Showing posts with label NCTIES. Show all posts
Showing posts with label NCTIES. Show all posts

Thursday, March 16, 2017

This Ed Tech Blogger's Dilemma

When I started this blog back in 2007 I didn't have the intention of it becoming anything more than a way to organize and share the neat Web 2.0 resources that I was trying. Somewhere along the way this blog morphed from a hobby into a full-time job. I'm extremely grateful for the opportunities that have been given to me thanks to so many of you who follow and share my work. That has led to incredible invitations to your schools and conferences. Which leads me to the dilemma that I have found myself facing more and more frequently in the last couple of years.

I've become known for reviews of tools and for providing solutions to ed tech problems. That's the reason that hundreds of people show up for my Best of the Web presentation at NCTIES every spring. The dilemma I face is that I want to do more than just rattle off tech tips and tools, but not doing that leaves people disappointed because they've come to expect rattling off tech tips and tools. Likewise, I enjoy doing in-depth of reviews of emerging technologies, but the traffic statistics show that what people prefer is a "ten ways to X" list post. Similarly, in looking at conference programs and watching where people go at conferences, the pattern seems to continue. Scott McLeod made a similar observation a few years ago.

In short, I find myself trying to balance "giving the people what they want" or "doing what I'm known for" with trying to branch out. If you have any advice, I'd be happy to hear it. Tweet it to me or email me at richardbyrne (at)

Friday, March 3, 2017

All of My NCTIES Slides - #NCTIES17

If you have been following my blog or Twitter this week, you probably know that I have been in North Carolina for the NCTIES conference. Earlier in the week I facilitated pre-conference workshops. On Thursday and Friday I gave a few presentations. The slides from those presentations can be seen here or as embedded below.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Best of the Web 2014

Earlier today at NCTIES 2014 I shared an entirely new version of my popular Best of the Web presentation. In this version I shared only tools that are new-to-me since last year's NCTIES conference and or have released significant enhancements in the last year. The slides from the session are embedded below. If you would like a copy of these slides click here to open them in Google Drive then select "File,""Make copy" to save a copy for yourself. I will be updating the speaker notes to include more links.

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Week in Review - The Saturday Evening Post

Good evening from Maine. This week's week-in-review post is being written late because it was so nice outside today that I just had to spend the day outside with my dogs. It felt like spring outside and since my dogs were at the kennel (a great facility, but not the same as home) most of the week as I presented at the NCTIES and MSLA conferences, I felt like I owed it to them to get them outside as much as possible. If you're reading this on Saturday night, don't forget to change your clocks before going to bed.

Here are this week's most popular posts:
1. Five Ways to Create Word Clouds
2. Four Good Alternatives to Clicker Systems
3. Awesome Android Apps for Students and Teachers
4. 5 Apps and Sites for Creating Animations
5. WWF Together - A Beautiful iPad App About Endangered Animals
6. StatWorld - Interactive Maps of Development Data
7. How to Use Pixabay to Find Free Images

Would you like to have me to visit your school this year? 
Click here for information about my professional development services.

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Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Questions to Ask When Planning Video Projects

This morning at the NCTIES conference I gave a presentation on having students use mobile apps to create multimedia projects. Part of that presentation included video projects. Part of my presentation included a set of questions that I think teachers should consider when planning a video project. Those questions are listed below:

*Planning questions to ask yourself.
-What do you want students to demonstrate?
- What is your knowledge of the creation process?
- What is your students' level of knowledge of content?
- What are yours and your students' skills in writing, research, editing, assembling?
- How much time can you allot to this project?
- What are your skills? (Tip do the project yourself from scratch)
- What are your students’ skills?
- What kind of equipment do you have at your disposal? How often can you access that equipment?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Developing an Online Personal Learning Network

These are the slides from the presentation about personal learning networks that I gave at NCTIES. Under the slides I have included a few of the points that stressed in the session.

  • Personal learning networks aren't about one social network platform. 
  • Personal learning networks take time to develop.
  • Personal learning networks can be as large or small as you want them to be. 
  • Your personal learning networks will change over time.
  • Everyone has something to share.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Wiffiti - Gather & Display Feedback via Text

Wiffiti is a service that allows you to receive text messages and display them on a screen. In fact, if you've been to a sporting event in the last year you may have seen Wiffiti in use. The display doesn't have to be a Jumbotron, it could be as small as your laptop screen projected on to a wall. Today, Wiffiti launched the beta of a free version for educators.

Wiffiti for schools offers a platform through which you can collect feedback from students and display that feedback in a manner similar to sticking Post It notes to a cork board. You can collect feedback from text messages or from Tweets on the web. You can also collect images that your audience sends to your Wiffiti board. The new free Wiffiti for schools includes a G-rated filter to keep out inappropriate comments and a "zap" feature to remove any comments you want to remove.

Wiffiti's free offering to educators is still in beta so you will have to register for an invite to use the service.

Applications for Education
Wiffiti is kind of like Wallwisher for collecting and posting messages from a variety of devices. You could use Wiffiti to have a classroom full of students quickly share what they know about a topic or ask questions about material from class. You could also use Wiffiti to have your students vote on a question. Give the class a question, have them submit there responses, then eliminate all but the most popular three and vote on those. By the way, you can also do a similar voting activity in Socrative which was a big hit in one of my workshops today at NCTIES.

Two Years Later This Pattern Still Exists

I spent today at the NCTIES conference working with educators and talking with educators. One pattern that I heard throughout many of my conversations, and this happens everywhere I go, is "our school bought product X, but I'm the only one using it." As I wrote two years ago, buying stuff doesn't fix problems. Without instruction for teachers on the classroom of technology, putting a laptops, iPads, or SMARTBoards in every classroom won't improve students' learning experiences.