Because the field of educational technology is so dynamic, following edtech trends can sometimes feels like an exercise in futility. Keeping up on all the cool tools out there is not a necessity for good technology integration, but it is important to understand the IDT perspective on educational technologies that are impacting libraries. In order to get that perspective, you have to venture outside the library field. So I put together a list of useful resources that have helped me keep up on edtech trends. Here they are in 5 broad categories:
1. Social media. Here are a few of my favorite edtech blogs (which can be followed on multiple social media platforms):
- Edutopia. This is a blog geared to K-12 education, but it’s a great place to discover new edtech tools. Plus, you’ll often come across posts on teaching 21st century skills.
- Edudemic. This blog is chock-full of technical and teaching tips for edtech tools.
- EdTech Digest. This blog runs the gamut on edtech trends, tools, teaching and technology solutions. A good platform for multiple perspectives.
2. E-mail. If you check your e-mail regularly, it’s probably one of the most practical places to follow edtech trends. One of my favorites is SmartBrief on EdTech, which is a newsletter that brings you the latest news clips from leading edtech sources.
3. Professional organizations. Outside of the ALA (and related organizations), joining a professional organization that focuses on edtech is something you might want to consider:
- ISTE. The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) has a special interest group for librarians (SIGLIB). While most of its participants are K-12 librarians, I also belong and have found it to be invaluable for insight into the issues that teacher librarians are facing as technology leaders. Highly recommended.
- AECT. The Association for Educational Communications and Technology (AECT) is to instructional designers and educational technologists as the ALA is to librarians — the primary and official professional organization of the group. If you are seriously considering pursuing your master’s degree in instructional design and technology, I highly recommend joining this organization as a student. You’ll have access to a number of publications, including TechTrends.
- EDUCAUSE. If your college or university belongs to EDUCAUSE, get involved with it!
4. Professional literature.There are a few key professional journals geared toward edtech practitioners that I also recommend for librarians. Here they are:
- TechTrends. Available through EBSCOhost Academic Search Premier, SpringerLink, or with membership to AECT.
- EDTECH Magazine. Covers K-12 and higher education. Full-text available for free.
- EDUCAUSE Review. Focused on higher education. Full-text available for free.
5. Webinars. Paying for webinars might pay off, but free is better! Here are some resources for free edtech webinars:
- ISTE SIGLIB. The ISTE special interest group for librarians (SIGLIB) offers about one free webinar a month. I even presented one back in March!
- EDUCAUSE Live! Webinars.