I've written before about how much I love the Edublog Awards. But that won't stop me from doing it again this year! :) Truly, these virtual awards are an annual tradition that I look forward to each year! Why? Because no matter who takes home the prize, we all win! Here's how it works:
Every year, around this time, the education community comes together to recognize the bloggers, tweeters and digital teaching and learning leaders who have influenced both our collective educational conversation and real instructional practice all year. These nods are delightful. I love to see who others nominate and I'd be a big fat liar if I didn't admit that being a first time finalist last year was a total thrill! But the really good stuff happens when the winners are announced in mid December, because then we all get to add a bunch of fabulous names to our twitter and RSS feeds. This year, I am really looking forward to updating our PLN Start Kit with all the resources shared via the Edublog process. See how that works? Like I said last year, no matter who takes home the shiny edublogger badge for their virtual mantelpiece, we're all winners!
So here's what you gotta do:
Write a post with your nominations for the different categories on your own blog (or a website – anywhere public)
Send a link to your nomination post via this form.
That's all there is to it. Easy peasy!
So, in keeping with the spirit of the awards, which is to promote and demonstrate the educational value of social media, here are my nominations:
[drum roll please]
Best individual blog: The Daring Librarian by Gwyneth Jones - Gwyneth, like baby, cannot be put in a corner. She blogs about library stuff, tech stuff, teacher stuff, PD stuff, how to be a rock star presenter stuff and all sorts of other stuff too! Her blog was the first one I ever added to my Google Reader and it remains my go to source for just about everything. Best group blog: Level Up Book Club. Even though I contribute to Level Up, I have to nominate it because I love it so, so much. 2012 has definitely been The Year of The Game for me. I've learned so much about Game Based Learning and how the brain responds to learning opportunities that engage the affective part of the brain this year - and much of that is due to Level Up. I look forward to seeing how this community of learners grows next year. Best ed tech / resource sharing blog: Blogging About The Web2.0Classroom by Steven Anderson. This blog continues to be a treasure trove of resources. I look forward to each post and reflection. Best library / librarian blog: The Busy Librarian by Matthew Winner. I love Matthew's blog because it's a beautiful mixture of the professional and the personal. In it, he shares everything from lesson plans and pedagogical "aha! moments" to the books he reads to his 3 year old son to reflections on how hard it is sometimes, to be so much (as a librarian, a leader, a learner, a father, husband, friend, etc.), to so many people. Like its author, this blog is fast paced, super generous and just plain fun to read! Best administrator blog: The Principal of Change by George Couros. I would give my right arm (or left if he prefered) to work for George Couros. If the school he runs is even half as inspirational as his blog, I am so in. I love reading his blog for the admin's perspective and because it's inspiring to see how much he obviously loves his job. Most influential blog post: Common Core Love It Or Hate It? by Tamara Cox. Tamara has been a leader in helping school librarians prepare for the Common Core and this post "tells it like it is" to some pretty powerful nay sayers. Preach it, sister! Best individual tweeter: Richard Byrne. This man is a machine. 'Nuff said. Best twitter hashtag: #tlchat I've written about how much I love #tlchat before, so this nomination shouldn't be a shocker. However, this year, teacher librarian chat has grown to include a live chat - which occurs the second Monday of each month - giving us another way to share our TL power! Best free web tool: Edmodo. I've been an Edmodo fan forever, but this year I've used it as a PD tool for the librarians in my district and have loved it! Best educational use of audio / video / visual / podcast: Circulating Ideas by Steve Thomas. I gotta admit, I love this podcast most because it gives me a chance to connect with some of my library heroes in a new way. It's just plain fun to HEAR the voices of the folks I admire so much. Plus, Steve does a great job of making each podcast seem just like a conversation between two old friends. It's good, good stuff. Best open PD / unconference / webinar series: TL Virtual Cafe. What can I say? the TL Virtual Cafe continues to roll out high quality, just in time professional development month after month - like the post office, neither rain nor sleet nor hurricane Sandy can stop this PD juggernaut. Best mobile app: Zite. As far as my own professional development goes, I don't think I use any app more regularly than Zite. I also think there's a big, big discussion to be had about how information is curated for us via search engines AND how knowing that should influence us (and our students') as we evaluate not only resources but actual search results. That said, Zite is a customized magazines that figures out what you like and brings it to you. What's more, this model is the future of search. Lifetime achievement: Doug Johnson. Doug is my hero. End of story - well, not quite. I love, love, love Doug's blog because a) it is always honest - even when folks are not interested in the truth, b) it is always current - Doug always seems to have his finger on the pulse of what's next and c) it is always funny AND smart - my fave combination. Doug has says he has been leaving readers confused at a higher level since 2005 and I for one hope he continues to confuse (inspire and teach) us for many years to come!