E57 Richard Byrne’s Most Exciting Edtech Tools Transcript

10-Minute Teacher Podcast

In this episode, Richard Byrne and I talk about his most exciting edtech tools for teachers right now.

Richard Byrne's most exciting edtech tools

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Transcript: Richard Byrne’s Most Exciting Edtech Tools

Episode 57 of the 10-minute Teacher Podcast

[Recording starts 0:00:00]

Bloomz is sponsoring today’s show, they are my favorite tool for engaging parents in the classroom. And at the end of the show I’ll tell you about a free webinar they’re sponsoring where I’ll teach you five habits you can start now to help your classroom thrive in the fall. Stay tuned to the end of the show.

Richard Byrne

“If you’re experiencing some pushback on blogging or video blogging, sit down and actually draw out the benefits and show the benefits to the person who’s trying to block that thing.”

The Ten-minute Teacher podcast with Vicki Davis. Every week day you’ll learn powerful practical ways to be a more remarkable teacher today.

VICKI:          Happy Tech Tool Tuesday. Today we’re talking to Richard Byrne from Free Technology for Teachers, one of my favorite Ed tech gurus. Richard, are you ready to be remarkable? And what’s your favorite tool?

RICHARD:    I am always trying to be remarkable. My favorite tool – so let’s start with video. I am really excited lately about live video streams, now you can have Facebook live https://live.fb.com/  and you can have YouTube live https://www.youtube.com/live_dashboard and as I learned last week, you can do them simultaneously. I think there’s a lot of power there for students to do quick video blogs in their classroom. One of the things I’ve discovered with live video on YouTube lately is that you get a lore more viewers for the exact same content. I’ve been testing this out in the last week and a half and I’m getting twice as many views in the same period of time for the exact same type of content.

So one of the complaints we always have about student blogs or one of the things I’d hear from teachers a lot about student blogs is that the kids lose interest because no one is watching or no one is reading their things. And so I think the potential for a live video block – even if it’s two or three minutes a week – is remarkable. So that one of the things I’m really excited about.


VICKI:          So you can stream them simultaneously from your phone?

RICHARD:    No, you would need two devices but what I’ve been experimenting with, and I just did it last Thursday with a whole group of teachers, actually – I set up my laptop because you can now stream Facebook live from your laptop and I have my phone setup with YouTube live and I have a $7 phone holder that I put on a little tripod that I got at Walmart and it’s great, and I just set it, and I’ll stream it and I’ll answer questions. But I think there’s a lot of potential there for students to use that same platform. Even not Facebook live in the classroom, but definitely you can use YouTube live in the classroom because YouTube can be a part of your G-suite for education domain.

So I think there’s a lot in to that. You get more view for kid’s video blogging just by using the live feature.

And the other thing about a live feature is that it just save as video file that you can then reuse later on down the road if you want to or if you want to edit out some of it later on you can still do that. But the live factor is bringing in a lot more views for the exact same content as what I was doing before.

VICKI:          Amazing, love it.

RICHARD:    The other thing I’m really excited about right now is a relatively new platform called Thunkable. http://thunkable.com/  And it’s a tool for coding or designing and coding your own android apps and they have an iOS version that’s coming out later this year that will let students design apps, test them out in their web browsers and if they life them, publish it. There’s some fantastic tutorials to make really nice interactive content on your computer and then actually go and transfer that to your phone and see how it works on your phone.


I just get really excited about when kids can solve a real world problem for themselves by designing a product whether that’s an app that makes it easier for them to study. One of my favorite examples of this is – I don’t want to all him kid anymore, I think he’s 24. But when he was a kid at the time, George Burgess over in the U.K. when he was a high school student, designed his own app to study for geography exams better and ended up turning that app into a business while he was in college. https://thenextweb.com/apps/2014/01/30/gojimo-17-year-old-turned-boring-geography-revision-1m-investment-opportunity/#.tnw_7hsEtDUm  Another example of a student who solved a real world problem for himself and solved a problem for a whole bunch of other people too at the same time. So those are the things I could say about these days.

VICKI:          Fun. And both of those are really kids publishing, kids sharing with the world. And are you still seeing pushback with people saying, “Oh, we can’ have kids do that?”

RICHARD:    From time to time I do. In fact, I haven’t had a pushback in a little while. And then last week I got two weeks back to back almost in the same time span, I think, from teachers who are in different schools in different parts of the world say, “My district is blocking everything. Can you help me?” And I hadn’t had one of those in a while. So yes, there is still some push back. And I always say if you’re experiencing some pushback on blogging or video blogging sit down and actually draw out the benefits and show the benefits to the person who’s trying to block that thing. If it’s your school principal, if it’s your I.T director – I don’t want to say bad things about I.T directors, but generally, I’m finding it’s more of the I.T directors for this kind of block things than it is school principals for the most part.

And I think part of that is because of the legal nature of things. That’s my little observation about that.


So I do see some pushback, I think if you can sit down and actually throw the benefits of those interactions, you will get a lot farther down the road in terms of getting those things opened up. Jen Daneburg,  who is a director of learning for the Rocky Mountain School District in Northern Alberta, years ago, published a fantastic blogging permission slip but did an excellent job of outlining why her – at that time, I think, 3rd grade students were blogging, the benefits of blogging, just a fantastic [app] to use. http://www.csd.k12.wi.us/faculty/bpalmer/classroominfo/blogpodcast%20permission%20letter.pdf

VICKI:          What are the apps that you point to that you think are an easy win for teachers today? Like, they’re easy to setup, easy to use, they really are transformational right from the first login?

RICHARD:    So I like things that require a login. That’s one of the big things. On Kahoot http://getkahoot.com and games like that for a while where I our kids could log in and they can play that interactive give. I think some of the novelty for teachers is wearing off on that on that. And I’m still getting back to those tools where students are actually publishing and not just interacting. Just saw a tool that I’ve started to play with called MadMagz https://madmagz.com/which is a multimedia publishing tool for anyone, really, to create interactive documents. It’s similar to a tool I use called LucidPress. https://www.lucidpress.com/Those two tools do a great job of letting students combine all manner of media that they’ve created are found online and publishing those sorts of things.

So while they’re not s fancy or glittery as those review games, I think there’s a lot more power in a tool like LucidPress or MadMagz.

VICKI:          Okay. So Richard, as we finish up, tell us about your newest project for teacherpreneurs.


RICHARD:    So my latest project is an online workshop called From Blog to Job, a Teacherpreneur Jumpstart. http://www.freetech4teachers.com/2017/04/from-blog-to-job-teacherpreneur.html?m=1  I did as a live session for about 25 teachers in North Carolina last month and they love it. And it’s all about how to make the transition or how to do, basically, what you and I have done, Vicki, which is earn a little bit of money from our blogging efforts or podcast efforts. I get a lot of questions from people that go, “Richard, how did you do it? How do you come out with so many blog post ideas? How can I make a little bit of money about it?” And then I’ll start to get some questions from people who are a little bit further down the road and they say, “Do I need to setup an LLC? How much do you charge?” That’s a big question, everyone wants to know “How much do you charge?” And I’ll actually tell you in the workshop how much I charge for things, which is one of the biggest guarded secrets in the community, I think, is “How much do you charge for this” And I don’t think it needs to needs to be a secret.

VICKI:          Of course, the biggest thing is it’s not about the tools, it’s about a whole lot of hard work, isn’t it? You have to work so hard.

RICHARD:    It really is. It really is, just showing up every day putting the work in. It’s not a magic bullet that overnight you’ll have success. It can be a slog at times but you have to keep at it.

VICKI:          Yes. Somebody – I can’t remember who says it, it takes a whole lot of years to be an overnight success.

RICHARD:    Exactly. I just wanted to give a plug for a free PDF called 289 Days to Overnight Success, the guy’s name is Chris Guillebeau, he posted about 8 years ago. https://chrisguillebeau.com/files/2009/04/279days.pdf

VICKI:          So remarkable teachers, we’ve heard lots of tools and ideas but also some great advice from Richard Byrne. I learned so much from Richard, and he really helps me be more remarkable.

Thank you Bloomz for sponsoring today’s show. It is my favorite tool for parent engagement in the classroom. Just go to bloomz.net. Now, they are sponsoring the April free webinar on Thursday April 27th at 6pm Eastern. I’ll be sharing five habits you can start now to help your classroom thrive in the fall. There are things you can do now to have a better classroom. So join me by going to cctea.ch/bloomz-spring to register for the webinar. Or just go to the show notes are coolcatteacher.com/podcast for the link.


Thank you for listening to the Ten-minute Teacher Podcast. You can download the show notes and see the archive at coolcatteacher.com/podcast. Never stop learning.


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