I am so influenced by the work others that I often find it difficult to pick my own thinking out of the stream of other people’s ideas. This is the chance for me to thank people whose creativity, insight, and nurturing have enriched my learning.
Best individual blog: http://ideasandthoughts.org/ Dean Shareski is a bit like the trickster raven in aboriginal mythology: sometimes he plays jester, but pay attention! Dean’s posts always make me think. He pushes me to reflect. I have learned a lot from his blog, in his open classroom sessions, in K-12 online presentations, and yes, on Twitter.
Best individual tweeter: http://twitter.com/CourosA “Tweeting” makes it sound rather insignificant, but Alec Couros’ influence on my thinking about open learning, community, generosity, networks, connectivism, family …well, on the stuff of life in general, has been quite profound. He is always pointing the way to the good things. And, having met him, I know he is who he represents himself to be online. No BS, straight goods, kindness, transparency, all in a flow of 140 characters or less.
Best group blog: http://polar09.yesican-science.ca/ Susan Stiff and Diane Hammond have created a great place for students to connect with science and scientists. Our class took part in a series of web casts with polar scientists followed by blog connections– a one-of-kind opportunity for kids. Theirs is such an amazing resource.
Best new blog: http://rippleeffect.edublogs.org/ Jaki Braidwood is a colleague who has got the whole thing goin’ on. She’s new to blogging, but is such a pro. What a rich experience she provides her students!
Best class blog: http://wyatt67.edublogs.org/ Imagine being classroom teacher to not just 30 kids but over 500 kids (I am certain it was way more). Sue’s blogging challenge (her 3rd one) was a brilliant way to bring my new students into the community of bloggers and stretch their skills. She has helped countless students and teachers become better bloggers.
Best student blog: http://danielwh16.edublogs.org/ I purposely did not nominate any of my current students, although I have outstanding bloggers this year. I nominate a Huzzahnian grad (whose reports I no longer write!). Daniel was my student last year and is in his second year as a blogger. I suggest looking back to his first post here to understand how far he’s come. Daniel is a gaming fan, a significant passion he has cultivated into an expertise. Take a look at his latest posts–I think this 12 year old should be writing for gaming magazines. Beyond his writing skill, Daniel is very generous with his comments and support to other bloggers. A great role model.
Best teacher (leader) blog: http://pairadimes.davidtruss.com/I am actually cheating on this one because David Truss is technically an administrator, but he is always a teacher. I think it is time the Edublog Awards recognize the influence of blogging administrators. David has always been an educator who reflects on his practice. The whole community benefits from his thinking out loud, as well as his encouragement.
Best librarian / library blog: http://bookminder.blogspot.com/ I feel Lesley Edwards is MY librarian. If I am looking for something, she and her six beejillian Delicious links are where I go. Such a sharer and encourager. Too bad for her district that she will retire soon, but lucky us that she is the epitome of a life-long learner.
Best educational tech support blog: http://theedublogger.com/ There is no conflict here: they could not pay Sue Waters enough to do what she does to keep blogs of all kinds afloat. Fast, efficient, helpful, and not without attitude, Sue has profoundly affected my growth as a blogging teacher.
Best educational use of a social networking service: http://elementarytechteachers.ning.com/ Even though I am not a tech teacher, I found this to be a rich community. This wiki was started by Nedra Isenberg in April 2008 and her welcoming attitude has kept it active–as has the generous, talented membership. I think I was member 35. There are well over 800 members in this niche Ning.
Best resource sharing blog: http://paulhami.edublogs.org/ Paul Hamilton gave the first blogging workshop I ever attended and has been a tremendous encouragement to me. His blog addresses special education, but the title reflects his UDL philosophy: Free Resources from the Net for EVERY Learner–Educational and Assistive Technology to support Universal Access and Universal Design for Learning. I am always seeking ways to address diversity in my classroom; his blog is often my first stop, and if I am lucky, I get to talk to him face to face.
Most influential blog post: http://ideasandthoughts.org/2008/07/17/student-and-teacher-blogging-that-succeeds/ Yes, Dean Shareski’s post is more than a year old, but I continue to quote and share it. It is essential context for sustaining blogging in the classroom.
There you have it.
Image: puzzled hearts water refractions by Lin R0n