An Educator’s Guide to Blogging

Ed Tech RoundUp

Michael Karlin, a biology and technology teacher from Kansas put together this blog as a resource for teachers to have access to the latest and greatest tech tools for the classroom. Karlin reviews various tech resources and tools and provides and summary and feedback for others. In one review he take a look at PebbleGo from Capstone, a research tool for early learners. The state of Delaware has a PebbleGo subscription for free through UDLibSearch. We use PebbleGo frequently with our first and second graders, as well as our struggling readers. PebbleGo makes researching topics easy and the program will read to the students. There are a lot of wonderful images, videos, and quick activities as well. Happy Numbers is a wonderful site that offers interactive math games for students. Teachers can create an account and then add students to classes. They have the option of assigning students various lessons. As a teacher you can track their progress and proficiency. This is set up for the primary grades, but could be used for struggling learners as well. ClassHub is a class management program. This is a paid service, but offers features such as Screen Peak, Screen Sharing, Lock in App capability, and more. This is would be a great tool for a library media specialist or middle/high school teacher to have. I think that teachers who use a lot of technology would enjoy this blog. There is a wide range of topics covered from primary to high school.



Free Technology for Teachers

Richard Byrne, a former high school social studies teacher from Maine, is well known for the creation of his blog, Free Technology for Teachers. He is a certified Google Teacher and his blog has won many awards. The blog was designed to share information about free resources that teachers can use in their classroom. In one of his posts he compares two similar tools, Diigo and Google Keep. I had used Diigo in the past with students. It is a tool that allows the user to highlight and make notes on a live web page. You save your edits using the toolbar app and can then access them the next time you return to that site. Google Keep is a new Google Extension that also allows user to make notes and highlights on a page. I think this would be easier as it is a part of the Google family and our Chromebooks use that same system. He also mentions Otus, a learning/classroom management system that allows users to generate and analyze student data in order to make decisions on students improvement. It is also a paid subscription, but you can try it for free. Screencastify and Nimbus are two more tools that he compares. Screencastify allows you to record, live, your computer screen. It is like a video of everything you are doing on your screen with audio and visual. Nimbus, the Google Extension has a free version, but not as good as Screencastify. This blog offers wonderful posts for teachers who are looking for free resources to incorporate into their classroom. Byrne includes a lot of great videos and tutorials to help as well.




My Paperless Classroom

My Paperless Classroom blog was created by Sam Patterson and educator, podcaster, and puppeteer. Patterson’s blog looks a little different than a lot of blogs I have been too before. It is set up more like a traditional website, which can be good. He organizes the page by topics or categories and includes links/videos that relate particularly to that topic. For example, one hot topic is STEM Education. Below you can see what that section of his site looks like.


There are a lot of options to explore there and you can see more by choosing one of the subcategories at the top. STEM and coding are two popular things in education right now. I think Patterson provides a lot of great resources for both novice and experienced teachers. He even includes how-tos and tutorials for setting up websites and blogs as well as product reviews. His page is a great resource for library media specialists to have linked to their website. I think a lot of teachers would be happy to take a look at some of the things he has included.


7 thoughts on “An Educator’s Guide to Blogging

  1. I like all three blogs you have here! I think they all do a great job in reaching classrooms and teachers. The one I enjoyed the most was the paperless classroom. This one stuck out to me the most because my principal is always trying to get us to go green and use technology more in our classroom. I will be able to explore the website more and see ho wi can incorporate this into my classroom. Including how-to’s and tutorials is a wonderful thing to have as I question if I am doing things right so this allows me to have clarification.


  2. Amanda,
    Your blog was so informational! I really enjoyed reading how each blog that you introduced had a different purpose and yet they all covered the same topic. I had no idea that there was a blog that focused on free technology. That is one that I would like to subscribe to. Also, Michael Karlin’s blog is another one that I really liked. His blog is up-to-date and that tells me he will provide information about technology as it rolls out. Thanks for providing additional links for the resources that were mentioned in the bloggers’ posts. It was helpful to click on them if I wanted to research the digital tools further.


  3. Amanda,
    These are very useful blogs. My favorites are the Free Technology and The Paperless Classroom. Both of these provide tutorials, a very important element if you really want teachers to use the tools you are telling them about. By providing those extra links to content, you help to make it that much easier to get the big picture of what these blogs are trying to do.
    Thank you for sharing.


  4. Amanda, as I was reading through your posts, I saw you referenced I absolutely love this site! Have you tried yet? That one focuses more on geography/states/presidents etc. for student research. Our school theme this year was USA, and I had my students research a state. They enjoyed using this site and also learned how to cite it as well. Although they are only 7-8 years old, I feel it is part of our digital citizenship that students learn at a young age not to plagarize or just copy/paste whatever they find. Your site is put together really nicely. All content is easily accessible and the added links are very useful. Great work!


    1. I haven’t used the PebbleGo Next. It is not part of our free subscription. But I have heard great things about it. I do LOVE PebbleGo for my first and second graders, as well as my special education students in the higher grades.


  5. Amanda,

    I enjoyed exploring Free Technology for Teachers. Have you used Screencastify in your classroom? If not, would you consider using it after reading the blog? My principal has used it during advisory lessons to share information with the entire school and I have used it in some of my grad classes, but I have never used it with my students.



    1. I have used Screencastify a few times, but I really haven’t gotten into the habit of using it consistently. I think it would serve better for the classroom teachers. If students are absent they could watch the lesson again or something like that. My mini lessons are usually so short I can catch kids up again easily. I also don’t like recording myself (or voice) haha!


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