Edublog Awards. This is always a tough spot for me. I think everyone is great at what they do. And we should honor everyone who works tirelessly in schools and in education everyday to make learning better for kids. However, there are some that deserve a little something extra. Those who have gone the extra mile and are really making a different in the lives of kids and teachers everywhere.
So in no particular order here are my nominations:
Best Overall Blog: Stump The Teacher Not only is Josh the current Illinois Teacher Of The Year but he is a really awesome guy too. His blog is an open reflection of his teaching and himself and every time I read a post I think a little bit differently about things.
Best Group Blog: Edutopia Group Blog I always look foward to the posts that come out of here. Just today there was a post about financial literacy, while yesterday there was a lesson on how to use TED talks to enhance the Common Core curriculum. You never know the topics that will be covered but you always know it is going to be something worthwhile.
Best Edtech/Resource Sharing Blog: Free Technology For Teachers What Richard has created here is the model of what resource sharing is and should be. It is definitely in my "go to" blogs every morning when I am looking for something new or interesting in the world of Edtech.
Most Influential Blog Post: "My Teacher Is An App"-Will Richardson Will is one of the most respected members of the education community and his posts always help to stretch my thinking. This one was no different. Taking a concept like blended learning (which I am totally for) and completely turning it on it's head and challenging all of us to be different for the sake of kids is more of what is needed.
Most Influential Hashtag: #edchat Ok, I know, I am little biased on this one (since I helped to start it) but this hashtag is way more than the founders or the chats on Tuesday. It has become a gathering place for resources and meaningful conversations and is a great way for those new to Twitter to get engaged in a very easy way and see the value that Twitter can offer the profession.
Best Teacher Blog: Upside Down Education As a former middle school teacher, I can identify a lot with what Amanda writes about in her blog. From about her post on changing the learning environment to her desire for change, I always look forward to her posts and often I get the pleasure of forwarding them on to folks in my district.
Best Librarian/Library Blog: The VanMeter Voice The space that Shannon has put together here should be the standard for library blogs anywhere. The stories she shares about her learning and the learning her kids do in her media center help affirm that there is goodness out there in education. This is definitely one you need to pass along to a teacher/librarian that you know.
Best School Administrator Blog: Burlington High School Principal's Blog Patrick is not only a great administrator his blog is great too. Whether it's sharing the stories of what is right with his school, resources for his teachers, tips for parents or more details about their 1:1 iPad roll out, this blog is another I use when talking with Administrators on what they should be writing about and how easy it is.
Best Free Web Tool: Livebinders If you are are regular reader of this blog you know how much I love Livebinders. And if this is your first time visiting, I love Livebinders. It is such an easy tool to use and the uses are endless. Tina and Barbara have taken such great effort to create a great product and are continuing to improve it. Kudos to them!
Best Open PD/Unconference/Webinar Series: The Reform Symposium The fact that this is a 3 day, 24/7 free, online PD is really amazing. The fact that the folks that organize this every year do it through just the use of social media is astounding. I had the honor of giving the first Closing Keynote two years ago and this year I was glad to just participate. What an amazing event where educators from around the globe present and share whats working in their classrooms and share ideas on how to improve learning, no matter where we are.
Lifetime Achievement Jerry Blumengarten (Cybaryman) There isn't a whole about Jerry that hasn't already been said by folks for many years. Jerry has dedicated his life to education and even in retirement he still continues to maintain his website, participate in chats on Twitter and speak at events all over the country. I consider Jerry a close, personal friend of mine and it is an honor to be able to nominate him for Lifetime Achievement. I can't think of anyone else who has done more than Jerry. Here's to you my friend!
So there you have have. My nominations for the #eddies11. There are loads of other great nominations that will come in. Oh and the Awards are a great way to discover new content too. Check out the winners and the nominees from last year and you will get an idea of the high-quality content that is out there. Be sure to check back here after Dec 2 with a link to the voting and see who is nominated in each category.