This post was written by Romane Robinson, who is currently pursuing an MA in Cognitive Studies in Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. A passionate student and proponent of human development, Romane has a BS in Research and Experimental Psychology and interned at Brainscape as a CEO Relations Manager in 2014.
Education is evolving fast. Every day, we hear about some new technology that will change the world and the way we learn in it. At Brainscape, we are dedicated to improving the way you learn with our own innovative smart flashcard technology (check out our subjects here), but there are many other educational technologies that are key to improving learning around the world. Because these rapid changes offer us the chance to improve education at every level for all people, it is more important now than ever before for teachers and students to have access to the best new methods, programs, and devices in the field right away.
Luckily, many dedicated educators blog about some of the best education technologies available and the evolution of their uses. These 10 blogs are our favorites here at Brainscape. Smart, pithy, and immediately useful, these blogs will teach you plenty about the best and most up-to-date technologies for use inside classrooms, at home, and wherever there are students who want to learn.
Top 10 Education Tech Blogs
If you have ever felt that school was boring or irrelevant, the Innovative Educator, Lisa Nielson, understands how you feel. Motivated by her own disillusionment with the way public schools today approach teaching, Nielson focuses on showing other educators ways that they can use freely available resources and technologies already within students’ grasps to make classes more engaging and relevant. Not only does Nielson deal with broad ideas about technology in the classroom, but also the nitty gritty details of implementation, so that teachers will be able to use her ideas without having to struggle against a budget process or other restrictions.
Gwyneth Jones, the Daring Librarian herself, knows that librarians can have lots of fun. Approaching ed-tech with a sense of humor and plenty of Vines and cartoons to illustrate her stories, Jones writes a blog that entertains as it informs. Not only does she provide plenty of excellent content on new apps and ideas on how to use everyday websites as learning opportunities, but also a good measure of fun stories that will have you laughing out loud.
With weekly posts on the state of technology in education, EdTech RoundUp is the best place to go to find out the latest news related to education tech. The comprehensive coverage of news and recently released apps and devices allows you to find out the latest happenings in just one place every week. While this blog may not have as many original ideas as some other blogs in the field, the RoundUp provides you with the best place to keep informed on progress in the field.
Easily the largest hub for education content out there, Edudemic provides teachers with advice, ideas, and lesson plans to better integrate technology in the classroom. While a visit to this site may be a bit overwhelming at first due to the sheer amount of attention-grabbing content, you will always be able to find new ideas that make your visit worth your time.
When you are tired of reading the same ideas over and over again written in different words on different blogs, head over to MindShift for something unique. Focusing on slightly edgier, more fringe topics within the educational technology field, MindShift opens your eyes to totally new ideas. With its wide scope and its dedication to sharing all unique opinions on education, MindShift will give you plenty to talk about with your colleagues.
While ideas are great, implementation remains the biggest challenge for many teachers. A lack of resources and tools plagues many schools, making it more difficult to use technology in the classroom. Richard Byrne addresses this in his blog, Free Technology 4 Teachers. His well-organized site is a treasure trove of free apps, software, videos, and graphics that teachers can use in the classroom right away. Practical and clear, Byrne gives suggestions that even the least tech-savvy teacher can use.
Who doesn’t like a good life hack? Ramsay Musallam recognized how useful hacks could be in classrooms, so he set up Cycles of Learning to share practical education tech hacks to make teachers’ lives just a bit easier. Once you see his TED Talk on sparking learning, you won’t be able to get enough of his content. By focusing on simple ways to inspire real learning in students using technology in the classroom, Musallam shows us that even learning can be hacked.
Hosted by the George Lucas Educational Foundation, Edutopia has plenty of well-indexed information on how technology can be used in classrooms. Since information is filed by age group and topic, teachers can easily get practical ideas that are relevant to their current curriculum without wading through lots of ideas that won’t quite work for their individual situations. With plenty of videos and fun quizzes, Edutopia can be a fun place to browse even if you aren’t looking for anything specific. Make sure to click on their “Trending Topics” section to find out what the hottest topics are currently in education technology.
Don’t let the simple design and lack of flash fool you; Steve Hargadon’s blog provides plenty of worthwhile current information on educational technologies. A true ed-tech leader, Hargadon is the director of the Web 2.0 Labs, host of the Future of Education interview series, chair of the Social Learning Summit and the Learning 2.0 Conference, and co-chair of the annual Global Education and Library 2.0 worldwide conferences. As Hargadon is one of the top experts on educational technology, you can be assured that reading his blog will give you plenty of innovative ideas.
Sam Patterson, K-5 tech integration specialist, talks about his own experiences trying to implement tech ideas in classes in My Paperless Classroom. Not only does Patterson have some excellent ideas on how to effectively use technologies less commonly allowed in classes, including MineCraft worlds, toys, and video games, but he also candidly reveals some of the challenges and pitfalls of these technologies. Be prepared to learn what tech integration really means in the classroom.
While all of these favorites are worth bookmarking in our opinion, every day more creative education tech blogs pop up with new approaches and unique ideas. At Brainscape, we love reading any education technology blog we happen upon, because we always learn something new. Do you know any excellent education technology blog we didn’t mention? Let us know in the comments below, because we’d love to hear from more brilliant educators. Education technology never stops changing, but by following some of the leaders in the field, we can make sure that we are in the know about the best ideas out there to help our students. And if you’re interested in education technology, make sure to check out all the smart, adaptive flashcards from Brainscape!