February 6, 2017
Free Technology for Teachers

by Pamela O'Neil

Richard Byrne’s blog, Free Technology for Teachers, is absolutely worth saving as a resource for the connected educator! He posts a plethora of really great blogs, websites, and apps for teachers to use in the classroom. His posts are not content specific as a whole, but vary in topic and subject.

It was certainly not difficult to get lost in my explorations of Mr. Byrne’s blog, but one really fascinating post for me was the one on the Gauging Your Distraction Game; a game to show students the dangers of texting while driving. Recently, students in my Oral Communications class engaged in a debate about just this while composing their persuasive speeches. I’m excited to show this to my students and will introduce it as a resource they can use for their speeches. The fact that it is a game speaks for its appeal. Not only will it serve as a great resource in the classroom, but it could serve as a caution against a real danger that many of my students, who are also new drivers, are engaging in.

I’m also excited about Byrne’s post, Three Tips for Planning Video Projects, because I have been looking for a way to do so in my classroom and this post gives some really great insight into how to go about this. I have only tried to assign a video project once and it did not go as hot as I would have liked. Since then, I have sort of shied away from the whole process. I would like to create this project again and with much less hesitation than before. I think Byrne’s tips, which include keeping it short and sweet, having students create a draft, and identifying what you’re going to assess, will allow me to do just that.

There is so much more where these resources came from. Richard Byrne’s blog is a real treasure trove for teachers of all grades and content areas. After discovering his blog, I think that I could create a blog for my students to access for resources. This would be an incredible way to encourage their educational technology use while improving my own. In a blog for my students, I could include resources for them to choose from for particular projects which would also be a move in the right direction of becoming more student-centered, which is always a goal of mine. It could also be a place where I could share suggested resources for particular class discussions and assignments, instruction for homework, and/or my own or previous student examples of projects and assignments for students to explore. There are really so many possibilities for a blog in the classroom!

From the mind of Pamela O’Neil