06 April 2011

Top 5 Ed Tech Blogs

Aspiring and current educators frequently ask me how I keep up with the latest in ed tech.  I always reply with the same three things: 1) read and write blogs, 2) join and participate in Twitter, and 3) listen to podcasts.  

In part one of this three-part series, I told you about my favorite education and technology podcasts.  In this second post, I want to introduce you to some of my favorite ed tech blogs.  Honestly, if you're reading my blog, you probably already know about these, but here they are anyway.

Originally started by a teacher in pursuit of a paperless classroom, TeachPaperless is now a blog detailing new tools in ed tech through the eyes of over ten talented writers.  The fact that this blog has so many contributers means that you get regular stream of updates.

As an aspiring administrator, Steven Anderson's blog plays an important role in my professional development.  On his blog and his Twitter, @web20classroom, Anderson sees ed tech in the bigger picture.

Written for the most part by Kelly Walsh with a sprinkling of guest blog posts, EmergingEdTech focuses on new and innovative technology tools.  One of my favorite things about this blog is the Weekly Tweet Wrap from @EmergingEdTech that offers links to tools and stories from the previous week in ed tech.

The Pursuit of Technology Integration Happiness
Michael Zimmer's blog, like all of these others, keeps up with the latest trends in ed tech.  What I like most about it, though, are the resources broken down by subject area.  He also posts a weekly roundup of subject area resources to keep core-subject teachers up to date with the latest tools.

Free Technology for Teachers
If you're interested in ed tech and haven't heard of Richard Byrne, you must be living under a rock.  This is the best ed tech blog around.  His blog and his Twitter, @rmbyrne, are chock-full of the latest ed tech resources.  If you don't read another blog on this list, read this one.

How do I keep up with all of these blogs?  RSS.  There are tons of RSS readers out there like FeedDemon (Windows), NewsFire (OSX), FeedSquares (Android), and Flipboard (iOS).  I use Google Reader since it's web based, which allows me to read on a variety of devices including my Android device, my Chrome OS netbook, my Ubuntu machine at home, and my Windows PC at work.  Plus, it integrates well with my other Google services like Google Listen.

What are some of your favorite blogs or RSS readers?  Let me know in the comments.

05 April 2011

Podcasts for Tech Savvy Teachers

Aspiring and current educators frequently ask me how I keep up with the latest in ed tech.  I always reply with the same three things: 1) read and write blogs, 2) join and participate in Twitter, and 3) listen to podcasts.  This is the first in a three-part series dedicated to those three elements in my attempt to stay ahead of the ed tech curve.

I'm going to take the first of these three post for podcasts.  During my hour-long commute, podcasts streaming through my Android phone keep me both awake and informed.  Here are my top five:

As part of CNET, Buzz Out Loud offers a daily recap of technology news.  Regular hosts Molly Wood and Brian Tong and a dynamic group guest hosts present the daily headlines with a healthy dose of commentary (and rants).  

In their own words, "The Tightwad Tech is a podcast by and for those in the education field who face ever-growing demands and ever-shrinking budgets."  Shawn Kibel and Mark Cockrell are technology specialists in the Honey Grove Independent School District near Dallas, Texas.  They share their experiences and ideas and bring in knowledgeable guests on various topics related to free/low-priced ed tech solutions.

TNT is part of TWiT, a network of technology "netcasts" created by former Screen Savers host Leo Laporte.  A relatively new podcast, TNT is hosted by Buzz Out Loud alumni Tom Merritt and Jason Howell, along with Revision3's Sarah Lane and This Old Nerd's Iyaz Akhtar.  Even though it's not as seasoned, I like TNT better than BOL.  Merritt is my favorite podcaster of all time and this is Tom at his best.

NPR offers a ton of useful podcasts.  NPR:Education is a weekly recap of education-related stories, offering everything from heartwarming tales of educators to pressing issues from differing viewpoints.  NPR:Technology is the same for technology-related stories, offering the past week's tech news through in-depth, thought-provoking reporting.  Still, Wait Wait...Don't Tell Me!, the "Oddly Informative News Quiz," is my favorite NPR podcast, simply because it's fun.

If you've read any of my other posts, you know I'm a huge fan of Google and its free tools for education.  Hosted by Leo Laporte along with blogger and programmer Gina Trapani and journalism professor Jeff Jarvis, TWiG is a weekly TWiT network podcast dedicated to Google and the cloud.  While much of the show focuses on Google, other cloud and Internet technologies are an important part of the discussions.  If someone told me I could only listen to one podcast a week, this would be it.

How do you stay on top of the latest news in ed tech?  What are some of your favorite podcasts?  Let me know in the comments.