Reflecting back on the last few years of my professional life, I am so very grateful for all of the colleagues I have met through blogging, tweeting, Skyping and finally, in person, who have deepened and enriched my own work. I’m thankful for the friendships, the camaraderie, and the knowledge and wisdom of those I am proud to call friends. So along with my nominations for the annual Edublogs Awards, I want to send a shout out to all those of you who have influenced my life and given so generously of your time and knowledge. You know who you are :) This list below is just a sampling of some of what’s on my own radar currently.
And now here’s to my nominations.
- Best individual blog
The Principal of Change — George Couros — reflections on what it means to be networked as a teacher or a principal; very accessible for beginners to networking also
- Best new blog
Cedar Creek Elementary Library — a new project for librarians in my district this year is to start their own library blogs, and this is one example of how each library can begin to tell its own story. Love seeing the learning going on.
- Best ed tech / resource sharing blog
TechChef4U — Lisa Johnson (who I happen to work with) has a vast array of resources for all things iPad, wrapped up in a well-designed site.
- Best library / librarian blog –
Jennifer LaGarde’s Adventures of Library Girl
Jennifer has shared her professional journey as she has worked as a statewide consultant in NC for the last two years–sharing her insights, inspiration, and radically challenging views w/librarians everywhere. She is an inspiration!
- Best administrator blog
Practical Theory – Chris Lehmann #nuff said
- Most influential blog post of the year
Audrey Watters – Men Explain Technology to Me – In an amazingly honest post (as always), Audrey Watters challenges us with her complex, nuanced and straight talk about women in technology. Important and a must read.
- Best individual tweeter
Kathy Ishizuka — If she tweets it, I know I should read it. Library or tech related, she is a reliable source for great connections.
- Best twitter hashtag or chat
#edtechchat — great chats; a go to hashtag for all things edtech
Also #tlchat for librarians (my runner up) has so much to offer to librarians and school leaders alike.
- Best free web tool –
Tackk — Great tool for designing scrollable flyers that are easy to embed and professional looking.
- Best educational use of media
Andy Plemmons’ purposeful ability to combine many tools in the pursuit of global education for his students is inspiring, like this project.
- Best open PD / unconference / webinar series –
EdcampDOE was the first Edcamp to be hosted at the Department of Education. Great opportunity!
Runner up: Teacher Librarian Virtual Café –an ongoing webinar opportunity, self-hosted and self-run by amazing librarians around the country.
- Best educational use of a social network–
Andy Plemmons #America Recycles Project – Andy reached out from his elementary library to educators around the world via Twitter and found many ways for his students to connect globally. He matched teachers at his campus with other classrooms for Google Hangouts and Skype sessions to share their own recycling stories, then worked with his students on Padlet to generate their own ideas. This is actually only one of many ways that Andy reaches out through social media–his Picture Book smackdown being another excellent example!
I would also like to honorably mention Shannon Miller’s Banding Together Project — take student interest in Rainbow Looms, let them pursue their interests, connect with another school and then around the world, and watch students from a small town in Iowa reach out to students in India.
- Best mobile app
Explain Everything — Use it to create narrated slides, stories, and I’ve even used it for stick figure animated cartoons.
AudioNote — Use it all the time at conferences to record audio, and take notes too–when I can’t type fast enough to capture a rapid fire presentation that I want to revisit later.
Canva — New app, just out. Canva a great tool for creating flyers, handouts, signage, presentations, etc.
- Lifetime achievement
- Thanks to David Warlick — one of the first bloggers I became aware of, an early speaker in edtech who also always understood libraries and our singular mission, and a real influence on so many to follow.
Also extra special thanks to Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach for her leadership, energy and dedication!
Thanks to all of you. And thank you, Edublogs–this process is a great time for us to reflect, too. We are thankful for you!