Showing posts with label Scott McLeod. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Scott McLeod. Show all posts

Saturday, September 21, 2019

The Practical Ed Tech Podcast Episode #9

On Friday afternoon I recorded the latest episode of The Practical Ed Tech Podcast. In the episode I shared some news about the future of Free Technology for Teachers, gave a shout-out to Dr. Scott McLeod for this thought-provoking blog post about mobile devices in schools, shared a neat tool for distributing and collecting permission slips, and answered a bunch of questions from readers like you. You can listen to the episode here or on your favorite podcasting platform. The complete show notes are available in this Google Doc.

You can listen to all episodes of the podcast here or find them one of the following podcast networks:

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Practical Ed Tech Podcast - Episode #6 Featuring Dr. Scott McLeod

In the last episode of the Practical Ed Tech Podcast I mentioned that I had recently spoken with Dr. Scott McLeod about his new book, co-authored with Julie Graber, Harnessing Technology for Deeper Learning. I was going to wait a few more days before publishing the conversation as a podcast, but I couldn't wait. So here it is.

I've known Scott for ten years or more. He's one of the people in the educational technology space that I've always looked up to and trusted for good advice. Our conversation for the podcast ranged beyond just talking about his new book.

You might not be familiar with Scott's written work, but there's a good chance you've seen the video that he did with Karl Fisch, Did You Know; Shift Happens. I kicked off the conversation by asking him, "what's changed since Did You Know; Shift Happens was published twelve years ago?" Give the podcast a listen to hear his response.

The Practical Ed Tech Podcast can be heard on, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple PodcastsRadio Public, Breaker, and Pocket Casts. And you can find the RSS feed for it here.

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)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

In 60 Seconds on the Web

In 60 Seconds on the Web is a neat infographic displaying approximations of how much new stuff appears on the web every sixty seconds. The question for educators is how does the ease of publishing to the web and the constantly increasing content impact how and what we teach? I think it's the same question that Scott McLeod and Karl Fisch raise through Did You Know?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Rethinking Education - Do You Want to be a Part?

Rethinking Education is a new video from Dr. Michael Wesch. I saw the video on Dr. Scott McLeod's blog yesterday and have since watched it twice and listened to just the audio once (the value for me was almost the same without the visuals). The video is embedded below and my reflections are below it.

Replace "printing" at the beginning of the video with "creating" and you have the reason I like Web 2.0 tools for publishing interactive texts, producing videos, and sharing acquired knowledge.

The discussion of what is good knowledge or good information is a discussion that should happen whether the information is online or in print.

Links are very important.

Monday, January 3, 2011

A Book for the School Administrators in Your Life

I've known about this for quite a while, but wasn't sure that I could share it with the world. Now I know for sure that I can, Scott McLeod and Chris Lehmann invited me to contribute to a book they're editing about digital technologies and social media. I accepted their invitation, of course, and with Carl Anderson wrote a chapter about online mind mapping tools. This evening I'm happy to share, as Scott did earlier today, that What School Administrators Need to Know About Digital Technologies and Social Media is on its way to the publisher. I encourage you to check out the list of chapter titles and contributors. I hope when the book is available you'll share it with the school administrators in your life.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Resources to Help Schools Understand Social Media

Updated December 4, 2011. In the time since I published this post last year I contributed to a book on this topic. What School Leaders Need to Know About Digital Technologies and Social Media was edited by Chris Lehmann and Scott McLeod who inspired this post.

Earlier this week Scott McLeod asked When will schools begin using social media? Who's doing it well right now? Scott's point is that schools are still using a communication model of broadcasting instead of conversing with parents, students, and other stake-holders. In the comments on Scott's post there are some examples of schools using social media. Unfortunately, those examples are still the exception to the rule.

One of the reasons why more schools are not using social media is because their leaders don't understand social media. Too many of them think that social media tools are just about sharing what you had for breakfast (BTW, I had oatmeal) or sharing pictures from parties. Sure, social media can be used for that, but it can also be used for growing bigger ears and listening to your constituents so that you can get a pulse of the community and respond to your community's needs.

To help school leaders understand some productive uses of social media, here are some resources to check out.
Chris Brogan is one of the leading experts on the use of social media for organizations. His book Trust Agentspresents a great case and examples for individuals and organizations. You should also check out his blog.

Social Media in Plain English is a Common Craft video explaining the basic concepts of social media.
Social Media and the Work Place is a brand new video from Common Craft that explains why and how organizations use social media.

And of course, if you haven't seen the following videos or passed them along to the people that need to see them, I encourage you to do that.

Social Media Explained Visually.

Social Media Revolution 2011.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Why I Write Free Technology for Teachers

This morning Scott McLeod posted a list of things that we would do if we were serious about educational technology. His list could be viewed as a checklist of mindsets schools should be striving to adopt.

I'm often asked why I write this blog. And the answer is simple, to help teachers learn about technology that they can access and use in their classrooms. Two of the items on Scott's list really speak to the need for the work that folks like myself, Larry Ferlazzo, Kelly Tenkely, Adam Bellow, and many others do everyday.

  • "better educate and train school administrators rather than continuing to turn out new leaders that know virtually nothing about creating, facilitating, and/or sustaining 21st Century learning environments." 
  • "treat seriously and own personally the task of becoming proficient with the digital tools that are transforming everything instead of nonchalantly chuckling about how little we as educators know about computers."

Monday, September 27, 2010

Take the Dangerously Irrelevant Textbook Challenge

Dr. Scott McLeod has issued an interesting challenge to teachers and school administrators. The textbook challenge is based the idea that, in Dr. McLeod's words, "there's not much in your children's textbooks that isn't available in at least a dozen places online for free." The challenge is to prove that statement correct or incorrect. So grab your kid's textbooks and start searching. Then post a comment with your findings on this post on Dangerously Irrelevant to be entered to win a prize pack of books. The books are Tribes by Seth Godin, Catching Up or Leading the Way by Yong Zhao and Ignore Everybody by Hugh MacLeod. I listened to and read Tribes when it came out and although its technically a business book, many of Godin's ideas could be applied to an education setting. Zhao's blog is in my RSS reader and his book is on my "to read" list.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Holiday Edition: Least Restrictive Environment for Educators

Believe it or not, I'm actually taking a couple of days off from going online. I know that not everyone celebrates the same holidays that I do so I am reposting some of the most popular posts of the last two years. This is one of them.

I usually don't write much about the philosophy and politics of school leadership because it doesn't really fit with the purpose of this blog. But Dr. Scott McLeod put out a call for all edubloggers to post their thoughts about school leadership today. This post is my contribution to Leadership Day 2009.

In my work with special education students over the last six years, I have consistently heard from special education teachers and administrators the refrain of "creating a least restrictive environment for students." The idea being that in a least restrictive environment students have the most opportunities to experience new things, explore their creativity, and grow personally and academically. I completely agree with these ideas.

The irony I see in school leadership with regards to technology in the classroom is that often, by imposing strict internet filters, school leaders don't create a least restrictive environment for their faculty. Some of the most restrictive environments that I've heard of include the blocking of wiki services, gmail, and Google image search (which recently added Creative Commons search). By restricting access to the internet, including such innocuous things as Yahoo mail, schools limit the ability of teachers to use their creativity in lesson planning.

I understand that schools are worried about lawsuits arising from student access to the internet. At the same time if school leaders are filtering the internet out of fear or misunderstanding of the law they are not helping their teachers prepare students for life after high school. (Please note that I did not say "prepare students for the 21st century." We're a decade into the 21st century we should stop saying "21st century skills" and just say "skills" or "skills for academic and professional success.") To address these fears and misunderstandings, Wes Fryer and others created Unmasking the Digital Truth. If you're a school administrator or a teacher who works in a district that doesn't create a least restrictive internet environment, please visit Unmasking the Digital Truth.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Did You Know 4.0 (Shift Happens)

Dr. Scott McLeod sent out a Tweet last night announcing that the fourth version of Did You Know? (also referred to as Shift Happens) was going to be released today. Well I just watched it on Scott's blog and now you can watch it too. This version was done in the same spirit as the previous versions, but has less of an education slant and more of a business slant. To learn more about the development of Did You Know? and see the previous versions, visit the Shift Happens wiki.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Social Media It's Not a Fad, It's a Revolution

I saw this video posted on Dr. Scott McLeod's blog yesterday and immediately posted it to FriendFeed. Done in the style of Did You Know? (Shift Happens), Social Media Revolution reveals some statistics about the use of Social Media around the world. One such statistic that all educators and school administrators should be aware of is "2009 US Department of Education study revealed that on average, online students out performed those receiving face-to-face instruction." To see all of the stats from the video in a list, visit the creator of this video's blog.

Here is a related item that may be of interest to you:
When You Use Creative Commons Licensing...

Saturday, August 22, 2009

When You Use Creative Commons Licensing...

Sometimes you get great things like this... remixed version of Shift Happens.

The official remix...

The remix available in 22 languages...

So many remixes that you could spend a couple hours watching them on YouTube.

How many educators and administrators have been influenced by the spirit of the Did You Know and the many, many remixes?

Thanks to Chris Brogan for the thought. Most educators probably don't know who he is because he's in the business/ marketing world, but he has some excellent thoughts to share about building connections and communities.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

A Good Source for Content Area Blogs

Dr. Scott McLeod is organizing the Moving Forward wiki. One element of the Moving Forward wiki is a listing of excellent blogs by content area. If you're looking for some good blogs to add to your RSS reader check out the Moving Forward wiki. There is currently a push underway to add more blogs to the content area listings on the wiki. If you know of good content area blogs that should be added to the wiki, add your suggestions.

Here are some related resources that may be of interest to you:
100 Education Blogs Worth Checking Out
My 21 Must-Read RSS Feeds
How-to Week, Day 2 - Setting Up a Blog

Monday, July 27, 2009

Why Aren't You Having a Bigger Impact?

"Why Aren't You Having a Bigger Impact" was the opening slide of a breakfast presentation given by Scott McLeod at NECC 2009. I attended the session because I enjoy reading Scott's blog and because, as someone who would like to help my school's students and teachers become effective users of technology, the topic interested me.
If you were not able to attend the presentation, you can now watch it on You can also access the slides from the presentation here.

If you serve your school in any type of leadership role, but particularly if you serve in a technology role, the presentation is worth your time.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

A Great Professional Development Opportunity is offering a great professional learning opportunity this summer. is hosting an all-expenses paid Teacher Innovator Summer Camp in Portland, Oregon. In addition to having all expenses paid, will also give you a $2000 stipend. Twenty educators will be chosen for this opportunity. To qualify for this opportunity you must be a K-8 classroom teacher. Applications for this opportunity are due by June 24, 2009. Apply here and good luck. (I'm jealous, I teach grades 9-12 so I'm not eligible).

For those of you that are attending NECC later this month, is hosting a breakfast presentation on Tuesday, June 30th. At the breakfast Scott McLeod will be hosting a discussion about technology, school change, and the challenges of informal leadership. I have registered to attend and I hope to see many of you there too. You can register for the breakfast here.