On most Fridays I like to pull an interesting conversation or resource from the Forum here on the site, but there are times when a discussion or happening on another site deserves being spread around the edublogosphere a little bit more. This week, I wanted to point out the tireless work of some of my online colleagues, friends, and fellow educators.
To be fair though, this isn’t entirely my idea, as I was recently chosen to receive a Thinking Blog Award by Beth Knittle, a master educator where all things technology are concerned. I’m flattered to know that Beth keeps several of my posts in her list of favorites, and that got me thinking about the favorite blogs I read on a daily basis. Too often we as educators will borrow, beg, and steal (yes, I used that “s” word) ideas, resources, and teaching tricks without always taking the time to say “thanks.” The advent of the read/write web has made it much easier to thank colleagues for their work, and acknowledge their efforts. So it’s time I made good on thanking a few of the blogs that have sparked many an idea and internal discussions about the way I teach and use technology to enhance my classroom.
Blog to get you Thinking about HOW WE EDUCATE
For those that follow the edublogosphere closely, you may already be aware of Mr. Meyer’s completely irreverent, yet highly accurate reflections of teaching efficacy. While he occasionally pretends to blog about teaching secondary mathematics, reading just a few posts will quickly reveal that he’s an up and coming educator that I fully except to see as a headlining keynote at large educational conferences; once he figures out a way to support both the teachers who are emotionally connected to education AND the teachers that support his more logical thinking.
Blog to get you Thinking about NEW MEDIA
PBS launched their “guide to the digital media revolution” a few years back, and Mark Glasser, the primary blogger, has managed to explore the concepts and tools of the read/write web with an amazing journalistic depth that PBS usually provides while connecting with his readers in many personal ways. My favorite entries are the “Your Take” posts, in which he solicits honest reactions and comments about popular websites, internet culture, and how we interact with the web.
Blog to get you Thinking about WHY WE EDUCATE
Tom Woodward, and more recently Jim Coe, have been favorites of mine for some time now. Besides the terribly clever name for their shared blog, the duo have a unique flair for providing compelling anecdotes, articles, and resources that make teaching and learning with 21st century skills not just relevant, but imperative. It doesn’t hurt that Tom authored one of the most useful presentations and resource on copyright for education that I’ve ever seen.
Blog to get you Thinking about WHY LEARNERS NEED TO BE CONNECTED
Videoconferencing Out on a Lim
Janine Lim is an inspiring VC evangelist. If there’s a resource out there that will help you connect your classroom with an expert, another class halfway around the world, or just go on a virtual field trip, Janine has found it. She talks tech, instruction, and the why it’s so important to stay focused on the kids when connecting classes around the world to one another.
Blog to get you Thinking about HIPPOS
Alright, I tricked you. I included Hippapalooza not so much to make anyone think about the wrinkly-skinned African animals, but rather to get people thinking about what our students are doing at an increasingly younger age. You see, Hippapalooza is a blog that was created by one of my 5th graders. He did it on his own, without any prompting from me, but the idea came to him after starting up his own Hippo-centric wiki. The wiki wasn’t giving him the connections to other people that he wanted online, so he started the blog, and quickly recruited friends from the school and friends that he chats with online. These students aren’t even in middle school yet, and they’re already creating their own networks online. Not satisified with what’s being offered at MySpace or other social networking sites, they’ve been busy building their own with the tools that we want them to use effectively and safely. Makes you wonder if all those tech-vangelists have a point after all.
I could go on with a list of blogs that make me think, but these are the 5 that have made me ponder most recently. Have 5 blogs that you want to bestow the Thinking Blog Award upon? Here’s the rules:
1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think.
2. Link to this post on the Thinking Blog so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme.
Enjoy your weekend of deep thought!