Educational Technology Leaders – A Great Resource

Reposted with permission from blog.texthelp.com

July is shaping up to be a busy month. From ISTE two weeks ago to this week’s national AHEAD conference followed by the California Google Summit, I am having the opportunity to connect with many leaders in the Educational Technology world. I’ve found that staying in touch and/or following leaders in a particular field is one of the best ways to stay informed and up to date. This could not be more true in a constantly changing environment such as technology in education.

Man with briefcase and cape. Image credits: Royalty-Free/Corbis

To help others stay in the loop, I’ve listed some key contributors to the EdTech world below. Keep in mind that this is not an exhaustive list by any means and there are many others that could be included. In fact, I hope that you will list some of those individuals in the comments section below.

Rather than randomly listing names, I decided to list 5 contributors/thought leaders below in the following categories: Assistive Technology, Google Apps for Education, and Educational Technology. I’ve also chosen (for the most part anyway) to list people that can be followed via social media. I realize that some of the greatest minds in the industry are not on social media, but if the only way that you can follow these leaders is by attending conferences or purchasing journal articles, it may be difficult for the average person to benefit.

So without further ado…

Educational Technology

  • Viki Davis is a teacher and IT Director at a small Georgia school in addition to being a speaker, author and host of a popular internet radio show. Her excellent blog, CoolCatTeacher (http://www.coolcatteacher.com) provides tons of practical ideas and strategies for teaching with technology. Viki is also on Twitter @coolcatteacher
  • Richard Byrne hosts one of the most popular educational technology blogs on the web called Free Tech 4 Teachers. In his blog, he discusses free technology related tools and resources in addition to practical ideas for their use.
  • Steven Anderson is a blogger, speaker, and co-creator of #EdChat on Twitter. You can find his blog at blog.web20classroom.org and follow him @web20classroom where he shares tons of great tips and resources.
  • Eric Sheninger is a Principal, NASSP National Digital Principal Award Winner, Google Certified Teacher, Author, and Speaker. He frequently posts on leadership and technology. You can follow him on Twitter @NMHS_Principal and Google+ https://plus.google.com/u/0/+EricSheninger/
  • Shelly Terrell is an author, teacher, trainer, and a top EdTech tweeter. Follow her @ShellTerrell. Shelly is also a co-founder of #EdChat with Steven Anderson.

Assistive Tech

  • Mike Marotta is a popular Assistive Technology Consultant and presenter. You can find him on Twitter @mmatp where he is always sharing useful resources and participating in professional learning communities. He is also a popular host of webinars for the Assistive Technology Industry Association (ATIA).
  • Brian Friedlander is a blogger, teacher, and all around great resource on assistive technology. You can find him on Twitter @assistivetek or follow his blog http://assistivetek.blogspot.com/.
  • Spectronics is the primary distributor of assistive technology products and consultative services in Australia. Their team of consultants provide tons of useful resources through their blog, Twitter accounts and conference events. A great place to start following Spectronics is through their blog http://www.spectronicsinoz.com/blog/.
  • Carol Zangari is a blogger, speaker, and professor who focuses on strategies and resources related to Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC). You can follow Carol on her blog http://praacticalaac.org/.
  • Dave Edyburn is a professor in the Department of Exceptional Education at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. While Dave is not on most social media channels, he has authored more than 150 articles and book chapters on the topic of special education technology. He is known for his yearly “Top 10” summaries that detail the top 10 special education technology articles you should read now. Learn more about Dave’s top 10 list and other “What have we learned lately” resources here: https://pantherfile.uwm.edu/edyburn/www/what/best.html

Google Apps for Education

  • Molly Schroeder is a Global Digital Age Learning Specialist, Google Certified Teacher, and Google Apps for Education Certified Trainer. She presents nationally and internationally at conferences, workshops, and conventions on how to integrate Google Apps and other emerging technologies into learning. I attended one of her Google Apps integration sessions over a year ago and learned more in 30 minutes than I have during entire conferences. You can find Molly on Twitter @followmolly or her website http://www.flippededucation.com/
  • Jim Sill is a Google Certified Teacher, Apple Distinguished Educator, Google Education Trainer, and Apple Certified Trainer. Jim leads professional development workshops on Google’s collaborative tools, social media, and video production. I had the opportunity to listen to Jim keynote a Google Summit last year and have been following him ever since on Twitter @mistersill and Google+ (https://plus.google.com/u/0/+JimSill/posts).
  • Jaime Casap is the Global Education Evangelist at Google. He is a speaker and thought leader on Google in Education topics. You can follow Jaime on Twitter @jcasap and Google+ (https://plus.google.com/u/0/+JaimeCasap/posts).
  • Chris Bell is a member of the Google EdTechTeam that puts on Google Summits across the globe and part-time Coordinator of Instructional Technology for Saddleback Valley Unified School District in Southern California. He is a frequent speaker at Google Summits and great Google in Education resource to follow on Google+ (https://plus.google.com/u/0/+ChrisBell/posts).
  • Rich Kiker is a Google Education Trainer and speaker who frequently shares valuable resources and information via Twitter @rkiker and Google+ (https://plus.google.com/u/0/+RichKiker/posts).

In addition to these influencers, I am also looking forward to hearing from others in the field at this weekend’s California Google Summit including Monica Martinez, Chris Craft, Ben Friesen, Michael Wacker, Mark Wagner, and more!

Summary

This list should get you off to a great start if you are interested in following some of the top thought leaders in the Educational Technology field no matter where your area of interest may lie. Of course, be sure to also keep this blog in mind for general technology resources and tips in addition to product updates. You can also follow Texthelp on Twitter @TexthelpUS as well as me @jkcarroll.

Now it’s your turn! Who else do you think is a great resource to follow in any of these areas? Please add your thoughts in the comments section below.

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About Jason Carroll

Jason first learned of Assistive Technology while working on his undergraduate degree where much of his spare time was spent assisting a regional education centre with basic technology needs. Amazed at how this technology could benefit so many students (particularly those he grew up with) he was hooked and immediately became an expert at the centre. After receiving his Masters, Jason returned to the coop to serve as a full time Assistive Technology Consultant serving over 200 schools in the central Kentucky Region.

Since this time, Jason has trained thousands on Assistive Technology and Universal Design for Learning concepts throughout the United States and beyond. His focus is on integrating research based practices into the work he does and helping others ensure that what they are doing works. He specialises in assisting people to bridge the gap between operation of technology and actual implementation. Jason is a published author, has taught Instructional Technology and Universal Design for Learning at the University level, and spends a significant amount of time on e-Learning and blended learning initiatives. He is a graduate of the Assistive Technology Applications Certificate Program (ATACP) from California State University at Northridge and holds a Masters in Business Administration.

Currently Jason serves as Product Marketing Manager for North America at Texthelp Inc. where he oversees new product launches and speaks nationally on a variety of Assistive Technology topics.

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