Effectively integrating technology into the curriculum can be a challenge. One of the best new avenues that addresses this issue comes in the form of blogs written by fellow educators sharing their ideas. Whether you are trying to introduce tablets or Chromebooks to students or just looking for new ideas that utilize your pre-existing classroom mobile devices and technology, blogs offer a breadth of information for you and your students. Sifting through resources online can be time consuming, but here are several blogs that are a must-read for creative ideas on making the most of available classroom technology.
If you are looking for an educational resource that focuses on popular, established digital trends and lesson plans, then EmergingEdTech is your best bet. This website is run by Kelly Walsh, the CIO at The College of Westchester in White Plains, New York and he strives to find ways to help teachers discover technological solutions to make learning more engaging and fun.
This website is perfect if you want to find new apps and software that can enhance your students’ learning. The topics featured in the blog range from suggesting programs that help schedule your classes, to language learning apps that allow you to connect with native speakers in multiple countries through live sessions. Walsh’s website addresses very common problems, but mostly focuses on useful applications rather than lesson plans. This is a good website if you are looking for a new app to improve or streamline an idea you have already developed.
21st Century Educational Technology and Learning
This blog is written by Michael Gorman, a consultant for Discovery Education, ISTE, My Big Campus, and November Learning. He is also on the national faculty for BIE (BUCK Institute),an adviser for Tech & Learning Magazine, and an active teacher in Indiana. He designed a great website that not only addresses how to use technology in the classroom, but also offers general insights into new practices in education. His writing primarily revolves around makerspace projects and alternative learning ideas. It presents an interesting view on combining very recent ideas in hands-on learning with new mobile technology and is a refreshing take on digital learning trends.
The strength of this blog focuses on digital hands-on learning methods that make use of tablets, laptops and Chromebooks, meaning that educators looking for makerspace and project learning ideas will take the most out of it. The blog lacks resources for traditional digital lesson plans, but does offer beginner strategies on how to start using technology in your classroom. It is a good resource for administrators and teachers who have already spent a considerable amount of time integrating technology into their lesson plans and helps define the latest trends in electronic education.
iTech, uTech, weTech
Nikki Schwartz’ blog, iTech, uTech, weTech, synthesizes alternative learning practices and traditional electronic lesson plans together to form one of the strongest digital education blogs on the web. The website gives instructions on how to use Google docs, calendars and more in order to optimize your classroom organization. It also aggregates other useful websites that can be used to develop teaching strategies. The lesson plans included in the blog focus on individual learning devices, such as laptops and tablets and even extends resources to parents that show how to encourage proper electronic learning behavior at home.
The blog offers a wide variety of lesson plans and ideas that you can use from k – 12. These projects range from how to introduce STEM learning to kindergartners, ways to use technology in art classes, and electronic maker projects that encourage active learning. In addition to offering lesson plans, Schwartz posts discussions that explain how children can interact with technology more efficiently and methods to keep them focused while on educational mobile devices. This is a great all-around resource that any teacher should take advantage of.
Teacher Tech Trials
Teacher Tech Trials, a blog written by Corey Engstrom, gives educators an inside look at how technology is being used around the world to enhance learning processes and increases student engagement. He is a 5th grade teacher in Kingsburg, California and focuses on collecting various educators’ insights into electronic learning. His blog goes beyond simply delivering ideas and lesson plans by giving a voice to other educators through guest posts. These guest contributors share their views on new trends in learning and offer a wide variety of voices on the subject of digital learning. The trends discussed range from gamification in the classroom to reviews on new learning apps.
This is a great resource for teachers who want to learn more about the philosophy behind educational technology, while giving lesson plans that conform to the presented ideas. It is suited for teachers who are already using electronic educational equipment, as the ideas are fairly nuanced and require computer literacy in order to be effectively implemented. It is hard to find a better educational resource online and is ideal if you use tablets, Chromebooks or laptops in the classroom.
Katie Wardrobe is a music technology trainer and consultant with a passion for helping music teachers and focuses on an area in electronic pedagogy that is often overlooked by educators. Her blog, Midnight Music, presents lesson plans for apps and software that can exclusively be used in music classes, tapping into a niche field. These plans include discussing how multiple students can read music from one mobile device, how to properly scan and digitally process music scores and lesson plans that turn mobile devices into music-making instruments. The lesson plans are very revolutionary, considering how few k – 12 music educators use in-class technology and can be applied to any grade level.
This blog is an absolute necessity if you are searching for new ideas for your music class. There are very few resources that discuss teaching the arts with new technology, so this fills a gap that has largely been ignored. The one pitfall of the site is that it is aimed exclusively at music educators, so other educators will only be able to take limited advice from this blog.
When you are looking for new trends and lesson plans, these blogs offer great insights that give your classroom an edge. By following the latest trends in digital learning, you will be ahead of the curve and create a dynamic learning environment for every student. Keep following JAR Systems for more information on technology in the classroom.
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