Monday, September 14, 2015

Marketing Your Teaching Materials - A Free Webinar Next Monday Night

Marketing Your Teaching Materials is a free one hour webinar all about strategies for using blogs, social media, and email to promote the resources that you can sell through the TES Marketplace. The TES Marketplace is open to any educator who wants to offers free and or premium resources to other educators. Educators who sell their resources through the TES Marketplace receive 100% for resources purchased in the U.S. There's no limit to how much you can earn.

In this free webinar on September 21st  at 7:30pm EDT I (Richard Byrne) will share my best strategies for promoting the materials that offer in the TES Marketplace. You'll learn new ways of using social media, blogs, and email to promote your offerings without feeling like you're turning yourself into a sales person. A TES representative will be on the webinar show you the unique features of the TES Marketplace.

Click here to register today!

Attendees will also receive a document that I created to outline the process I use for promoting resources through social media and email. 

A Glossary of Ed Tech Terms

A few years ago I created a glossary of blogging terminology and included it in my guide to using Blogger in schools. I distribute that glossary when I lead workshops on blogging. Distributing the glossary provides everyone in the workshop with a common vocabulary to use. Using that common vocabulary gives people a higher level of comfort in asking questions and more precision in articulating what they need from me.

Chalkup recently published a glossary of ed tech terminology that could be helpful to anyone who is planning to lead an ed tech professional development event. The glossary covers things like 1:1 technology, blended learning, MOOC, and OER. The glossary includes definitions as well as links to additional materials to learn more about a chosen term.

We give students vocabulary lists and glossaries in our classrooms. We should do the same in professional development settings.

Help Students Get Organized with My Study Life

This is a guest post from Jennfer Carey (@TeacherJenCarey) of EdTechTeacher - an advertiser on this site.

Students and teachers often operate on fast-moving, jam-packed schedules with lengthy to-do lists. Check out My Study Life, a free tool for students that allows them to incorporate complicated schedules (like that new rotating block schedule your school implemented last year), to-do lists, homework reminders, and more. My Study life works on Chrome, Windows, Mac OS, Android, and iOS; even better, it will sync across all of those platforms.

One of my favorite features of My Study Life is that, unlike traditional planners, it allows students to set up their schedule based on things like terms, class periods, and even incorporates changing schedules like rotating or block schedules that are becoming more popular. They can also incorporate holidays into their schedule so that they don’t show up on a Teacher Work Day or wake up early on the first day of vacation!

Tasks are not a simple “to-do” list, rather they are larger elements that students must tackle every day to meet an end goal. Students can also attach a task to an exam, so that they can focus a little on it every day leading up to the final assessment. By incorporating reminder tools, My Study Life keeps you on task every day!

With so many options available to students, My Study life stands out from the crowd. Try it as a student or even test out the beta teacher version!

Looking for more ideas? EdTechTeacher has a list of apps to help students improve organization as well as other learning activitiesNovember 16-18, they will also be hosting their fourth annual EdTechTeacher iPad Summit in Boston

Sunday, September 13, 2015

15 Topics for Your School/ Classroom Blog


Whenever I talk to teachers about blogging I field questions about developing blog post topics and or maintaining a posting schedule. My suggestion is to come up with a list of topics that you can write about every week. I have fifteen suggestions below to help you get started with your blog this fall.


Student-written posts:

  • Three favorite moments from the last school year. 
  • Favorite part of summer vacation. 
  • All-time best moment in school. 
  • Three questions they want to find the answers to this year. 
  • Favorite book or movie and why. 

Teacher-written posts:
Think about what your students' parents want to know about. What do they ask you about at open house night or parent-teacher conferences? Think about that for a few minutes and you'll have a some good blog topics. I did that this spring as I prepared to teach a course on blogging. Here's the list of blog post topics that I developed.
  • How to manage your child’s web use
  • How to talk to kids about web use
  • How to prevent the summer slide
  • 5 fun, free educational activities to do at home (think Maker activities)
  • 5 local field trips to do on rainy days
  • 5 local field trips to do on sunny days
  • A glossary of Tween vocabulary
  • 5 things parents should know about Facebook/ Twitter/ Instagram/ Snapchat/ YikYak
  • 5 tasty and healthy snacks to send to school
  • How to talk to kids about bullying

Join Blogs & Social Media for Teachers & School Leaders to learn how to develop a great school or classroom blog. 

Saying Goodbye to My Best Friend

Morrison always loved truck rides.
This is a purely personal post that I'm writing and sharing as a therapeutic exercise for myself. If you're not inclined to reading stories about dogs, skip over this post.

Somewhere around 2008 Denise (my partner at the time) and I started volunteering our Sunday afternoons to walk dogs at Harvest Hills Animal Shelter. We were both dog lovers but agreed that getting a dog of our own wasn't practical at the time. In 2010 Morrison arrived at the shelter. He was an older dog then (somewhere between 8 and 10) and a little stand-offish with strangers. For some reason though, he got attached to me quickly. Older dogs have the hardest time getting adopted out so he was there for months. Every week when Denise and I arrived, he got excited and loved to play fetch in the large (1/2 acre+) pens at the shelter. Finally, after months of seeing Morrison and seeing me have a very hard time leaving him Denise caved and I brought Morrison home to live with us. On that day I posted on Facebook, "after 32 years of waiting, I finally have my own dog!"

As I mentioned, Morrison was an older dog when I adopted him. He was intensely loyal to me, to Denise, and to anyone else that he deemed trustworthy. He was never far from me in my house, in my yard, or anywhere else we went. When we went camping as part of a 10,000 mile roadtrip to Alberta, British Columbia, and Montana Morrison always slept next to me and didn't settle down until he knew that everything was safe. Morrison saw more of North America than many humans I know.

Morrison saw me through the darkest days of my life in 2011 and I can say with near certainty that without him I may not be here today (please, if you're feeling depressed and overwhelmed, ask for help). Morrison celebrated many of the best moments of my life too. He "high fived" me on the day that I figured out that I would earn enough money to leave my full-time position and go out on my own as a consultant/ blogger/ part-time teacher. He was also a very fine judge of character who, in his own way, gave me advice on women I met after Denise and I separated (btw, we're still great friends and she came with me to say goodbye to him yesterday).

Morrison peacefully passed away yesterday. I'm going to miss my best friend terribly.


If you're considering getting a dog of your own, please consider adopting an older dog. The years you have with him or her may be shorter than you like, but the years you do have will be fuller for it.

Thank you to the wonderful staff of Bridgton Veterinary Hospital (Bridgton, Maine) for all of the great patience and care you gave to Morrison over the years, especially this last year as his health declined but his spirits never did. Thank you to my good friend Sara for her advice and support over the last month as Morrison's health declined (Sara, when we met 20+ years ago who knew we'd be counseling each other on things like this). Thank you to all of you who have asked about Morrison over the years. Finally, thank you to Denise who gave me and Morrison more kindness, comfort, and support than I deserved (Morrison deserved it all).