Education Technology Blogs: The Innovative Educator Reviewed

The Education Techie reviews tech tools that can help students and teachers. This week, the Techie is taking a look at some education technology blogs. Today, we'll talk about ''The Innovative Educator''. Schools offering Instructional Design degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What's It Like?

The Innovative Educator is primarily written by Lisa Nielsen, a certified teacher and current educational administrator based out of New York City. Nielsen has also co-authored a book titled Teaching Generation Text: Using Cell Phones to Enhance Learning. This book title seems like a good summary of her philosophy, and this carries over to the blog as well. Rather than encouraging a ban on technology in the classroom, Nielsen instead encourages her readers to 'think outside the ban' and treat personal technology, from cell phones to iPads, as a means of education.

education tech blog

Most of the posts on The Innovative Educator are written with an editorial tone. They might focus on new technology and its place in the classroom, like the new Google Chrome notebooks. Other posts address issues like teaching with a projector or an interactive whiteboard. It updates regularly too, with new posts almost every day.

Design-wise, it's not particularly fancy - just a standard Blogger layout. The focus here is clearly on the content, not on the format. That's fine, and I don't think it detracts from the overall quality of the blog. One cool addition is a voice transcription of each post, making content accessible to the vision impaired.

Overall, I think this is a great addition to the field of education technology blogs. One of the things that really struck me about this blog is how passionate its author is. Though the tone is professional and the writing is good, it lacks a certain journalistic detachment that I've come to expect from professional blogs. In my opinion, this is a big plus because it makes for a more interesting read. I don't know if everyone will feel this way, though.

Some people might be a bit turned off by Nielsen's passion, but I find it refreshing, particularly in regards to such an important topic. One aspect that highlights the take-no-prisoners approach of The Innovative Educator is the fact that students' displeasure with school is addressed head on. Nielsen doesn't dance around this issue, instead attacking it as a problem that can be addressed, rather than as a fact that must be accepted.

Who Will Get the Most Use Out Of It?

This blog would make a great read for teachers, parents, administrators and public policy developers alike. Older students might also enjoy reading it. Even if you do not agree with the premise that technology, particularly cell phones, in the classroom is always a good thing, the writing on The Innovative Educator is thought provoking. Technology is an important issue in education, and it is a good idea for those concerned with education to engage this topic actively.

Since most of the posts include editorial content and focus on news and current events, this might not be the best blog for someone who is looking for educational hardware or software suggestions. Some recommendations for various educationally relevant technology are made, but that is not the focus of this blog. But if you are looking for an education technology blog that really challenges its readers, as well as a lot of our commonly held beliefs about education, this is a great choice for you.

This is the third in a series of articles about education technology blogs. Previously, the Techie looked at Digital Tweed and Generation YES. Stay tuned for more this week!

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