Tuesday, April 27, 2010

EDIM 508 - An Educational Blog Worth Following

Since 2007, Richard Byrne managed to bring his blog, Free Technology for Teachers, to the forefront of many educators' minds- 19,000+ to be approximate.  His resourceful, busy blog has a prominent RSS feed spot on the Ning I use to keep school-based technology coordinators abreast of current and future trends in educational technology and various free resources in information communications and collaboration technologies. This blog served as the catalyst that encouraged me to start a professional learning resource blog for teachers and coordinators in the City of Newark. 

I specifically love the way he introduces the free tool and specifically provides tangible, practical applications of each tool in the classroom.  It is the model I use when I post to my blog.

His blog posts definitely encourage the development of the Five Minds as summarized by Howard Gardner:
-Disciplined - As a Social Studies teacher, he provides many tools and resources to help teachers who teach the "scholarly discipline", history
-Synthesizing- I have personally used a  resource he shared on his blog, Yudu to help a school create online e-books and magazines with second graders who authored and illustrated stories about nutrition and making healthy choices.  Upon creating these books, one can embed them onto blogs or websites.  He also has a slide share that speaks on connecting the disciplines with web tools.
-Creating- Mr. Byrnes shows teachers how to map global learning and the arts by referring to Paintmap.com.  Imagine as a teacher, taking your students on a virtual field trip to help them make connections to the world through locating the origins of a piece of art or artist.
-Respectful-Nur.ph is a resource Mr. Byrnes exposed us to through his blog, this site helps us nurture the respectful mind by providing a virtual chat centered around web content.  Students can collaboratively work together to analyze and assess the effectiveness and appropriateness of websites.  Its a great way to promote media literacy.
-Ethical-"Everyone Does it ... Lessons in Internet Ethics" is an awesome post from this blog.  This post provides teachers with various ways and opportunities to expose students to conversations and experiences centered around ethical practices and decision-making.

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