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.

Style Rookie – pure genius

Last week I wrote a post detailing my changing thinking about Blogging with students. Andromeda left a comment on that post pointing me towards a blog called Style Rookie.  She said this;

The author started it two years ago, when she was 12, just to talk about her personal interest in fashion; her parents found out about it when she needed their permission to appear in a New York Times interview. Now she gets invited to Fashion Week, gets asked to style photo shoots, etc. She’s 14.

I took a look and became totally entranced. Tavi writes this blog, she is only 14, and her influence in the fashion world has meant that she is sent clothes to wear, bags to carry and shoes to flaunt. She has recently visited Antwerp in Belgium after being invited to attend a fashion show and was recently at New York fashion week -also invited.

What she is doing seems remarkable, but in fact, she could probably be a kid in plenty of the schools we teach in. What makes her remarkable is the fact that she chose to use a blog as a platform for making her voice heard. There aren’t too many kids seriously thinking about this out there I’d venture to say. Tavi writes exceptionally well and this would be another differentiating factor. You just have to take a look at the post she wrote entitled;

An open letter to Seventeen Magazine, also, WHY ARE YOU UGLY WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU

Her objection was to an article appearing in their magazine entitled, ‘THE PARTY DRUG THAT CAN MAKE YOU FAT AND UGLY’. Here’s a bit of what she had to say;

First of all, “fat” is a descriptive term. It is not a negative thing if it is what is healthiest for a person, and I mean ACTUAL health, not like how your “Health” section is really just code for “Skinny” (“Feel lighter and leaner!”) It’s very disappointing to see your efforts with the body peace treaty and Jess Weiner’s column about body image contradicted with the suggestion that fat=ugly.

By trying to discourage the use of drugs with the threats that it will make someone fat and ugly, you’re saying the worst thing that can happen to your average reader, a teenage girl, as a result of drug use, is not that she will have any damage done to her brain or become  unhappy, but that her appearance will suffer (again, being fat does not mean bad appearance, but that is what you imply.) Notice anything wrong with this picture?

Use that in one of your classes next time you’re discussing body image and the way the media persuades young people in our world. I’m pretty sure your students will be impressed to read the words of a 14 year old, one who is doing a pretty fine job of helping to make magazines like ‘Seventeen’ sit up and take notice. That post received 363 comments; I’m pretty sure ‘Seventeen’ magazine might have got wind of that.

I mentioned Style Rookie to one of my students yesterday afternoon. She spent hours last night pouring over Tavi’s blog. She sent me an email alerting me to this post. In the subject field she had written, ‘Pure Genius’. I can only agree.

Share Style Rookie with your students. Show them what is possible.