Technology Teacher Resources | 7 Essential Resources to Enhance Learning

Introduction

Do you struggle to find engaging technology teacher resources for your classroom?

As a teacher in 2024, integrating technology enhances learning, but sorting through countless options is tiring.

This article outlines the 7 most essential technology teacher resources that makes teaching easier while getting students excited about computing concepts, coding, and robotics.

These indispensable tools offer lesson plans, visual programming languages, unplugged activities, and more to actively improve classroom engagement. Read through to find out more.

7 Essential Technology Teacher Resources to Enhance Classroom Learning in 2024

Resource 1: Code.org | Technology Teacher Resources

Code.org is a super cool website with tons of free resources that can teach you and your students all about coding.

It makes learning to code really fun.

Code.org has interactive courses that use drag & drop blocks to build programs, puzzle games to practice coding skills, and even offline activities to teach computing ideas without computers.

You can choose curriculum for different grade levels to match what your students know.

Third graders can learn with Anna and Elsa from Frozen. Older students can code games and apps using real programming languages like JavaScript or Python.

The step-by-step lessons make it easy to assign coding homework or use Code.org in technology and computer science classes.

Students get to see their code come to life with fun animations.

Over 100 million kids around the world have learned on Code.org.

With video tutorials and teacher guides too, Code.org lets you bring coding into any classroom even if you’ve never coded before.

Sounds great, right?

Lets find out more.

Resource 2: Scratch Coding Platform | Technology Teacher Resources

And here again, we have Scratch.

Scratch is a fun and free coding website developed by MIT just for kids in grades K-12.

Over 50 million kids around the world use Scratch.

You can help your students learn to code by creating interactive stories, games, animations, music, and even their own inventions in Scratch’s colorful drag-and-drop interface.

Scratch has both online and offline versions so students can code with or without Internet.

In a 2021 survey, 93% of Scratch users said the platform helped them be more creative and express themselves.

75% said they learned important skills including coding, design, and problem-solving. Scratch’s library of over 100 million projects gives you tons of examples to inspire your own technology lessons.

With adaptive tutorials, an engaged community, and lesson plans for educators, Scratch brings out kids’ creativity and confidence with code.

Resource 3: Alice Programming Environment | Technology Teacher Resources

Alice is a free storytelling tool that makes learning to code as easy as dragging and dropping blocks.

It allows students to create fun animations, games or videos by programming objects like people, animals, and buildings to do things.

Alice has been used by over 1.5 million students in middle and high schools worldwide.

The Alice programming environment provides over 144 ready-made 3D objects, so you don’t need to be an artist to make cool things.

You just drag and drop actions like “move left” or “turn” onto object blocks. Strings of commands create an animation.

Alice works right inside a web browser, so there’s nothing to install.

With step-by-step tutorials, homework assignments, guides and dozens of pre-made worlds, Alice offers tons of options for teaching programming and technology concepts in engaging ways.

More than 90% of Alice learners show improved attitudes towards STEM fields like computer science. I promise you more of these discoveries, read on.

Resource 4:CS Unplugged | Technology Teacher Resources

CS Unplugged from the University of Canterbury offers unique offline activities for introducing technology and coding concepts without using computers.

Students get out of their seats to learn through games, puzzles, and classroom-sized versions of computer programs.

This makes topics like algorithms, binary numbers, and data compression kinesthetic and enjoyable.

CS Unplugged aligns activities to curriculum standards for various ages.

Here’s an example activity explaining how data is transmitted digitally:

Activity Name | Parity Cards

Activity Length | 20 minutes

Materials Needed | Deck of playing cards

Learning Concept | Error detection in data transmission

In Parity Cards, students transmit playing card data to “compute” a parity bit and detect transmission errors.

This represents core concepts in computer networking without any screens, widgets, or electronics.

With slides, videos, educator tips, and integration guides, CS Unplugged makes teaching technology engaging for different learning styles.

The activities work well alongside tools like Scratch or Code.org that I have mentioned previously.

Resource 5: Robomind Coding Software

Robomind is the perfect software for introducing kids to coding concepts through robotics and programming visualizations.

As technology educator Linda Li says, “Robomind’s simple drag-and-drop interface allows young students to grasp coding fundamentals on an intuitive level.”

There are built-in challenges ideal for teaching sequencing, loops, and conditional logic. Students “program” virtual robots to accomplish missions by arranging directional and action blocks.

Robomind provides real-time feedback so students can refine their code.

Whether planning rover paths, coordinating drone flights, or even choreographing dance moves, Robomind spans robotic concepts from ages 5 and up.

With customizable mazes and tutorials, the possibilities are endless for sparking technology engagement.

Resource 6: TEALS Program | Technology Teacher Resources

The Technology Education and Literacy in Schools (TEALS) program is amazing for any teacher looking to build a strong computer science program at their school.

TEALS partners each interested teacher with an industry volunteer from companies like Microsoft.

Together, they team up to deliver introductory coding and programming curriculum to students.

TEALS supports you with the following:

  • Step-by-step curriculum guides, sample projects, and lecture slides to use in your classroom
  • Virtual and in-person training sessions, mentorship, and community resources
  • Industry volunteers who can visit your classroom, collaborate virtually, or deliver guest lectures
  • Opportunities for students like coding camps, hackathons and internship programs
  • And best of all – it’s 100% free for US schools and teachers.

I discovered that with curriculum tailored from middle school to high school, TEALS has helped over 700 schools globally start sustainable computer science programs that get kids skilled up for 21st century jobs. Sign up now or learn more on the TEALS site.

Do not miss the last part of this article, it promises you a huge discovery!

Resource 7: Khan Academy Computer Programming

As a teacher for over 10 years, I’m a huge fan of Khan Academy’s free coding courses for use in my middle school technology classes.

Khan’s introductory programming curriculum is perfect for teaching students aged 10 and up the foundations of coding through JavaScript drawing and animation projects, HTML/CSS web design activities, and interactive challenges.

Lessons start simple by having kids edit existing animations and work up to designing original projects.

I’ve found the step-by-step video tutorials of making coding concepts extremely approachable even for students intimidated by text-heavy lessons.

Exercises build creativity by allowing students to customize sample projects to their interests, like personalizing a digital pet or making their own video games.

Khan Academy has been invaluable for getting over 1,000 of my students started on coding in class or independently at their own pace. The progress tracking helps keep them to stay motivated.

Final Notes

After over a decade of teaching technology, I highly recommend the 7 resources we just covered to fellow educators.

I’ve seen firsthand how students who build games on Code.org, program animations with Alice, and even act out algorithms gain critical thinking abilities, problem solving skills, and enthusiasm for STEM.

Here’s to actively enhancing hands-on participation for students of all interests and ability levels using the teacher-approved technology tools above.

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