Why Tech Matters: 5 Teacher Blogs Focused on Technology in the Classroom
With today’s explosion in technology, educators must keep pace with students and learn how to use different devices, like smartphones and tablet computers, or risk marginalization. Teachers also have to marshal all of the available internet resources to make sure their materials are lively, engaging, and current. This includes identifying and reading teacher blogs.
The blogosphere changes constantly, and educators should monitor blogs that are specific to the subjects they teach and also others that are general to the area of technology in education. For example, an English teacher’s overall blog reading strategy should include several blogs geared toward teaching literature and grammar, and also several teacher blogs aimed at making educators more computer and technology savvy. Good education technology blogs also focus on helping teachers develop competency to import tech resources into the classroom.
The following five teacher blogs are among the best-known and well-respected technology-centered education blogs on the internet:
1. Free Technology for Teachers, by Richard Byrne
Author Richard Byrne is a Google Certified teacher who left teaching after almost a decade to focus on writing and consulting, but is planning a return to the classroom. Free Technology for Teachers, a site he has nurtured since its infancy, is a multiple winner of the Edublogs Award. With more than 45,000 daily subscribers, it’s definitely considered an industry must-read. In addition to near-daily blog posts (available via e-mail or RSS subscription) that keep teachers up-to-date on the latest news in educational technology, this teacher blog contains links to Google Tutorials, free downloads, lists of essential educator resources, guides to creating educational videos, and information about Android as an asset in schools.
2. 21st Century Educational Technology and Learning, by Michael Gorman
Blogger Michael Gorman is a well-regarded industry expert and frequent presenter on implementation of technology in educational settings. His blog, 21st Century Technology and Learning, is education’s gold standard in tech blogging. The blog is acclaimed, having been named a Top 50 Education Innovator and a Top 40 Most Trusted Education Blog. In addition to topical posts, the blog contains a section entitled, “The Goldmine of Free Resources, Tools, Lessons, and PD,” with links to over 240 tutorials, a worldwide discussion board, and tools for collaboration, research, and teaching.
3. Ask a Tech Teacher, by Jacqui Murray
Ever wish there was someone to ask about how and when to use technology in the classroom? Well, Ms. Murray, founder of the award-winning Ask a Tech Teacher, is the author of a technology curriculum for K-6 and five books on technology in education, and she answers questions! In addition to the advice she offers in posts, her teacher blog is geared to the nitty-gritty of tech implementation in the classroom, and readers are steered to helpful websites, reviews of helpful apps, tech lesson plans, and even grant opportunities. Visitors to the blog can also sign up for newsletters.
4. Elementary Tech Teachers
Elementary Tech Teachers is “the place to share plans, ideas, tools, frustrations, and any other ideas related to teaching and using technology.” The site contains robust community forums, and the blogs, rather than being written by a single author, are written by a number of authors, which exposes readers to a wider variety of current issues and ideas in classroom technology. Recommended resources include information on podcasting and SMARTBoards—very practical choices for discussion in light of their ubiquity in the classroom.
5. Technology Bits Bytes & Nibbles by Cyndi Danner-Kuhn
This site focuses on “news, tips, tricks & resources for integrating technology into teaching.” Author Cyndi Danner-Kuhn is a faculty member and the Education Technology Integration Coordinator for Kansas State University College of Education, and she emphasizes what technology can do for people, rather than the “geek/techie” aspects of education in technology. Her blog covers all aspects of technology in education, with a special emphasis on the iPad as a tool for learning.