that the reply-all option is eliminated.

That’s it. Be proactive to avoid email embarrassment.

Connecting a Chromebook to the Internet

Chromebooks are dandy devices but they work most effectively if you have Wi-Fi. However, the reality is that not all classrooms in all schools have total Wi-Fi coverage.

If you want to connect a Chromebook to the Internet and you do not have Wi-Fi coverage you can still “hardwire” the Chromebook into your school network. 

To connect your Chromebook to your school network, unplug the network cable (the network cable is the one that looks like a heavy duty phone cord) from the back of your desktop computer. 

You then plug the network cable into a “dongle” that plugs into a USB plug in your Chromebook.

If you are lucky, you can get a “network to USB” dongle from the tech department of your school. 

The “network cable to USB connecter” can also easily be obtained from a store like Best Buy or London Drugs. They are not expensive – no more than $10 or $15. 

That’s it. Your Chromebook is now connected to the school network.