Just like last year,
‘I would like to thank the following people for contributing so much to my learning. I’m only nominating in categories where the impact has been powerful and potent. I’m also going to cheat and add a few ‘honourable mentions’: These may not mean much to the Edublog Awards, but they mean a lot to me, (if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll already know that I follow my own rules that work for me in my own learning space).’
The honourable mentions are important for two reasons. First, I think that each and every one of them are worth paying attention to. Secondly, the best part of the Edublog Awards isn’t the awards themselves, but the opportunity to be exposed to new, follow-worthy bloggers and so I’d like to share more than just my nominations with you.
My Nominations for the 2010 Edublog Awards are:
Best individual blog: Kim Cofino – Always Learning
I’m not sure anyone has been as influential in my learning over the past few years than Kim. She shares by default and what she shares is fantastic. Why not develop a blogging scope and sequence? Holding a conference? Well, make sure it’s shared with the world! (She’s done this for years now!) Furthermore, I still think that her ‘Lessons from Culture Shock’ from about the 5:30 mark until the 14:30 mark of her 2009 K12Online Pre-Conference Keynote: Going Global: Culture Shock, Convergence and the Future of Education is one of the most insightful things I’ve seen about the future of education.
Honourable Mentions to Jeff Utecht. His Planning for 21st Century technologies in Schools helped me sort things out as I developed a tech plan here in China, in a school that had very limited resources when I arrived. And here are a few more gems that I’ve bookmarked from him.
Best individual tweeter – Shelly Terrell – @shellterrell
No one is as plugged in as Shellly! Follow her and follow the people she has conversations with… and you are connected to twitter EDU! I’m going to cheat here and give an honourable mention to a mere 206 other people! My TweetDeck twitter list is the place I go first on Twitter. It’s the column in my Tweet Deck that I pay attention to most. The other column I pay attention to earned the Most influential tweet based discussion nomination below. Oh, and feel free to follow me too!
Best group blog: The Huffington Post Education Blog
This may not be a typical ‘group blog’ but the line-up of blog authors puts it (almost) at the top of my list. I have one other group blog that is actually more meaningful to me than my nomination, the Connected Principals blog. Disclaimer, I’m one of them… if not this would have been my nomination. No other blog has contributed to my learning and has been as meaningful to me in the last year. I just can’t say enough about the positive influence the co-authors of this blog have been to me recently!
Best new blog: Chris Kennedy – Culture of Yes
He’s a Superintendent and leader who has figured out that 21st century learning isn’t something on it’s way here… it’s something we can do NOW! Chris has been a frequent commenter on my blog, always saying things that challenge my thinking… and that has continued now that he has his own learning space to write in.
Honourable mention goes to Tom Altepeter – Intercultural Responsiveness. Powerful, and thought-provoking posts that force you to see beyond your personal and cultural biases. His Grace elicited a confession I had bottled inside me for years. I read his blog and I learn about myself.
Best resource sharing blog: Larry Ferlazzo’s Website of the Day
This is the second year in a row that I’ve nominated him, but I point more people to his blog than to any other blog for resources. He now has over 550 posts in his “Best Of…” series and he covers so many topics that there literally is something for everyone!
Most influential blog post: Dean Shareski – How To Make Better Teachers
(Also found on the Huffington Post, Dean is one of the contributors that inspired the group blog nomination above.) What could be more apt for the Edublog Awards than a blog post that says: “Want to instantly create better teachers? I know how. One word. Blogging.” And I love his Post Script: “PS. The only people allowed to criticize or challenge this idea are people who have blogged for at least one year and written at least 50 posts. The rest of you can ask questions but you can’t dismiss it.” If you are reading this, chances are you fully understand his point! Also, if you have not seen Dean’s 2010 K12Online Pre-Conference Keynote – Sharing: The Moral Imperative… go now and watch it.
Most influential tweet based discussion – #cpchat
I do have to mention the #edchat as a great ‘discussion’ and an honourable mention, but the Connected Principals #cpchat is an anytime stop for amazing links and resources. If I’m away from twitter for a while and I want to ‘plug back in’ or if I want to just find a good read, I’ll actually go to #cpchat before going other places, including my RSS Reader. In writing this section, I went to get the link to the chat and I now have 2 more tabs open with great blog posts to read!
Best teacher blog: Silvia Rosenthal Tolisano’s Langwitches
She deserves this nomination just for creating these amazing “Skills not Tools” images. But it’s her work in the classroom using Skype and other tools that really put her at the top of the Teacher category.
Honourable mention to my nomination for Best New Blog last year, Bryan Jackson. He works with some amazing students allowing them to soar, and with posts like this, Essay as Blogpost: Cellphones in the Classroom, he is showing his teacher-leader skills as well.
Best librarian / library blog: The WebFooted Booklady
Yes, I’m nominating ‘my’ librarian for the second year in a row. I’ve only met her once, but this (please don’t remind her that she has retired) librarian reminds me about the joy of learning. She also reminds me of the power of blogging to share our wisdom. Had she been born even 5 years earlier, she may have retired and left the learning profession. Instead, she continues to support her district’s LAN events and contributes to educators around the world with things like her “Blogging first steps” Elluminate session. Yes, learning continues outside of school (and library) walls!
Best school administrator blog: Lyn Hilt – The Principal’s Post
Posts like ‘What does it look like?‘ deserve a bigger audience. And when she takes other’s ideas, takes action on them, and makes them work… Well, it becomes an inspiration for me to be more daring and take action myself! It has been a pleasure getting to know Lyn through her blog.
Honourable mentions – George Couros who writes great posts, and who created the Connected Principals blog. So many of the other authors on Connected Principals deserve to be recognized, please take the time to check some of them out! Another honourable mention goes to Chris Kennedy – I nominated him for Best New Blog (above), but wanted to also give him an honourable mention here, because just like when Jan Smith recognized me in the Teacher category last year, (when there wasn’t an Administrator category), I want people to look beyond Principals and Vice Principals in the Administrator category and realize that there are people at other ‘Admin’ level positions that need recognition. I’ll also put in an honourable mention for Brian Kuhn here too! Brian may be a Technology Manager with a background in business, he also happens to be an educational thinker and leader (and a futurist for that matter). Let’s not be biased and only think about ‘in-the-building’ administrators in this category, after all, the building itself is meaning less & less in education these days!
Best educational use of video / visual: Welcome to My PLE!
This is actually from December 2009… but that’s after the ’09 Awards so I think it still counts for this year. “A 7th grade student gives a tour of her personal learning environment. This project was conducted as part of dissertation research implementing the use of networked learning and construction of personal learning environments in a 7th grade life science class” – I want my kids learning like this! (Thank you Wendy Drexler.)
Best educational wiki – Andrew Churches Educational Origami
Andrew can also write a great blog post too. His wiki is “about 21st Century Learning and 21st Century Teaching. This is not just about the integration of technology into the classroom, though this is certainly a critical area. It is about shifting the entire paradigm of education.” I can’t begin to tell you about the resources and information he shares… check out the front page, and check out the list of pages in the sidebar… there is something there for you!
Best educational webinar series – My time zone makes webinars a challenge, and I won’t be nominating any. Still, I’ll give the Connected Principals Chat, hosted by Shelly Terrell on Sunday, December 5th, at 5:30 EST (Monday morning at 6:30am for me) a plug. It’s my first time as a panelist and we’ll be discussing Social Media in Schools. Watch for tweets or updates on Connected Principals as the event approaches.
Best use of a PLN – Tom Barrett’s Interesting Ways series
What’s the best way to collect ideas on how to Make Your Classroom a Sparkly Place to Learn or Use Voicethread in the Classroom or Use Search Engines in the Classroom? To find out, Tom creates Google doc presentations and then has his PLN share their ideas. In a very simple case of ‘We’ are smarter than ‘Me’, he has created a wonderful and interesting series!
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If you decide to participate and nominate… remember to do the final step and email a link to the Edublog Awards, (find the web email form on the bottom of the page).
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I would be remiss in not thanking the edubloggers that nominated me this year. They are all people I admire, respect and feel connected to, though I’ve never met them face to face. Thank you to Lyn Hilt and Beth Knittle for your nominations in the Best Individual Blog category. And thank you to Eduardo Peirano and Sabrina De Vita for your nominations in the Best School Administrator Blog. I am truly honoured!
I enjoy the Edublog Awards because they expose me to blogs and connections that I would not have had otherwise. I don’t believe there is a need for competition amongst edubloggers, but I do believe that highlighting the people you admire is worthy. Thanks again to these wonderful people for their inspiration and for being my teacher… I look forward to continued learning and sharing with you.