How do educators find out about new tools and technology, understand the educational implications, learn how others use them, weed out the many options, and (whew!) use them with students?
We recommend finding educational technology sherpas who will assist you as you make your own ascent up the mountain of technology integration. You still have to make the climb yourself, but like a climber at the base of Mt. Everest, a sherpa at your side gives you the benefit of experience, expertise and collective wisdom.
Once you have a blog reader (see this post on how to get started), subscribe to a few blogs and simply start reading. Pick a few, like 3-5; you don’t need a cast of thousands. Spend a week or two reading, and see who you like, who resonates with you, who lights your fire and makes you want more. You will find that some overlap and cover similar subjects from a slightly different point of view. You will find links to other people and ideas. You will find people walking the talk in real schools around the world. You will find answers, questions, and new virtual friends who care deeply about changing education for the better.
It’s a risk-free relationship. If it’s not your cup of tea, just unsubscribe — no sneaking out of a workshop with eyes boring into the back of your head.
Most likely you will find that you are not alone, but on a path with many others just like you. It’s a comforting feeling.
Here’s a short list of ed tech sherpas to get you started:
- Blogging, podcasting and wikis in the classroom – Will Richardson, Weblogg-ed
- Leadership – Peter Reilly, Ed Tech Journeys
- Librarians– Doug Johnson, The Blue Skunk Blog
- Teaching with 2.0 tools – Vicki Davis, Cool Cat Teacher Blog
- Video & Google Earth – Hall Davidson, Media Matters
- Podcasting and digital storytelling – Wesley Fryer, Moving at the Speed of Creativity
- Technical & open source – Miguel Guhlin, Around the Corner
- Technology staff development – Karl Fisch and staff, Arapahoe High School, The Fischbowl
- Thought-provoking – Gary Stager & others, The Pulse
- Student-led technology integration – Us! Generation YES Blog
This list could be much longer, but part of the fun is finding your own sherpas. Enjoy the journey!