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New York Connected Educator of the Week: Monica Burns

What is your current job of position?

As an education consultant I work with teachers and organizations to help them integrate technology into their instruction.  In addition to professional development in schools and various sites geared towards teachers, I work with LitWorld, a nonprofit based in NYC, as the EdTech and Curriculum consultant on their intergenerational iPad literacy program.

What is your educational background?

I spent six years teaching in general education and ICT (inclusion) settings.  My last two years were in a one to one iPad classroom where I worked to align my instruction to the Common Core State Standards.

Describe your educational philosophy and educational vision?

I believe that all children are entitled to high-quality education that includes access to technology.

How do you grow and engage your professional learning network?

Twitter is a fantastic resource for teachers and I use this platform to grow and engage my PLN.  I follow educators who share exciting things happening in education and curate edtech resources.  My favorite Twitter chat is #satchat which gives me a weekly opportunity to follow along as educators share their opinions.

What is the greatest benefit of your professional network?

I have been lucky enough to meet many people in my PLN in person at different conferences and events.  I have gathered tons of ideas to use in my learning environment and share with other teachers.

If you blog, what is the focus of it? How long have you been writing?

My blog shares “mostly iPad, mostly free” ideas for teachers.  I have been blogging for over two years and also write for Edutopia and Channel One News.

Who is your audience?

My audience is made up of educators working with elementary and middle school teachers.  Many of the tips I share on my blog also apply to the work of high school teachers.

How do you use social media to connect with other educators?

In addition to Twitter, I use Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ and Linkedin to connect with other educators.  I share links to my own writing as well as interesting articles and new EdTech products.

What is your advice to teachers on social media and education?

Just like anything new, start small.  Choose a handful of educators and organizations to follow and then add more to your list.  Find some exciting articles to tweet and pick a Twitter chat to join.  If you are sharing pictures of students or student work make sure that you have permission.

What advice in general do you have to teachers today?

My biggest advice to teachers trying out new technology is to try not to get overwhelmed.  There are so many exciting tools to bring back to your students but start by choosing just one or two a month.  If you decide to keep them, wonderful, if not, set them aside.  Each month you can add to your toolkit.

What book would you recommend to teachers?

My number one recommendation for teachers is The First Days of School by Harry Wong.  It is a must read for new teachers and a great text for educators to revisit over the summer.
What resources have you developed for teachers?
I have a free iBook for teachers with a collection of my blog posts titled 25 MORE Ways to Become a Tech-Savvy Teacher. This year I have created a new online course for teachers on how to Differentiate Instruction Using QR Codes – friends of My Town Teachers can receive 50% OFF all of my courses.
Do you offer professional development for schools?
Yes, in addition to speaking at conferences and hosting webinars I do offer professional development for schools.  I help teachers find ways to use one, a few, or a class set of iPads to meet the needs of their students.  Interested schools can email me directly at