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Technology in an Australian Classroom

G'Day Mates!

I just returned from two weeks in Australia. No, I won't bore you with my 1200 digital photos. But I would like to tell you about one of the best technology experiences I had. Yes, I even travel thinking about technology. And yes, I also brought my laptop to Australia.

DSC_0062 I had a meeting about technology with Brett Moller, Head of Learning and Educational Technologies at  Kings Christian College on the Gold Coast. Then I was able to watch his students, who were in the process of producing music videos over a few weeks time period. I liked the way Brett set up the class. Physically he arranged the classroom with a boardroom table in the middle and computers around the perimeter of the room. Academically he set up the class to mirror a business structure. Each group was given a budget to produce their music video. Within this budget they needed to rent the video camera. This helped the students realize that they needed to be detailed in their planning so that they could afford to get all of their filming completed.

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Google Search Secrets

Student_search So, if you're like most web-savvy teachers, you probably use a Google Search several times a day.  But, how Google-smart are you?  Here are a couple of tips and tricks that can make you into a Google Guru!

Tip 1: Use Google as a Calculator
If you type an equation into the Google search box, instead of a website, you'll find that your first search result is the answer to your calculation! Use an asterisk (*) for multiplication, a slash (/) for division, a carat (^) for powers and the abbreviation sqrt for square roots. You can even add parenthesis to an equation. Try this one to see how it works:

Tip 2: Use Google to help with unit conversions
Quick! How many miles are in a 10K race? What's 75°F in Celsius?  You can type these questions into Google to find the results fast.  To do so, type in the conversion like so:
10 kilometers in miles

75 degrees Fahrenheit in Celsius

Tip 3: Search a specific domain
Ever been frustrated because you *know* a page is somewhere on a site, but you can't seem to find it?  Use Google to search a specific site or to limit your search to a specific domain by starting your search with site:
For example, to find the two posts on the Tech Tutors blog that mention NASA, you'd type the following into a Google Search:
NASA site:blogs.scholastic.com/tech_tutors

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Think Global, Think Technology

People Thinking about global awareness and technology at the same time makes sense to me. Technology makes teaching about global awareness so much easier. There are a plethora of resources online. Here are a few of my favorites.

One of my favorite global resources is Scholastic's Global Trek. Not only do the students learn about other countries and their people, but they are able to keep a travel journal about their learning.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in Tech Tutors "Supporting Teachers Use of Technology" are strictly those of the author and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Scholastic, Inc.