The holidays are upon us which means so are the Edublog awards. I have a long history debating publicly whether or not we should have awards at all, but this year there are a few blogs that have greatly impacted what I do and how I do it and so I wanted to make sure that I publicly acknowledged these people and projects. I cannot ask you to vote for them, but read their blogs and see if you are not as moved as I was.
Most Influential Blog Post: John T.Spencer’s “Be Present” blog post. I read this before I started this year and this has been my mantra for the year. Not just in the classroom but in my life. I turn off my computer, leave my phone somewhere and focus on those incredible kids in front of me. Be present indeed has influenced me in so many ways, I hope it will do the same for you.
Best Student(s) Blog or Classroom Blog: My 5th graders have been absolutely blowing me out of the water this year and while the blog is run by me as an administrator, it isn’t my writing (I hope this does not disqualify them…). You want to know how kids feel about standardized tests, using the “R” word, time travel, and what it means to be a 5th grader today they will tell you. Their raw honesty inspires me to change the way I teach on a weekly basis.
Best free webtool for me continues to be Kidblog (although Edmodo is close behind). This blogging tool created by teachers allows me to peek into the minds of my 5th graders every week and brings the world in for us in a meaningful way. Thank you Kidblog for creating such an incredible product.
Best Group Blog for me has to be The Nerdy Book Club – this daily blog brings together some of the most passionate and inspired educators, authors, and writers that share their ideas, opinions and passion for all things reading. Thank you to all of those who continue to contribute and inspire me every day to be a better reading teacher.
Update: I did some more thinking and thought of a couple more blogs that deserve to be praised for their inspiration. So here are my added nominees for this year.
Best individual blog: I found myself once again thinking of a post John T. Spencer wrote again today, he is a must read for any educator that cares about anything. So not only does one of his posts get my nomination for most influential post, but his blog also gets a nod for best individual blog. Please add it your daily read.
Best edtech resource/sharing site. While I turn to many of these throughout my week, Larry Ferlazzo’s is sheer insanity. The breadth of what he shares on a daily basis makes me suspect that he is not just a teache rbut actually a robot churnin gout useful information. whatever he is, I appreciate all that he does and all that he shares.
Best Librarian/Library Blog. Not only is Shannon Miller one of the most inspiring and kind women I know, she shares so freely on her library blog that anyone would be a fool to not want to be one of her students. You want to see students doing crazy cool things with books and tech, head over to Shannon’s blog for her Van Meter Library.
Best Twitter Hashtag. While I love many hashtags: #Edchat, #Wischat, #GRA13, there is one that has helped my classroom year after year and that is #comments4kids created by Bill Chamberlain. This hashtag is meant to get students’ comments on their blog posts, to bring the world in, and boy does it ever. It is partly thanks to this hashtag that my students’ blogs have had more than 300,000 visitors!
There you have it for this year. I couldn’t choose between the other categories, there are simply too many people that pour their soul out every single day and change the way I think.
Thank you to all of those who move me, who disagree with me, who make me think. I am a better teacher and person because of you.