Challenges are life’s little lesson plans, and teachers, tutors and education consultants get their fair share of them in the workplace. Their problems range from communicating properly with IT personnel, working with tighter and tighter budgets, and continuing to promote edtech in the classroom when even though many are constantly seeking to protect children from content they can find through it.

This week we look to see how teachers are coping with the challenges presented to them and in some cases, offering solutions on how they can face them with confidence.

How to Make Better Teachers

by Dean Shareski, Ideas & Thoughts

Blogging is an extremely valuable digital art form. Often used by businesses to draw readers in through creating meaningful content, it also is extremely useful for the everyday individual, too. Many writers choose blogging as a means to organize and share their thoughts with a wide variety of people online, but can blogging help teachers teach, too?

In this blog post, Dean Shareski (a digital learning consultant) explains how blogging transformed him from a teacher going about his daily business to a reflective, thoughtful practioner. Out of all his professional experiences, he cites blogging as having been the most beneficial to his personal and career growth.

Web 2.0 Fuels Content Filtering Debate

by Ian Quillen, Education Week

In this article, Ian Quillen explores the dichotomy between edtech tools with the ability to transform our schools vs. the software that seeks to “protect” children from accessing mature content through them.

While some technology officials believe that dynamic filtering (where some pages on a website might be blocked, but not all), would be sufficient in school, others believe that open-source filtering programs such as Dan’s Guardian would help.

The Biggest Ed-Tech ‘Pain Points’ – and How to Solve Them

by staff reporter, ESchoolNews

According to a survey compiled by Kaseya, an IT management software, communicating ed tech needs to school higher-ups was one of the top 10 challenges in IT management this year. If decision makers don’t understand ed-tech needs, how can any IT person get anything done?

However, there is hope. Drew Lane, an IT director who works in the Kansas public school system, he’s been able to use Kaseya software to distribute IT summary reports which reduce confusion among school officials about the IT department’s needs.

If we were really serious about educational technology

by Scott McLeod, Dangerously Irrelevant

Blogger and Associate Professor at Iowa University, Scott McLeod, shares what he believes would signal “if we were really serious about educational technology.”

Some signals that education technology has finally “crossed the chasm” in schools would be teachers understanding and contributing to Wikipedia (instead of just turning it away as a resource) and teaching students how to change their privacy settings on social networking sites instead of banning them outright.

Duncan: Ed tech can help cut costs

by Jenna Zwang, eSchoolNews

It appears that government officials are embracing education technology as a way to solve tough budgetary problems facing schools today.

Education Secretary Ann Duncan warned school officials on November 17th that the budgeting crisis faced by schools had become “the new normal.” She encouraged teachers to stretch their budgets by bringing the way they teach into the future and invest in education technologies which could help lower textbook costs and reduce wasted energy, time and money.

featured photo by dynamosquito

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