Sometimes the only way to make progress is to leave something behind.
If it takes a village to raise a child, how many people does it take to train an educator? It’s hard to say, but 50 helping hands seems like a good place to start.
In the spirit of community, collaboration and information sharing, EdTech: Focus on K–12 has rounded up 50 ed-tech blogs that we deem must-reads for the K–12 community. We launched our first Must-Read IT list last year to great response so we hope that you all enjoy this year's batch of blogs as well.
These blogs are a mix of voices and include blogs authored by teachers, administrators and technology vendors. They share real-world classroom experiences, offer inspiration and distribute valuable best practices.
This list was built in part by you, our readers. We reviewed the nominees that were submitted and selected some superstars from the suggested blogs. If your blog is on our list, you can grab a Must-Read IT Blog badge for your site.
Without further ado, here is the 2013 Honor Roll:
We are living in a world that is becoming increasingly digital, and Montana elementary school teacher Kate Peila is a paperless girl. Her blog, Purely Paperless, gathers tech tools and tips that any teacher can use to be more productive.
Read the blog: purelypaperless.blogspot.com
Who says librarians can’t have fun? Gwyneth Jones is a middle school teacher and librarian who describes herself as the “Lady Gaga of EdTech” on Twitter. Jones’ blog, which she decorates with cartoon versions of herself, is a delight both for the eyes and for the mind.
Read the blog: thedaringlibrarian.com
As a reformed “chalk and talk” teacher, Jenni Levy enjoys reinventing educators’ approaches to classroom instruction. Her list of insights runs the gamut from teleconferencing for language acquisition to using LinkedIn in the classroom.
Read the blog: jennilevyesq.blogspot.com
EdReach strives to be a beacon of light in these changing times and “provides a platform for passionate, outspoken innovators.”
Read the blog: edreach.us
Based in Silicon Valley, amid all of the innovation generated by companies like Google and Facebook, Sam Patterson, dean of student advising and outreach at Kehillah Jewish High School in Palo Alto, Calif., helps teachers navigate the digital world.
Read the blog: mypaperlessclassroom.org
Run by two teachers from Roslyn, N.Y., this blog tackles technology integration in the classroom in depth. Sample posts include advice on creating school-friendly student avatars and visual note-taking for elementary school students.
Read the blog: theasideblog.blogspot.com
Although teacher and librarian Linda Lindsay is surrounded by natural beauty in Maui, she spends plenty of time in front of a book or a computer. One really nice Hawaiian touch: All of her posts are signed with a smiley that has a flower in its hair (◕‿◕✿ ).
Read the blog: mauilibrarian2.com
Think you may have missed some important news in educational technology? Biology and technology teacher Michael Karlin has you covered. His blog curates the latest and greatest in ed-tech.
Read the blog: edtechroundup.org
Matt Renwick, an elementary school principal in Wisconsin, is a passionate voice for innovation and leadership in education, particularly in the area of digital literacy. He’s also an EdTech: Focus on K–12 contributor.
Read the blog: readingbyexample.com
The way we learn is rapidly evolving from the lecture model of old, and Justin Ferriman’s WordPress-based LMS spotlights the new ways teachers and students can collaborate.
Read the blog: learndash.com/blog
Casting a wide net across technology and literature, high school English teacher Kate Baker impressively captures both the worlds of technology and prose in one blog. Her take on the existentialism of Candy Crush is a perfect example of her approach to ed-tech.
Read the blog: kbakerbyodlit.blogspot.com
Learning is a lifelong journey. At least that’s the approach taken by Getting Smart editors when it comes to education. The site is a place for thought leaders and innovators to share ideas and foster discussions about improving education.
Read the blog: gettingsmart.com
Teaching often requires, well, teaching. The team behind Teach Thought spends a lot of time “exploring new learning models, including blended learning, project-based learning, self-directed learning, and the role of play in learning.”
Read the blog: teachthought.com
Lisa Nielsen, a longtime public-school educator, uses her platform to explore new learning methods and to shine a light on educational inefficiencies and deficiencies. Case in point: her recent takedown of “the packet-driven classroom.”
Read the blog: theinnovativeeducator.blogspot.com
Elementary school principal Curt Rees doesn’t just write about ed-tech — he also talks about it regularly on the Techlandia Podcast. He describes his blog as a platform for his “experiences and thoughts from the world of education (and Star Wars!)”
Read the blog: curtrees.com
One of the major content hubs for educators, Edudemic is an essential resource for tips, tactics and lesson plans that embrace technology and innovation in the classroom.
Read the blog: edudemic.com
Isaac Pineda, a technology-integration specialist at Colegio Inglés, an English-language private school based in Mexico, runs this blog and offers a true “outside” perspective on ed-tech.
Read the blog: blog.isaacpineda.com
The boundaries of instruction and education exist only in our heads. On his blog, Andrew Schwab, an educator and a self-described “IT guy,” is busy “thinking out loud” about all things ed-tech.
Read the blog: anotherschwab.wordpress.com
For David Kapuler, it’s ed-tech to the rescue! As a longtime technology specialist for schools, David has a keen eye for spotting intriguing mobile applications and education websites.
Read the blog: cyber-kap.blogspot.com
Author and Web 2.0 researcher Med Kharbach rounds up tools and interesting resources for educators in social media and mobile technology. If you’re looking for a good app, this is the place to start your search.
Read the blog: educatorstechnology.com
On her blog, Patricia J. Brown, a technology-integration coach for the Ladue School District in Missouri, delivers personal accounts of technology in the classroom. She often uses photos to document her experiments, as she did with this post on using QR codes for an interactive art show.
Read the blog: msedtechie.blogspot.com
Looking for a good ed-tech Tumblr to follow? Tim Holt, a longtime instructional-technology specialist, shares graphics, videos and short bits of information on the emerging social media platform that Yahoo just spent $1 billion acquiring.
Read the blog: holtthink.tumblr.com
Education is what you make of it, and freelance writer Audrey Watters slices and dices different elements of ed-tech on her blog. As a self-described rabble-rouser, you can expect Watters to regularly make her voice heard.
Read the blog: hackeducation.com
What’s in the mind of a teacher tasked with leading today’s classroom? Candace Hackett Shively knows. She’s in charge of TeachersFirst.com, and she uses her blog to celebrate, explore and highlight the work that teachers do everyday.
Read the blog: blog.teachersfirst.com/thinkteach
If you’re expecting the typical commentary from longtime educator David Warlick, look elsewhere. His 2 cents skew toward the unconventional, but in a good way. He believes that education has, in large part, become “too clinical.” Consider his blog the remedy.
Read the blog: davidwarlick.com/2cents/
Much has been said about the 21st-century classroom and teacher, but principals are undergoing major changes as well. J. Robinson’s blog provides insights into the admin’s point of view.
Read the blog: the21stcenturyprincipal.blogspot.com
Vicki Davis is, in her own words, one cool cat. She’s a teacher and the IT director at Westwood Schools in Camilla, Ga., and a co-author of Flattening Classrooms, Engaging Minds. Her blog spotlights cool tools and apps for teachers, but one of its best features is her daily curation of ed-tech news.
Read the blog: coolcatteacher.blogspot.com
While some educators are offering their “two cents” on ed-tech, school administrator David Truss doubles up with his blog by offering 20 cents. This blog, which Truss has been running for seven years, is a treasure trove of ideas that any educator can use.
Read the blog: pairadimes.davidtruss.com
Sandy Kendell, aka “Sandy K,” adds a human touch to her ed-tech blog. While she discusses the usual topics, such as BYOD and flipped classrooms, she also opens the door to important conversations, like when she wrote about how schools should prepare for “the worst case scenario” after Newtown.
Read the blog: edtechsandyk.blogspot.com
As a noted author and an experienced education administrator, Harry G. Tuttle knows firsthand how technology can transform education. His recent book on mobile learning explores 90 educational activities students and teachers can do on smartphones and tablets.
Read the blog: eduwithtechn.wordpress.com
Richard Bryne, a Google-certified teacher and ed-tech consultant, offers online resources and tools at a price point that everyone’s happy with: free. His blog is often updated multiple times during the day, so be sure to check in frequently.
Read the blog: freetech4teachers.com
This Microsoft education blog strives to inspire and highlight classroom innovations by the company and by the broader tech industry. Cameron Evans, the national technology officer of U.S. education for Microsoft, runs the blog.
Read the blog: higherinnovation.net
High school physics teacher Jack West takes on the challenges and opportunities that education faces with technology integration. And it’s not all theoretical; West recently shared the results of his class’s 1-to-1 initiative with Google Chromebooks.
Read the blog: jackcwest.wordpress.com
If you’re looking for an ed-tech leader with street cred, Steve Hargadon is your man. He’s 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.” Oh, and he blogs, too.
Read the blog: stevehargadon.com
The blog’s title means “classroom” in Gaelic, and its content is geared toward helping elementary school teachers craft the most meaningful learning experiences for our youngest students.
Read the blog: seomraranga.com
Educator Mark Gleeson has more than 25 years of experience under his belt, and in that time, he’s seen floppy disks come and go and tablets take over. His blog does an excellent job of covering both the theoretical and the practical elements of ed-tech.
Read the blog: mgleeson.edublogs.org
Truth in blogging is worth gold, which is why educator Doug Peterson keeps it all the way real. Though his blog claims to be off the record, everything he writes can and should be shared — like this post on whether keyboarding will be on the chopping block in the future.
Read the blog: dougpete.wordpress.com
Joyce Valenza, a teacher and librarian from Springfield Township High School in Pennsylvania, is on a never-ending quest for learning and enlightenment. Part of the School Library Journal site, this blog unearths digital-media learning gems.
Read the blog: blogs.slj.com/neverendingsearch
Educator Shelley Wright embraces the shifting sands but doesn’t allow trends to dictate her career. For example, she flipped her classroom — and then unflipped it after realizing the model wasn’t the best fit for her.
Read the blog: shelleywright.wordpress.com
Shelly Blake-Plock of TeachPaperless fame is the CEO of this ed-tech startup, which focuses on providing mobile-first, datacentric professional-development solutions. The company’s blog offers insights and ideas on digital learning and the evolving ed-tech landscape. Recently, Blake-Plock wrote about how “hashtags are not enough.”
Read the blog: anestuary.weebly.com
Serving as the online hub for noted educator, consultant, speaker and writer Wesley Fryer, this blog pulls together thoughts and insights on creativity, productivity and classroom learning.
Read the blog: speedofcreativity.org
Lucy Gray is an education consultant with education certifications from Apple and Google. Her blog is a good resource for curating headline content from other publications.
Read the blog: elemenous.typepad.com
Former math teacher Dan Meyer uses his blog to share news, trends and insights in math education. This blog is a great resource for those looking to learn more about how technology is changing math education.
Read the blog: blog.mrmeyer.com
While most people recognize the value of collaboration among teachers, those same people may not realize that principals need a community, too. Connected Principals offers administrators just such a place.
Read the blog: connectedprincipals.com
Ramsay Musallam is a Google-certified high school chemistry teacher from San Francisco. His blog offers “hacks” that teachers can use in the classroom. His TED Talks presentation on sparking learning is definitely must-see TV.
Read the blog: cyclesoflearning.com
We may or may not be moving on to Web 3.0, but for the foreseeable future, our classrooms are certain to remain connected to the web in some form. Steven W. Anderson, director of instructional technology for Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Schools in North Carolina, keeps up with all things web on his blog.
Read the blog: blog.web20classroom.org
Tom Whitby is one of the founders of the highly influential and popular #edchat hashtag on Twitter. His blog offers well-rounded insights on ed-tech that go far beyond Twitter’s 140-character limit.
Read the blog: tomwhitby.wordpress.com
The excitement that education inspires in teachers and students can sometimes be described as electric, but high school teacher and administrator John Sowash’s blog is more focused on the electric current flowing through students’ devices.
Read the blog: electriceducator.blogspot.com
Nicholas Provenzano is nerdy and he knows it. His blog runs through various hardware and software solutions for teachers, with his Evernote experiment being a notable highlight. Also worth noting: Provenzano was recently named ISTE’s 2013 Outstanding Teacher of the Year.
Read the blog: thenerdyteacher.com