Muddling through the blogosphere

November 22, 2014
by blogwalker

It’s that time again: #eddies14

edublog_awards_170x290_v2-2h4n5ynI love the Annual Edublog Awards. Every year, the event puts me into a reflective mode, as I think back through memorable posts, tweets, and virtual connections.

In making my 2014 nominations, I’ve focused mainly on two areas that are very important to me:

Resources for a connected educators

Resources for primary grades (too often the marginal or missing component of tech conferences)

Resources for transitioning to Project-Based Learning (PBL)

So …. drumroll please ….

  • Best Individual Blog – Primary Preoccupation – Kathy Cassidy’s blog is the first resource I share with primary teachers in my district who are starting their journeys into connected learning with their young students.
  • Best Group Blog – Digital Is – Sponsored by the National Writing Project (NWP), the Digital Is blog and website continue to offer an amazing range of topics, discussions, resource, and best practices on teaching (digital) writing and promoting (digital) literacy and connected learning.
  • Best New Blog – Mrs. Petuya’s Class Blog – Oh, such joyful learning takes place in Cathe Petuya’s Kindergarten classroom (my district). She is a fearless explorer ever in search of ways and tools for developing and supporting student voice – beyond the walls of the classroom.
  • Best Class Blog – Mr. Bentley’s 5th/6th Grade Loop – For a journey into powerful PBL instruction, with young filmmakers at the helm, you will want to revisit Jim Bentley’s blog often. Amazing teaching and learning (my district)!
  • Best Teacher Blog – The Tempered Radical – Year after year and from the classroom trenches, middle school teacher and NWP colleague Bill Ferriter pushes my thinking and expands my teaching toolkit.
  • Best Ed Tech/ Resource Sharing Blog – Edutopia – If I went back over my Tweets for the year, I’m pretty sure Edutopia would be at the top. My #1 go-to place for PBL resources and tips.
  • Most Influential Blog Post of the Year – No Longer a Luxury – Digital Literacy Can’t Wait – Written by Troy Hicks and Kristen Hawley Turner and posted to the National Council for Teachers of English website, this is the article I continue to share with teachers and administrators.
  • Best Individual Tweeter – @LarryFerlazzo – From app recommendations (love Shadow Puppets) to ed articles, Larry continues to find, create, and Tweet about an incredible range of useful resources (starting with his Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day blog).
  • Best Free Web Tool – Twitter.
  • Best Use of Media – Ms. Cheung’s Terrific Kinders – This wonderful teacher (my district) started a new journey this year: teaching students in TK (Transitional Kindergarten). She is already tapping into the power of voice to document her students’ journeys into literacy and numeracy.
  • Best Educational Wiki – hickstro – I am a better teacher thanks to the incredible depth and breadth of resources Troy Hicks so generously and regularly shares.
  • Best PD/unconference/webinar – Teachers Teaching Teachers – Throughout the year, I try to keep Wednesday evenings free to join Paul Allison and the weekly gathering of innovative, thought-provoking educators who join this weekly Google Hangout. And the good news is if I can’t join the Hangout, Paul always posts it to the site.
  • Best Mobile App – Shadow Puppet Edu – Again, with my focus on finding resources for primary grades, finding an app that makes recording over images and embedding the image/topic/lesson into blog very easy, I’m glad to have discovered (thanks to a Tweet from Larry Ferlazzo) Shadow Puppet.
  • Lifetime Achievement – Suzie Boss – Suzie Boss’s support and documentation of classroom teachers – within and outside my district – who are empowering their students through Project-Based Learning has been ongoing and far reaching. From her Edutopia posts to her publications, EdChats, Tweets, and presentations, Suzie is responsible for a growing bank of best practices in PBL and 21st century teaching and learning.

I know I’m missing a few categories, so if you have recommendations, please post a comment.

Be back soon.



December 1, 2013
by blogwalker

My 2013 Edublog Award Nominations #eddies13

Thank you, Edublogs, for sponsoring the annual Edublog Awards event. Every year, I look forward to discovering new ideas and resources, learning from innovative educators, and the opportunity to give a shout out to those who have inspired me in the past year.


 My 2013 Edublog Awards Nominations:

  • Best Individual BlogKevin’s Meandering Mind – This is not the first time I have nominated Kevin Hodgson’s blog for an eddie, but this year, I’ve moved his nomination from Best Teacher Blog to this first category. Kevin’s love for teaching, music, poetry, comic creations, collaboration, reflection and more continue to inspire and recharge my thinking about what it means to be a connected educator.
  • Best Class BlogMr. Bentley’s 5th/6th Grade Loop – Last summer, Edutopia’s Suzie Boss asked me if I had a recommendation for a teacher in my district who immerses students in Project-Base Learning (PBL). Suzie now joins me in recognizing the amazing teaching and learning that happens in Jim Bentley’s classroom. If you can’t visit his classroom in real time,  Jim’s classroom blog will provide a window into his teaching. Be sure to check the resources he and his students have created for producing award-winning documentaries and PSAs.
  • Best Group BlogYouth Voices – An annual invitation to  “youth of all ages to voice their thoughts about their passions, to explain things they understand well, to wonder about things they have just begun to understand, and to share discussion posts with other young people using as many different genres and media as they can imagine!
  • Best Ed Tech / Resource Sharing Blog – Free Technology for Teachers – Richard Byrne’s blog is a treasure. So many great technology tools clearly explained and demonstrated.
  • Best Teacher BlogAlice in WonderTech – A year ago this week, I traveled to Mountain View (California) to attend the Google Teacher Academy, where I met amazing teachers from across the nation and world – including Alice Chen, a middle school ELA teacher. Alice is a fearless explorer of new technologies and a sought after trainer in her district, region, and state. Her blog posts are a reminder that even if we stumble a bit in adopting new ideas and tools, we are still moving forward.
  • Most Influential Blog Post of the YearUsing Writing to Combat Bullying and Cliques – OK, I’m not sure if an article posted to Education Week counts as a blog post, but in the month since reading David Rockower’s powerful article, I’ve passed it on to both colleagues and administrators (and even adapted a Google Doc version to center on cyberbullying).
  • Best individual Tweeter@LarryFerlazzo – I really appreciate the constant flow of outstanding resources and articles Larry shares through Twitter.
  • Best Twitter Hashtag – #upstanders – Margaret Mead’s words from the past sum up the power of this timely/timeless hashtag: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”
  • Best free web tool Mozilla’s PopcornMaker – What a great tool for introducing students to the art and power of remix.
  • Best Open PD /Webinar Series Common Sense Media’s webinars (which include participation certificates) are a wonderful new resource and free online PD option for teachers to learn more about what it means to be a digital citizen.
  • Lifetime AchievementMike Ribble – With much appreciation for all that Mike has done to ignite conversations and communities around issues of digital citizenship.

Note to self: Next year do NOT wait till the last day to post nominations!

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