Edublog Awards 2010 – my nominations

Nominations for the Edublog awards close tomorrow, so I thought I better get my act into gear and nominate some of the wonderful people out there who make learning happen for me. Not only for me, but  for countless others out there who find that the best professional development they receive these days comes from the people who are willing to be transparent about their thinking, and willing to share the resources they find that make them better at what they do.

It’s not easy. There are far too many great blogs, tweeters, and resource sharing sites out there, but I’ll give it a go. There are a ton more that deserve mentioning- wish I had the time to name them all.

Best individual blogJohn Connell: The Blog.   John always make me think. Especially when he’s fired up about something. I’ve been reading John for as long as I’ve been involved in the edublogosphere, and his quality posts that appear on a consistent basis, are one of my always go to places on the web.
Best individual tweeterAlec Couras.   Whenever I see a tweet from Alec appear in my Twitter stream, I take pause to read it. Alec shares some wonderful links, as well as giving us insight into the way he goes about his work, and how he lives his life.
Best new blogLiv to Dance. OK. I teach Liv, so I’ll be up front and admit bias. But I love Liv’s enthusiasm and how she’s working at building audience as she writes about dancing, her passion.

Best student blogStyle Rookie I don’t know if this qualifies as a student blog, but I’m guessing it does. Tavi is still at school, is blogging about what she loves, and making a reasonable dent in the universe while doing it. She impresses me, and she impresses my students also.
Best resource sharing blogPhil Bradley’s weblog. Phil finds the new stuff that’s out there and lets us all know if it’s worth looking at. If Phil thinks it’s good, then I’m sure to be checking it out.

Best teacher blogBrave New World.  Tania Sheko’s blog is well worth reading. Sometimes resource sharing, sometimes reflections on the need for change in education, and always how she is trying to make this happen. Quality writing too.
Best librarian / library blogBright Ideas I just love what SLAV and Judith Way are doing for Australian Teacher-Librarians, and Librarians the world over. Bright ideas is a place where Teacher Librarians can post what they’re doing in their own schools. It a vehicle for many who don’t have a web presence to get their great work out there for all to see and learn from.  It’s also a great resource sharing blog.
Best school administrator blogDarcy Moore’s Blog. Darcy is a Deputy Principal in New South Wales, and he pushes my thinking. I love that a Deputy Principal sees the value in blogging and wants to be part of the change process. Darcy is one of our great role models who the NSW Department of Education better hang onto!
Best educational podcastEd Tech Crew. Tony and Darrell do a great job of interviewing people who are exploring new ways of doing things. They share some great resources along the way too.

Best educational use of a social network –  Instructional Rounds – Best Teacher practice – The E5 Model PLN.  Nina Davis and Jenni Byass have set this up to support their teacher professional leave project, but along the way they’ve managed to attract school administrators and teachers from many parts of the world. Updated regularly and a supportive environment.
Lifetime achievementBill Ferriter. I’ve been to the United States twice this year and unfortunately did not get to meet Bill. His blog ‘The Tempered Radical’, is that really nice blend of a teacher modeling really good classroom practice, ideas for using new technologies for meaningful learning, and gutsy posts that get to the heart of current issues facing educators the world over. Bill is @plugusin on Twitter, and to me, he’s a real human being, sharing what matters. I don’t know how long Bill’s been at it, but he gets my vote anyway.

Voting ends Tuesday 14th of December.

School’s out Friday

This is ‘Lost Generation’, and it was second place getter in the ARRP U@50 competition. According to its creator, it is based on the Argentinian Political Advertisement “The Truth” by RECREAR.     

My friend Nina discovered it a couple of weeks ago and uploaded it to Working together 2 make a difference. (Which, by the way, is starting to take off. I am really excited by the activity and service learning projects that are forming there. Please take a look and get involved if you think it might be good for your students.)

This week my husband dicovered it and suggested it for School’s out Friday. It’s very clever, and excellent for class discussion I think. I’ve uploaded it to our Yr 9 ning  and am hoping to use it in class next week. Those of you who teach young people will know, like I do, that they majority of them reflect the representation depicted in the second stage of the video. 

While you’re at it, check out Nina’s blog. She’s two months in, has received a swag of hits and is making connections for her prep students. All really good stuff.

 Hope the weekend treats you well.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Why do we blog?

I’ve mentioned recently that my friend Nina has started writing a blog focusing on the early years classroom. She’s doing amazingly well, but already the questions have started.

Why are you doing this?

What do you think will come of it?

etc, etc, etc.

Anyone who blogs has heard it all before. The lack of understanding from some and their disbelief when you explain that you willingly do it in your time away from your workplace, is a more common reaction than the ‘good for you’, comment you might be expecting.

Reading Robert Darnton’s article yesterday, I was struck by something he wrote about the changing nature of publishing;

“The eighteenth-century Republic of Letters had been transformed into a professional Republic of Learning, and it is now open to amateurs—amateurs in the best sense of the word, lovers of learning among the general citizenry.”  

This is why we blog.

We are lovers of learning.

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

Nina’s Arena – visit if you can

My friend Nina and I have been walking together for the last six years or so. We’ve been getting up early over this holiday break and walking 5kms nearly every day. I think it’s making a difference for us, but I know it’s making a difference for my dog Bella who has shed some of her bulk and is now sporting a waist!   

Nina has been listening over the last year as I’ve discussed with her this blog and the effect it’s had on my life. The listening has paid dividends, as now Nina has entered the edublogosphere with her own blog, Nina’s Arena – Teaching and learning in the Australian primary classroom.  Last night I sent out a tweet asking people to visit and today I note that she has had 108 hits. 108! On a first post! Now I’m not going to claim they are all direct from Twitter but quite a few of them would have been. That’s pretty impressive from the network showing support for a new blogger. 


Nina is writing about her experiences as an early years teacher. Here’s some of what she says;

My blog is about sharing PD, my classroom program, planning, ideas and a resource for teachers who often ask me for ideas. Last year, I had teachers visit my room so I put together a list of ‘things’ I felt were crucial to my program.  I am a teacher at Kunyung Primary (see about me) and will be teaching Prep again this year. Kunyung is moving into the International Baccalaureate: Primary Years Program and as the Level 1 coordinator (I’ll keep you posted) I’m very excited about my school’s future.   

I’m pretty excited about Nina’s entry into this world. This morning as we walked she was saying how amazing it is that there are educators willing to share and encourage others. It is amazing. Sometimes in our own schools we may find a few others who share our enthusiasm for learning and sharing. Unfortunately we also find those who don’t want to take on new ideas and think that the way they’ve always done things is going to be sufficient. It’s reassuring when you find others who share your passion and want to make inroads into new territory for the students we teach.    

Venture over to Nina’s blog and offer some encouraging words. It ‘s always good to hear new voices; they help to extend our learning and move us in new directions.