Saturday, December 25, 2010

Out of Sight, Not Out of "Mind"

So, here I am at the end of my fourth month of retirement and enjoying my free time, not stressing about incorporating technology into the daily lives of students. Oh, right, they're doing that without any help, and I'm still thinking about it, aren't I? Technology remains an integral part of my own life, whether it's my smart phone, or my Facebook account, or keeping up with people I respect on Twitter, or worrying about the blog posts I'm not posting. I'm finding that you can take the teacher out of the classroom but you can't remove her interest in what goes on there.
To keep up with technology in education, I'd like to recommend some of the most interesting and useful blogs that I enjoy reading every day. Many of these are well known to you, and for good reason. Others may be newer and for each one of them there are at least ten more out there not yet on my RSS feed. Here are some of my current favorites:

1. Free Technology for Teachers, Richard Byrne
A recent post contains 7 videos every teacher should see. I enjoyed all of them, even ones I've seen before. For fans of The Office, don't watch the last one until you've watched the first six!
Free Technology has inspiring suggestions almost every day and I wouldn't miss one.

2. Angela Maiers
Angela Maiers is a well-known speaker and consultant and she covers lots
of issues, including the uses of web technologies in education. I found particular interest in her recent conversation about Grant Wiggins' proposal to ban fiction from literature classes in favor of more non-fiction. You can read Angela's response and others' who read Wiggins' blog. Fascinating and provocative.

3. Teach Paperless, Shelly Blake-Plock
Recent post about how "teachers shouldn't be guide
s; they should be travel agents" was very interesting. Blake-Plock is a teacher, a writer, and a musician to name a few occupations. He has discussed the need for and uses of homework, when to use paper in a paperless classroom and many other challenging ideas.

4. Upside Down Education, Amanda Dykes
This one's new for me and I find it more philosophical than other blogs. I enjoyed Dykes' recent conversation about the now ubiquitous interactive white boards in classrooms. Other recent topics of interest were "Do you share?" and "What's Your Empowering Word?"

5. Langwitches Blog, Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano
The author of this blog has international credentials and includes, among her interests, global learning connections and digital story telling. Recent blog entries include: using social bookmarking in schools, Richard Byrne's Super Book of Web Tools for Educators (to which Tolisano is a contributor), and "What do you have to lose?" (about sharing yo
ur writing with others).

6. dangerously! irrelevant, Scott McLeod
The author is on
e of the creators of the original Did You Know? (Shift Happens) videos and is an expert on technology leadership in education. The Anti-Creativity Checklist and Athletics or Laptops are recent entries to this blog.

7. Not So Distant Future, Carolyn Foote

The author is a librarian in Austin Texas and her blog talks about issues concerning libraries, technology, and schools. A recent blog entry is about why teachers should be Time magazine's "Person of the Year." She has also discussed Kindles, and the shifting paradigm for libraries and librarians. Foote also links to a great list of other blogs to explore.

There are other blogs (my goodness, how many?!) to explore and I'll share them as my year goes along. I hope other people will share their favorites with me, too.

Keeping my mind on technology,

(Cartoon originally seen on "Innoblog"
Other graphics from and