Teaching today's tech to the teachers
October 16, 2011 11:45 AM   Subscribe

What are some of the best blogs, websites, newsletters, etc. that explore the innovative uses of (and issues related to) technology and social media in K-12 education?

Background: My employer is an IT contractor that provides technology outsourcing for K-12 schools (i.e., managing their PCs, servers, applications, end-user support, and so on). I will soon be moving into a new position, where my role will involve "technology integration with teachers, and helping [the company] create a network of educators sharing ideas across our districts using social media."

Bonus Question: I've worked on the front lines (doing support) with this company for a while, so I know the simple fact is that many teachers just will not catch on to the whole social media thing, but how can I best reach out to those who will catch on and engage them?

There is no official job description to work with as yet, so exactly what I'll be doing on a day-to-day basis is unclear. That being said, I'd like to dive into this and have some ideas ready for implementation so I don't have to sit around for a few weeks figuring out what I can do.

FWIW, I have already dug through the relevant questions tagged as education+technology.
posted by aheckler to Education (5 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
You could take a look at eschoolnews.com. MMV.

Also see escelearn.wordpress.com or edsocialmedia.com
posted by jgirl at 12:42 PM on October 16, 2011

It's not exclusively technology-oriented, but George Lucas' educational foundation edutopia lists technology integration as one of its core strategies.
posted by desertface at 1:38 PM on October 16, 2011

Also some favorites of mine:
- Converge Magazine
- THE journal
- Free Tech 4 Teachers
- MacFound's Digital Media Lab

As for your second question, aheckler, the most important thing is that you make it about using the tech to support instruction, not the other way around. Show them how the tech can help their students, and you'll get more buy-in. Just as important is providing ongoing professional development and some kind of implementation support. I could write pages and pages on this, so memail me if you want a bibliography.

If you're looking for advanced reading, consider E-Learning in the 21st Century by Randy Garrison. It's one of the most comprehensive, coherent, and common-sense books I've found on the subject. Not exactly easy reading if you're not used to academic writing or educational theory blathering, but worth the slog if you want to learn about learning theories and frameworks for instructional design using online tools. Kindle edition is (relatively) cheap! Cynical former-classroom teacher me loved it.
posted by smirkette at 7:10 PM on October 16, 2011

You may be interested in EdSocialMedia.com. (Due disclosure: My company is a sponsor.)
posted by usonian at 8:12 PM on October 16, 2011

Honestly, it's probably Facebook that will serve you best, and then only after work hours -- it's hard to sneak in a few minutes of Facebook activity when you're in front of a class.

But really, I have to ask about your marketing strategy here. Do you really want frontline teachers? Or do you want the people who actually spend the money? Different folks with different internet access profiles.
posted by pwnguin at 6:36 AM on October 17, 2011

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