Tech Talk Blog

  • Tech Trends

    Posted by Linda Martin on 1/4/2019

    I recently read an article in Tech & Learning about the top ten educational technology trends, and I found it quite interesting. At Seneca Valley we are involved either broadly or in specific classes in at least seven of these trends: 1:1, mobile devices, cloud computing, collaborative computing, robotics, game-based learning, and STEAM/STEM. Anyone interested in learning more about the educational philosophy behind the trends may find it worthwhile to read the article.

    Educational Tech Trends

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  • Writer Igniter

    Posted by Linda Martin on 12/17/2018

    The old adage, "Practice makes perfect," is certainly true when it comes to writing. The more practice a student gets, the better writer he/she will become. Writer Igniter is a website that randomly generates writing prompts to give students ideas for practicing their writing skills. Just click the Shuffle button and watch Writer Igniter randomly select a character, a situation, a prop, and a setting to get students started writing. This tool could be used daily, weekly, monthly--however the teacher chooses--or students could use it on their own to refine their skills. Either way, it's a great writing tool and easy to use. 

    Writer Igniter

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  • Visual Intelligence

    Posted by Linda Martin on 12/7/2018

    I recently watched this recording of a TED Talk about visual intelligence and how learning to look carefully can be an asset in many occupations.  Although technology isn't mentioned specifically, I believe the skills mentioned could absolutely be important for anyone who uses or works with technology. How can we be sure that the website we're using is real and not trying to scam us? How can we be sure that the email we received with an embedded link is really from who it says it is and not from someone trying to get us to download a virus or spyware on our computers? We need to look again and look slowly as the TED Talk suggests. There are always clues if we take the time to look. 


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  • Reverse Dictionary

    Posted by Linda Martin on 11/20/2018

    Online dictionaries are plentiful for anyone wanting to look up the definition of a word, but have you ever wanted to use a particular word and not been able to think of it? The Reverse Dictionary was designed to help people in exactly that situation. According to their website, "This reverse dictionary allows you to search for words by their definition." To use the site, type in the definition of the word that you want and click the search icon. The Reverse Dictionary searches other dictionaries to find words that match your definition. You can click on the words in the list that is generated to see their specific definitions.

    Reverse Dictionary

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  • Typing in Spanish

    Posted by Linda Martin on 10/24/2018

    I had a great experience today helping a Spanish class. The students needed to be able to type unique Spanish characters quickly and easily, so the teacher asked me if I knew a way for them to do that. I didn't, but I tried a few things that really weren't helpful. Then I did what I should have done initially, and that was check YouTube.  I found this short tutorial that worked beautifully for the students! Since Spanish is so widely used, I thought I should share the tutorial in case others have the same need.

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  • Digital Citizenship Week

    Posted by Linda Martin on 10/17/2018

    Digital Citizenship Week is Oct. 15-19. The purpose of the week is to encourage students to think critically and use media responsibly for educational purposes and in all aspects of their lives. Common Sense Media is an excellent online resource for students, parents, and teachers to locate resources to teach media responsibility to children. Watch the video to learn more about digital citizenship.


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  • VocabGrabber

    Posted by Linda Martin on 10/10/2018

    Since the advent of Wordle, word cloud generators have become very popular. Many of them share the same features, such as the ability to change colors, fonts, and word cloud shape, but others have added features or have gone in a slightly different direction with the idea. VocabGrabber has done the latter. After copying/pasting text into VocabGrabber, the website generates a word cloud that enables students to analyze the text. Clicking on a word in the word cloud opens a visual thesarus map that includes definitions and examples of word usage. Other features available include: word count, relevance, and sorting using various criteria, such as subject area and usage frequency. Students who want to analyze word usage and vocabulary used in a text might want to try VocabGrabber.


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  • SVTube

    Posted by Linda Martin on 9/24/2018

    SVTube is the District's media repository and has been available to teachers and students for several years. Now that all students have their own laptops, I thought it might be a good idea to revisit its use:

    • All students and teachers have SVTube accounts.
    • To sign in, students use their computer network usernames and passwords.
    • Once signed in, students can upload and share video and audio files.
    • Only Seneca Valley students can view/listen to media shared by other SV students, and they will have to sign in to access them.

    SVTube provides a safe medium for students to post content. Content uploading supports multiple formats.



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  • Off to a Good Start

    Posted by Linda Martin on 9/13/2018

    Staff welcomed students to a new school year, and with the advent of this school year, students also received laptop computers to use for educational purposes in their classrooms. Students in grades 9-12 received the laptops for the first time as the final phase in the District's One-to-One Computing initiative. This is an exciting time for both students and staff as they experience unique educational opportunities through the use of technology.  To learn more about One-to-One, visit the District's One-to-One Computing website and watch the presentation viewed by students in grades 9-10 on the day they received their laptops.


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  • Celebrate Summer

    Posted by Linda Martin on 6/4/2018

    As I write my last blog for this school year, I can't help but look forward to summer activities. For me, that means a lot of time spent outdoors and participating in activities that either can't happen in other seasons or I don't have time to do when I'm in school. As we approach summer, parents may also be thinking of ways to keep their children educationally engaged over the summer. Some suggestions to consider are: 

    • Touring any facility related to the child's career interests
    • Visiting the website TrailLink to find local hiking/biking trails to explore
    • Taking a summer workshop offered through a local community college
    • Volunteering at local parks
    • Reading a book for pleasure
    • Working on a family history project

    The possibilities are endless, and there's so much to see and do! You might try visiting a local Chamber of Commerce website for ideas, too. Happy summer!!






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