Jun 11 2012

The Honor Roll: 50 Must-Read K–12 Education IT Blogs

Our Inaugural Selection of the Best IT Blogs

The Honor Roll: 50 Must-Read K-12 Technology Blogs

There’s no question that technology has transformed the classroom. Thanks to the proliferation of mobile-computing devices, social media and online-learning resources, and classroom-based tools such as interactive whiteboards and document cameras, digital literacy has become increasingly important for today’s students. But developing strong technological skills is only half the battle; mastering the subject matter using these tools is equally important.

The technologies that give the so-called 21st century classroom its power have been the subject of many K–12 blogs, with teachers, administrators, IT leaders, vendors and even parents weighing in on everything from how to fund these tools to how to effectively integrate them into the curriculum.

But it can be hard to separate worthwhile content from all the clutter, so the EdTech: Focus on K–12 team has scoured the web to assemble this honor roll of educational technology blogs you should be reading.

Our list includes a diverse mix of voices. You’ll recognize some industry luminaries, but you’ll also find some less familiar names. All 50 blogs offer valuable insights that enhance and advance the K–12 discussion. We also created a list of the best higher education technology bloggers here.

If we’ve overlooked one of your favorites, let us know. And if yours made the list, grab the official EdTech 50 Must-Read K–12 Education IT Blogs badge for your site here.

2¢ Worth

David Warlick

David Warlick is a 35-year educator with experience as a classroom teacher, district administrator and technology integration consultant. He’s also a well-known writer, programmer, public speaker and owner of The Landmark Project, a professional development and innovations firm in Raleigh, N.C. Warlick, a self-described “non-traditional educator,” offers his two cents in this blog, which explores teaching and learning in the new information technology landscape. Many of his posts advocate for modernizing our current education systems. Warlick also wrote for EdTech magazine in fall 2006.

| Read the blog: davidwarlick.com/2cents


The 21st Century Principal

The 21st Century Principal

If you’re a principal, superintendent, teacher or educational leader, this blog is for you. J. Robinson, a high school principal in North Carolina, writes regularly about technology, teaching and public education. His blog covers all of the big ideas today’s educators should be thinking about — everything from project-based learning and authentic assessments to social media and management concerns.


 | Read the blog: the21stcenturyprincipal.blogspot.com


Acer Education Blog

Acer Education Blog

Acer offers a full range of computing devices to the global education community. The company’s education blog, written by marketing staff and a team of school IT leaders from around the country, offers helpful ideas for schools struggling to manage the challenges of shrinking budgets and limited resources.


 | Read the blog: professional.us.acer.com/blog


The Committed Sardine Blog

Ian Jukes

The educators who contribute to this blog have committed to a range of 21st century learning ideals: among them, teaching digital fluency, shifting the responsibility for learning to the student and fostering student collaboration. A forum of the 21st Century Fluency Project, an initiative that aims to innovate, engage and inspire change in education using technology and critical-thinking skills, the Committed Sardine Blog tracks industry trends and research pertaining to education. It also offers tips for educators looking to integrate new technologies in their classrooms.

| Read the blog: committedsardine.com


Confessions of an Aca-Fan: The Official Weblog of Henry Jenkins

Henry Jenkins

Henry Jenkins is a professor at the University of Southern California and former director of the comparative media studies program at MIT. An esteemed and prolific media scholar, Jenkins has written extensively about game-based learning as an alternate way of engaging students. He fuses academic theory and the fan experience (hence, the Aca-Fan moniker) in his blog posts, which explore such topics as blogging, gaming and education policy.


 | Read the blog: henryjenkins.org


Connected Learning Exchange

Connected Learning Exchange

The Connected Learning Exchange (CLX) is a Cisco Systems–sponsored global community of more than 950 educators in K–12 and higher education. CLX aims to foster collaboration while showcasing educators’ best practices and practical solutions for creating learning environments that help students achieve their full potential. Blog posts cover industry news, classroom success stories and big ideas of interest to everyone who follows education.


 | Read the blog: connectedlearningexchange.cisco.com


Cool Cat Teacher Blog

Vicki Davis

Targeted at teachers, parents and school IT professionals, Vicki Davis’ blog discusses innovative ways to reach the current generation of learners. Davis is a teacher and the IT director at Westwood Schools in Camilla, Ga.; co-creator of several Web 2.0 collaborative projects; and frequent conference presenter and writer. She’s widely known within the K–12 community for her fresh take on teaching, technology, global collaboration, 21st century learning and professional development.

 | Read the blog: coolcatteacher.blogspot.com


David Truss: Pair-a-dimes for Your Thoughts

David Truss

School administrator and frequent conference presenter David Truss waxes philosophical on education, learning and technology in this blog. His areas of interest include student leadership, social responsibility, open learning and classroom technology integration.


 | Read the blog: pairadimes.davidtruss.com


Digital Education – Education Week

Digital Education – Education Week

Digital Education, one of several blogs curated by Education Week, covers current technology trends and topics in K–12 schools. Reporters Katie Ash, Michelle Davis and Ian Quillen distill the latest news and offer insights on how educators might respond. Frequent topics of discussion include online learning, education and technology research, one-to-one computing and social networking.


 | Read the blog: blogs.edweek.org/edweek/DigitalEducation


Digital Learning Environments: Tools and Technologies for Effective Classrooms

Digital Learning Environments: Tools and Technologies for Effective Classrooms

This technology and learning blog, co-sponsored by Intel and HP and hosted by Tech & Learning magazine, explores how the technologies available in a digital learning environment can be leveraged to improve teaching and learning. More than two dozen IT leaders and vendor contributors weigh in on everything from content curation to STEM education and dropout prevention.


 | Read the blog: guide2digitallearning.com/blog


Doug Johnson's Blue Skunk Blog

Doug Johnson

The moniker for this impressive blog can be traced to Mankato, Minn., where author Doug Johnson has served as director of media and technology since 1991. (According to Johnson, early explorers attempted to name the region using the Lakota word for “blue earth,” but it was mistranslated as “blue skunk.”) Johnson has authored four books and numerous magazine articles and is a frequent conference presenter. His blog posts focus primarily on school technology and library issues.

 | Read the blog: doug-johnson.squarespace.com


Drape's Takes

Darren Draper

A self-described “educational technology enthusiast,” Darren Draper serves as the director of education technology for the Canyons School District in Sandy, Utah. His blog offers up practical ideas and advice on “the world of educational technology,” including hot topics such as privatization, one-to-one computing and social networking.


 | Read the blog: drapestakes.blogspot.com



Sandy Kendell

Sandy Kendell, aka “Sandy K,” is the instructional technology specialist for the Georgetown Independent School District in Texas and a well-known conference presenter who hopes to bridge the gap between thinkers in the cloud and teachers in the classroom. Her areas of interest include professional development, blended and distance education, social media in education and digital citizenship.


 | Read the blog: edtechsandyk.blogspot.com




EdTechTalk isn’t a blog in the true sense of the term, but it’s a valuable resource for educators looking to learn from their peers about how they can use technology to improve teaching and learning. A rotating cast of teachers and IT leaders webcast several live shows each week on 21st century learning, instructional design, professional development, Web 3.0 and more. The webcasting community also hosts a chat room and provides links to helpful content about the topics discussed in each episode.

 | Read the blog: edtechtalk.com



Tryggvi Thayer

Tryggvi Thayer, a self-proclaimed education “futurizer,” is a Ph.D. candidate in comparative and international development education at the University of Minnesota. His blog posts reflect his thoughts on matters relating to education, technology and globalization, among other heady topics. A good read for those interested in future-forward education policymaking.


| Read the blog: education4site.org/blog


Education Insights

Education Insights

Education Insights is one of several blogs maintained by Microsoft that focuses on the company’s efforts to advance and enhance education through technology. Vice President of Worldwide Education Anthony Salcito, the blog’s author, summarizes the latest education news and trends while offering his own take on what he’s seeing in the schools he visits. Classroom innovation and technology-integrated curricula are frequent topics of discussion.


 | Read the blog: blogs.msdn.com/b/microsoftuseducation


Education Recoded

Education Recoded

Education Recoded, one of several dozen blogs operated by Big Think, aims “to provoke a new vision of what education might be.” Written by Scott McLeod, John Nash, Justin Bathon and Jayson Richardson — all directors of the University Council for Educational Administration’s Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education — the blog regularly offers fresh insights on the successes, failures, concepts and creations these educators are encountering in their own practice and in classrooms.

 | Read the blog: bigthink.com/blogs/education-recoded


Education with Technology Harry G. Tuttle

Harry G. Tuttle

Looking to improve student learning with technology? Harry G. Tuttle, a former technology integration specialist and technology coordinator who teaches writing, is too. The prolific Syracuse, N.Y.-based writer and consultant focuses on improved student learning, assessments and critical thinking, among other topics, in his Education with Technology blog, which dates to fall 2005.


 | Read the blog: eduwithtechn.wordpress.com


Educational Insanity

Jonathan Becker

Jonathan D. Becker, an assistant professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, envisions his Educational Insanity blog as a place where he can be a “public intellectual” and dissect his thoughts and ideas about educational policy, leadership and technology. Like Albert Einstein, Becker argues that doing the same thing repeatedly and expecting different results is the definition of insanity. His solution, the subject of many of his posts, is to strive for meaningful reform instead.


 | Read the blog: edinsanity.com


Educational Technology Guy

David Andrade

David Andrade, a physics teacher and educational technology specialist for the Bridgeport (Conn.) Board of Education, is a different kind of tech guy. An engineer by training, Andrade writes regularly about educational technology, theory and pedagogy, as well as 21st century learning, in his Educational Technology Guy blog. He also provides links to countless free resources that help other educators integrate technology in their classrooms.


 | Read the blog: educationaltechnologyguy.blogspot.com




Run by graduate students and teachers, Edudemic aims to identify the best ways to improve education using social media. The site is a valuable source of news, how-to articles, videos, infographics and insights on a range of topics of interest to educators and the technology-savvy.


 | Read the blog: edudemic.com


Edutech Now

Alan Richards

Alan Richards is a 17-year education industry veteran and a certified Microsoft Most Valuable Professional. Currently the information systems manager at a large secondary school in the United Kingdom and a frequent conference speaker, Richards blogs regularly about best practices discovered from his early rollouts of Windows 7, SharePoint 2010 and other Microsoft products.


 | Read the blog: edutechnow.com



Latest Blogs on K-12 Education Reform

Nearly two dozen teachers, administrators, parents and “change makers” contribute to the various K–12 education reform blogs that form Edutopia’s blog community. (Edutopia is the online voice of the George Lucas Educational Foundation.) Weekly posts share lesson plans, personal stories, and innovative professional development strategies, along with links to news, resources and ideas from around the web. Coverage areas include educational reform, innovation, project-based learning, STEM education, student engagement and technology integration. 

 | Read the blog: edutopia.org/blogs




Every weekend, Kelly Walsh, the chief information officer for the College of Westchester in White Plains, N.Y., researches an educational technology topic and then blogs and tweets about it throughout the week. His written insights on everything from how to make a case for educational technologies to the flipped classroom are supplemented by links to free productivity resources that are designed specifically for educators and by tutorial videos that he posts both on his blog and on his EmergingEdTech YouTube channel.

 | Read the blog: emergingedtech.com


Free Technology for Teachers

Richard Byrne

Educators seeking free resources and technology-driven lesson plans need look no further than Richard Byrne’s blog, a multiyear Edublogs Award winner in a variety of blogging categories. Byrne, a Google Certified Teacher who now writes and consults on a full-time basis, believes that technology, when used correctly, can improve student engagement and achievement while also giving teachers the ability to form powerful, global professional learning communities. His prolific posts feature links, videos, how-to presentations and other materials of tremendous value to teachers of all grade levels. Byrne also wrote for EdTech magazine in spring 2012.

 | Read the blog: freetech4teachers.com


Hack Education

Audrey Watters

Audrey Watters is a prolific freelance writer whose work has appeared in an array of influential education technology blogs. Hack Education, the blog she created in June 2010, sprang from her desire to find educational technology coverage “that's tracking new technologies but not just because of some hyperbolic ‘revolution.’” Watters’ posts, often written with sardonic humor, offer unique insights on the future of learning and the ways in which technology is facilitating that evolution. She also produces a weekly podcast with Steve Hargadon (see below), which is available on both of their blog sites.

 | Read the blog: hackeducation.com


Higher Innovation

Cameron Evans

Another of Microsoft’s educational blogs, Higher Innovation strives to create a conversation about how to empower today’s generation of learners. Written by Cameron Evans, national technology officer for Microsoft Education, this blog reveals the ways in which Microsoft is working to improve schools using technology and shares the success stories of educators who are innovating in their classrooms. As Evans explains, “You [do] not come to Higher Innovation for my objectivity. You are here for my subjectivity.”

 | Read the blog: higherinnovation.net


Homeroom | The Official Blog of the U.S. Department of Education

Homeroom | The Official Blog of the U.S. Department of Education

The official blog of the U.S. Department of Education, Homeroom is a terrific source for the latest news on education and education reform. From new legislation to progress reports, Homeroom tracks the activities of the department, as well as national education policies and their impact on education as a whole. Most posts are written by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan; Cameron Brenchley, the department’s director of digital engagement; or guest bloggers.


 | Read the blog: ed.gov/blog


HP Blog - Teaching, Learning & Technology

HP Blog – Teaching, Learning & Technology

Jim Vanides is an HP program manager and a member of the HP Office of Global Social Innovation, which works with education leaders to improve educational systems, make learning opportunities more broadly available, and train educators, students and aspiring entrepreneurs on essential business and IT skills. Through this blog, one of many in the HP Blog Hub, Vanides reports on trends and products that are advancing ed tech and influencing K–12 and college classrooms across the nation. He also is an adjunct faculty member at Montana State University.  

 | Read the blog: www3.hp.com/t5/Teaching-Learning-amp-Technology


The Innovative Educator

Lisa Nielsen

Lisa Nielsen, the self-described innovative educator behind this blog, believes strongly in “passion-driven” (rather than data-driven) learning. She is the co-author of Teaching Generation Text: Using Cell Phones to Enhance Learning, the current technology innovation manager for the New York City Department of Education’s Office of Educational Technology and a frequent conference speaker. Her blog covers ed tech trends, strategies and news and offers an impressive collection of podcasts, resource guides and links to groups in which she is involved.

The Innovative Educator Facebook

 | Read the blog: theinnovativeeducator.blogspot.com


ISTE Connects

ISTE Connects

ISTE Connects is the official blog of the International Society for Technology in Education, an association of education leaders and educators dedicated to improving learning and teaching through the effective use of technology. Maintained by ISTE employees and members, the blog offers a forum for discussion of ed tech trends and how new tools are being leveraged in K–12 classrooms. ISTE Connects also links visitors to other social media resources for educators and technology leaders, including Second Life, ISTE Community and Conference Nings, and ISTE Wikispaces.

 | Read the blog: iste.org/connect/iste-connects/blog.aspx




Jack West, a high school physics teacher in California’s Sequoia Union High School District, was recognized as the 2008 San Mateo County Teacher of the Year for his innovative use of technology in the classroom. In 2011, he co-founded NorCal EdTech, a Stanford University–affiliated nonprofit that’s working to develop misconception-based questions for science students in grades 6 through 12 and an online administration tool that will enable clickerlike administration of these questions through any web-enabled device. West’s blog offers an insightful assortment of notes from industry events, impressions of books and articles he’s recently read, and opinions on how technology is being used in the classroom.

 | Read the blog: jackcwest.wordpress.com


Kathy Schrock's Kaffeeklatsch

Kathy Schrock's Kaffeeflatsch

Kathy Schrock is the well-known educational technologist behind Kathy Schrock’s Guide for Educators, a Discovery Education–hosted portal of websites that help teachers enhance their curriculum through technology and advance their professional development. She also speaks regularly at conferences about the effective use of technologies to support teaching and learning and recently launched a consulting business. Kaffeeklatsch covers the latest gadgets and trends, as well as other areas of interest to Schrock, among them information literacy and personal learning networks.

 | Read the blog: blog.kathyschrock.net




Curated by journalist Tina Barseghian, MindShift explores the future of learning “in all its dimensions,” covering cultural and technology trends, education research and policy, and other ed tech news. Blog posts, which are helpfully organized into four categories ¬-— Culture, Tech Tools, Research and Learning Methods — dissect the ways in which technology changes how educators teach and students learn. Well-researched and insightful, MindShift is one of the smartest news and opinion aggregators on the web.

 | Read the blog: mindshift.kqed.org


The Mobile Native

Scott Newcomb, The Mobile Native

Scott Newcomb, a fourth-grade teacher at St. Marys Intermediate School in Ohio, welcomed students’ smartphones and other mobile computing devices into his classroom several years ago. He speaks frequently about the benefits of mobile learning at industry conferences and in webinars and uses his blog to share mobile learning resources that he has found helpful or that he has created.


 | Read the blog: themobilenative.blogspot.com


November Learning Blog

November Learning Blog

Alan November, a former computer science teacher and university lecturer, established the November Learning consulting firm in 2005 to help schools, governments and industry leaders improve the quality of education through technology. November, whose areas of expertise include planning across curriculum, staff development, new school design, community building and leadership development, is well-known within the ed tech community and a frequent speaker at industry events. Director of Innovation Brian Mull writes the bulk of the posts to the November Learning Blog, but other members of the team also contribute. November also wrote for EdTech magazine in fall 2006.

 | Read the blog: novemberlearning.com/blog


Pogue's Posts

David Pogue

David Pogue has been The New York Times’ go-to guy for technology reviews and industry insights since 2000, but he also contributes to NPR’s “Morning Edition” and CBS News. Although his blog focuses primarily on tech culture and the tools and trends that have captured consumers’ imagination (think social networking and mobile-computing devices), his commentary is both insightful and relevant to educators and IT leaders.


 | Read the blog: pogue.blogs.nytimes.com


Polycom Education Blog

Polycom Education Blog

The Polycom Community is a forum-based website where educators and other education community leaders can discuss industry trends and practices, help each other solve problems, and share classroom experiences. Written by Polycom’s Lynnette Whitfield, Marci Powell and Elaine Shuck, the Polycom Education Blog within the larger Polycom Community examines industry trends, news, and opportunities that arise from integrating technology into the classroom and curriculum.

 | Read the blog: community.polycom.com



Bring learning to life with PolyVision

The collaborative education community that PolyVision has created aims to “bring learning to life” by inviting educators to blog about how they’re using the company’s interactive whiteboards, as well as other technologies, in their schools. Educators from around the world contribute to the discussion, which covers everything from standards and research to specific tools that they’ve incorporated into their teaching.


 | Read the blog: bringlearningtolife.ning.com


The Power of Educational Technology

Liz Bleich Davis

Liz B. Davis, director of academic technology for the Belmont Hill School in Massachusetts, believes technology can transform education, energize communities and inspire innovative thinking. She blogs regularly about her experiences with educational technology in the classroom and at industry events around the country. 



 | Read the blog: edtechpower.blogspot.com


Royal Reports

Royal Reports

Ken Royal is an ed tech veteran with 30-plus years of experience as an educator and technologist. He most recently served as senior technology editor for Scholastic, for which he wrote, among other things, The Royal Treatment, a blog of interviews, technology how-to’s and opinions. A former Connecticut Middle School Teacher of the Year, Royal now writes about K–12 and higher education technology trends at Royal Reports and works as an ed tech consultant. He also produces his own e-books, which are available through his blog.

 | Read the blog: royalreports.com


Second Nature: The Cyber Security Blog

Second Nature: The Cyber Security Blog

Second Nature is the official blog of the National Cyber Security Alliance, which works to educate and empower a digital society to use the Internet safely and securely at home, work and school. Emily Eckland, NCSA’s managing editor of digital media, maintains the blog, but other NCSA officials and cybersecurity experts contribute as well. Frequent topics of discussion include security trends, the integration of cybersecurity and cybersafety into K–12 education, and our emerging digital lives.

 | Read the blog: staysafeonline.org/blog


Steve Hargadon

Steve Hargadon

Steve Hargadon is one of ed tech’s highest-profile leaders. He’s the founder of Classroom 2.0, a community-supported social network for educators and others interested in Web 2.0, social media and participative technologies in the classroom; host of The Future of Education interview series, which provides thoughtful online discussions about teaching and learning in a networked world; and the chair or co-chair of several industry events. His eponymous blog is a tremendous resource for anyone seeking insights on new technologies and their impact on K–12 education. Hargadon also wrote for EdTech magazine in spring 2011 and produces a weekly podcast with Audrey Watters (see above), which is available on both of their blog sites.

 | Read the blog: stevehargadon.com


Teaching with Tech

Katie Stansberry

Katie Stansberry is the online community manager for the International Society for Technology in Education and a student pursuing a Ph.D. in public relations at the University of Oregon. She describes her blog, Teaching with Tech, as “a space for collaboration and discussion” of emerging technologies in academia and how they affect the classroom. She’s written about digital natives, blogging as a learning tool and how to build an online community, among other topics.

 | Read the blog: katiestansberry.com




What began in February 2009 as a journal detailing teacher Shelly Blake-Plock’s pursuit of a paperless classroom has since evolved into one of the web’s most vital, influential collections of conversation and commentary about the intertwined worlds of digital technology, new media and education. Blake-Plock and 12 other ed tech pioneers not only share their experiences and observations about teaching with technology, they also recommend pedagogical improvements that they believe could further stimulate student engagement and lifelong learning. Blake-Plock recently reflected on one of his best-known TeachPaperless posts in EdTech magazine.

 | Read the blog: teachpaperless.blogspot.com


Tech & Learning

Tech & Learning TL Advisor Blog and Ed Tech Ticker Blogs

Tech & Learning magazine’s EdTech Ticker and TL Advisor blogs cover ed tech industry news and tools that would be useful for educators. Magazine editors and contributors such as David Andrade (see Educational Technology Guy) and Darren Draper (see Drape’s Takes) write the bulk of the posts, but guest bloggers also share their insights.


 | Read the blog: techlearning.com/Blogs



Nancy Caramanico

Nancy Caramanico’s bio is expansive. Now an instructional technology specialist and consultant, Acer Advisory Board member and School CIO Advisor for Tech & Learning, and adjunct faculty member at Pennsylvania’s Cabrini College, Caramanico uses her Techconnects blog to celebrate and explore “innovative use of technology in schools.” Her posts cover everything from technology leadership to cloud computing, and she also provides links to ed tech research and resources on digital citizenship and literacy.

 | Read the blog: ncara.edublogs.org


Techno Constructivist

carl anderson, Techno Constructivist

Carl Anderson is technology integration specialist and coordinator for the Community School of Excellence in St. Paul, Minn., an enthusiastic Twitter user, and a prolific writer and conference speaker. Anderson blogs regularly about education policy, the books that keep him up at night and how he’s integrating technology into his teaching. He recently dissected the class divide that social media engenders in the classroom for EdTech magazine.


 | Read the blog: carlanderson.blogspot.com




This blog, run by and for a variety of K–12 voices, explores education reform, online learning, student engagement and other hot topics of interest to today’s teachers. Stephanie Hoaglund, Scott Holm and Ashley MacQuarrie, all members of the social media team at the online curriculum provider K12, write the bulk of thinktank12’s posts, but parents, teachers, students and professional writers also contribute.

 | Read the blog: blog.k12.com


Will Richardson

Will Richardson

Will Richardson is another ed tech industry luminary, having written four books that focus on how students learn and how technologies in the classroom could improve that process. A former teacher, Richardson later co-founded the Powerful Learning Practice, which provides professional development to 21st century educators, and worked for 10 years at Weblogg-ed. He now writes regularly on his self-named blog and for District Administration magazine, speaks at ed tech events around the country, and sits on the George Lucas Educational Foundation’s advisory board.

| Read the blog: willrichardson.com



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