You can adapt almost all TechnoKids projects to work offline. No Internet connection is necessary to complete most activities. With some slight modifications your students can create publications, present information, and code games easily.
To start, it is important to note, that initially either the teacher or a school IT administrator must have a device with an Internet connection. Prior to instruction, they must download TechnoKids files from TechnoHub. Once this is complete, it is necessary to transfer TechnoKids resources to either a local server, networked device, or USB stick that students can access.
When teaching a TechnoKids project, there are four strategies teachers can use when students do not have the internet. These are:
- Locally Install Software to Work Offline
- Conduct Research Using Traditional Sources of Information
- Compile an Image Collection to Work Offline
- Collaborate Face to Face
1. Locally Install Software to Work Offline
TechnoKids has projects for Microsoft Office, Google apps, and programming. The great news is that the software required has local installation options.
Office 365 requires an Internet connection to activate an account. Once this step is complete Office desktop apps will work offline. However, once every 30 days, the apps need to be re-activated using an Internet connection. Please note, if working primarily offline, students should save their files locally instead of using a cloud-service such as OneDrive. This will ensure they always have their schoolwork.
Google has an offline feature, which is ideal if students lose Internet connectivity from time to time. To set up this option, students will need a Google account and the Chrome web browser. While online, install the Google Docs Offline Chrome extension and then enable offline access. For detailed instructions refer to the Google Help Center.
Please note, Google only has offline versions for Google Docs, Sheets, and Slide. Unfortunately, Forms and Sites require an Internet connection. For this reason, several TechnoKids projects such as TechnoTrivia, TechnoQuestionnaire, TechnoSite, and TechnoEarth cannot be taught. Refer to the Scope and Sequence for a list of Google projects that can be completed offline.
TechnoKids has several coding projects including TechnoTales, TechnoWhiz, TechnoTurtle, TechnoArcade, TechnoRace, TechnoCode, TechnoHTML, and TechnoPython. All can be taught offline. When connected to the Internet, download Scratch Jr, Scratch, Python, and text editors (such as Notepad++ for Windows, Caret for Chromebooks, or TextEdit for Apple). Then, install the apps onto student devices.
2. Conduct Research Using Traditional Sources of Information
Several TechnoKids projects integrate curriculum topics into the activities. For example, students might create a biography about a historical figure, presentation on an ancient civilization, or travel advertisement for a faraway destination. These require students to research information to complete the task. Typically, the Internet is used to acquire reliable sources. However, if students are working offline, use these suggestions:
- provide library books and encyclopedias
- select a topic about which students are already knowledgeable
- draw upon personal experience for content (e.g., TechnoNewsletter)
- print TechnoKids fact cards for select projects (e.g., TechnoEnvironment)
- complete the project at the end of a unit of study as a culminating activity to showcase learning
3. Compile an Image Collection to Work Offline
Images add interest to stories, posters, slide shows, and more. Nevertheless, if students have no Internet connection, they cannot access image galleries. This means that colorful backgrounds, clip art, stock photography, and other resources are not readily available.
One option is to have students use personal photos stored on their local device. This is ideal for completing TechnoKids projects that can be autobiographical such as TechnoMe or TechnoTimeline. As well, many TechnoKids projects can draw on student’s experiences such as a family vacation for TechnoTravel or hometown for TechnoMap.
Another option to solve the offline image problem is to create a library of royalty-free images that is then locally shared with the students. Initially, this requires an Internet connection. Follow the steps below:
- Look at the topic of the project you are going to teach. Decide what type of images the students are going to want. For example, in TechnoJournal, they will likely want book, sports, and food images.
- Make a folder called Image Library or Clip Gallery.
- Download a wide selection of clip art that you think will fit the students’ needs for the assignments. It is important to download only royalty free images.
- Rename each image with a descriptive name e.g. cat1, cat2, pizza1, pizza2, etc. You can even make subfolders called Animals, Sports, Food, etc. to organize the clipart into categories.
- Share the library with students using a USB stick or by loading it on a local server that they can access. When they want to add a picture to their work created in Microsoft Office, they select Pictures, Images, or Illustrations from the Insert tab of the program and choose This Device. (In offline Google apps, go to the Insert tab, pick Image and then choose Upload from computer.) Then students navigate to the location where the image collection was saved: either a local server, USB stick, or on their device.
- Students can either view a folder as icons to see the images or they can use the Search feature to look for images they want. Both the category names and the item name can be used as keywords when searching.
- Gradually add to the library over time, to create a comprehensive resource for all TechnoKids projects.
TIP: Instruct students to use singular, not plural, terms when searching, eg. cat, ball, book
4. Collaborate Face to Face
Many TechnoKids projects have students share their work. The purpose could be to receive meaningful feedback or present to a real-world audience. When connected to the Internet it is simple to link to a file. However, collaboration can still be accomplished offline. Below are some recommendations.
If the school has a projection system, students can present to the entire class. Comments from their peers are offered orally as a large group discussion.
Pair and Share
Students can partner with the person sitting to their left or right side. By turning their monitor, it is easy to share work. Afterwards, they can exchange ideas.
To celebrate students’ accomplishment, arrange a class tour. Each student opens their work on a device. When ready, the teacher instructs students to ‘switch’. Everyone moves one spot clockwise to the neighboring device. After a specific amount of time and when directed by the teacher, students rotate to the next device. The tour ends when all projects or a predetermined number have been reviewed.
In many TechnoKids projects, students post digital comments to offer their and suggestions for improvement. Instead, when working offline, provide a printed worksheet or paper. Students can write their comments.
NOTE: The only TechnoKids projects that cannot be completed offline are TechnoSite, TechnoInternet, and TechnoTrivia in the Junior Collection, and TechnoEarth, TechnoDebate, and TechnoQuestionnaire in the Intermediate Collection. These projects require Google Apps online or the Office Online version of Microsoft.