We were thrilled to have Richard Byrne joining us for our 11th episode of Help Desk Live. Richard Byrne is the author of the award-winning blog Free Technology Tools for Teachers.
In this episode, Richard shares his perspective about the importance of student blogging. He believes that blogging is much more than a writing exercise. Instead, he believes it is an outlet for students to share their thoughts and ideas. Blogging is an exercise in thinking and self reflection. It is also a great way for teachers to gauge student learning.
Richard also discusses the necessity to educate students in digital citizenship early and cautions schools that take the “walled garden” approach to allowing students access to digital tools, including social media. He cites how students, as young as the elementary level, receive cell phones but many may not know how to properly conduct themselves digitally. With grade level appropriate education, students will be able to effectively navigate the digital world.
Finally, Richard talks about integrating technology in the classroom and moving beyond the substitution phase. He encourages teachers to take the time to explore more complex technology and specifically references MIT’s app inventor. Substituting traditional tasks with technology provides teachers with additional time to bring more sophisticated (and fun) technology into their classrooms. Ultimately, this leads to higher levels of creativity and student learning.
We’d like to thank Richard for taking time out of his schedule to talk with us and share his experience both as a classroom teacher and as an educational blogger.
To catch any of our previous episodes, feel free to check out our YouTube channel.