The “Why” in Professional Development of Educational Technology

The topic for this week #BYOTchat is inspired by an article entitled “The Tick-Tock Effect of Educational Technology’s ‘Pendulum 2.0’” in EdTech Magazine by Eric Patnoudes (@NoApp4Pedagogy)

Within his article, Eric Patnoudes points out that the often most overlooked part of technology integration is professional development centered on why a tool will enhance student learning and growth. He describes the educational technology ‘Pendulum 2.0’ as:

“…as the swing from teachers drowning in an oversaturated ocean of “cool tools,” to the realization that without sound pedagogical practice, technology will have little to no impact in the classroom.”

“This is not to say that teachers don’t need training. We have to know what the tools are and what they’re capable of doing. It’s a big part of the equation, but one that takes a back seat to professional development, because in effective technology integration, pedagogy is the driver and technology the accelerator — or else it will simply end up being the brake.”

Join #BYOTchat at 9:00 PM/ET on Thursday, January 29 as we discuss not the “how” of educational technology integration but the “why” of educational technology integration.


“The Tick-Tock Effect of Educational Technology’s ‘Pendulum …” 2014. 28 Jan. 2015 <>

#BYOTchat Welcomes Aaron Smith to Discuss Design

This week on #BYOTchat, we welcome Aaron Smith @theartguy to lead us in a discussion of the elements and principles of well-designed content.  Join us at 9PM ET on Thursday, January 22 for this informative and engaging discussion.

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PowerPoint: We love it, we hate it, we hate to love it, and we love to hate it. What was once a program that allowed us to say “LOOK, I’M INTEGRATING TECHNOLOGY!” in a totally non-ironic fashion is now something that is as ubiquitous as an LCD projector. We force our students to sit through our PowerPoint presentations, then go to staff meetings where we sit through our administrators’ presentations, and then we go to trainings and conferences where we sit through EVEN MORE presentations. If we are truly masochistic, we even have our students make presentations that we and the rest of the class will sit through as well.

And most of them are done poorly.

You know what I’m talking about, to be sure. Perhaps you’ve seen a slide with five paragraphs of text, clip art that had nothing to do with the presentation, a different color scheme for on every slide, or my personal favorite: Lime green text on an orange background?

We can complain all day long about bad design, and I’m no exception to that rule. Poor design actually makes me angrier than a student playing a video game in my class that I HAVEN’T assigned. Unfortunately, other than the notable stress relief that comes from venting our frustrations we don’t end up in a better place for our efforts.

So instead, how about for this week’s #BYOTchat we talk about GOOD design. 

We’ll cover PowerPoint, sure (like I said, it’s ubiquitous), but good digital design isn’t limited to a single app.  A display style that helps a struggling reader is just as good on a PowerPoint as it is on a Keynote, Prezi, YouTube video, or even giant sheets of paper on which you’ve carefully written out everything with a permanent marker (you brave soul, you).

Oh, OK. You get to share ONE (1) PowerPoint horror story, but that’s it.  Let’s spend more time talking about what works than we do about what doesn’t.
Aaron Smith @theartguy

BYOT / BYOD Fears Among Educators

Recently Lisa Nielsen (@InnovativeEdu ) posted a great article entitled “Confronting Fears – #BYOD for Students” on her blog “The Innovative Educator.”  In her article, Lisa covered a number of fears that educators have in adopting BYOT in their classrooms.  Her article is the inspiration for our topic this week.

Join #BYOTchat at 9:00 p.m. ET on Thursday, January 15, 2015 to discuss the various fears to BYOT that educators have.

#BYOTchat Welcomes Matt Miller, Author of “The Digital PIRATE”

Many teachers have learned to “Teach Like a PIRATE.” Now, let’s TECH like a PIRATE!

On Thursday, January 8, #BYOTchat will welcome Matt Miller (@jmattmiller) to lead a discussion based on his ebook, “The Digital PIRATE: Adding techno-wizardry to teaching with passion and engagement”.

Matt is a high school Spanish teacher from Indiana and the creator of the Ditch That Textbook blog (

The ebook gives 20 classroom examples of using “Teach Like a PIRATE” hooks with free technology. Get your free copy of the ebook before the chat at

Join the #BYOTchat at 9 p.m. EST on Thursday, January 8 for a fun, tech-filled discussion!

Considerations for Personalized Learning

This Thursday, December 18, 2014, #BYOTchat will team up with #EdTherapy to discuss Personalized Learning. This topic is a growing focus in all areas of education, and we know from experience that many students will return to school in January with brand-new personalized technology tools, but they may not know how to learn with them. Teachers are also being asked to provide more personalized learning environments for students, but this can be a radical transformation. Join the combined chat of #BYOTchat and #EdTherapy at 9PM ET on 12/18/14 to grapple with the concept of personalized learning!


Classroom Design with Heather Theijsmeijer as Guest Moderator

#BYOTchat is very happy to welcome Heather Theijsmeijer @HTheijsmeijer as our guest moderator this week. Heather is a well-respected educator from Manitoulin Island, Canada.

Heather will be leading us in a discussion centering the design of BYOT classroom. Please visit Heather’s blog “BYOD, ASAP.”

9:00 PM ET

Happy Thanksgiving to Our #BYOTchat PLN

The #BYOTchat PLN will be and spending Thanksgiving with their families.  Our next scheduled chat will be on Thursday, December 4th with special guest moderator Heather Theijsmeijer @HTheijsmeijer from Manitoulin Island, Canada.  Heather is a long time participant in #BYOTchat and we are thrilled that she will be leading us! Her blog is BYOD, ASAP.



Traits of Successful BYOT Educators

Tell an unsuccessful teacher to use technology, and you’ll end up with an unsuccessful teacher using technology. Technology will not turn a bad teacher into a good teacher.

But why do some successful teachers fail at employing BYOT within their classroom? This week, #BYOTchat will discuss traits of successful BYOT teachers and the steps that teachers need to take to become successful BYOT teachers.

Bring a friend and join the #BYOTchat PLN at 9:00 PM ET on Thursday, November 20, 2014 to discuss “Traits of Successful BYOT Educators.”

Mike Paul @mikepaul Discusses Why Educators Should Blog

On Thursday, November 6, #BYOTchat will welcome Mike Paul (@mikepaul) to lead us in a discussion of why educators should blog.  November is “National Blog Posting Month,” and Mike is promoting #NaBloPoMo by participating in their 30-day challenge. You can read more about the 30-Day Challenge in his blog ( post, “What is NaBloPoMo And Why Should Teachers Care?

Join #byotchat on Thursday, November 6 at 9:00 p.m. ET to discuss the benefits of blogging.

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Kelly Walsh @EmergingEdTech Guest Moderates #BYOTchat – Oct. 30

#BYOTchat is very excited to welcome Kelly Walsh @EmergingEdTech as a guest moderator for our October 30th chat.  Kelly is the founder of Emerging Ed Tech  He serves as the CIO and as adjunct faculty at The College of Westchester  He is an author, musician (, and a Dad to three great kids!

The October 30th chat will center around Kelly’s article entitled “7 Essential Techniques to Increase Engagement and Enhance Online Learning Outcomes.”  In this article, Kelly explains the, “Many Elements That can be Fine-Tuned to Bring out the Best in Online and Hybrid Teaching and Learning.”

Please join Kelly and the #BYOTchat PLN at 9:00 p.m. ET on October 30 for a great discussion and learning experience!