Because Counting Our Blessings Just Isn't Enough

I don’t often have favorites. At times I wish I did: a favorite color, a favorite season, a favorite holiday, a favorite movie, a favorite book, or a favorite food. I imagine there is a comfort in favorites, something to turn to that is familiar and beloved. Yet, I relish in variety, option, and possibility, finding it virtually impossible to choose a favorite of anything. And so, true to form, I struggle with the edublog awards. Should I sit it out; not nominate and not vote as there are so many who are worthy? Or might there be value in participation, however imperfect?

Two years ago, new to the world of connected learning, the lists of nominations for the edublog awards directed me to the very first blogs I followed regularly. Last year although I didn’t nominate, I voted. Sad that I couldn’t vote for more educators making a positive impact on my own learning, I was nonetheless grateful to be introduced to bloggers new to me with whom I continue to learn. This year, I’ve decided to nominate a few educators important in my own journey as a learner. While they are by no means the only educators from whom I learn, they are individuals who regularly offer me valuable insight, perspective, and wisdom.

On October 17th, 2012,  Radical Learners returned after a long hiatus during which Jim Knight was writing his new book  High-Impact Instruction, which I look forward to reading.  Two of his prior books: Instructional Coaching and Unmistakable Impact have made an “unmistakable impact” on my practice as an educational leader, assisting me to incorporate coaching mindsets and skills into my work as a principal. I’m grateful to now be able to learn not only from his valuable books, but also from weekly reflections on his blog, published every Wednesday.

TeacherCast, a place for teachers to help other teachers, takes four of my nominations: best group blog, best educational use of audio/video/visual/podcast, best mobile app, and best educational use of a social network. Just a year and a half old, TeacherCast continues to expand its offerings as a community of practice dedicated to bringing teachers together to learn, share, and dream about what is possible in education.

Described as a blog on globally connected learning, and not educational technology per se, Silvia Tolisano is wise in her use of implementing educational technology, thoughtful in the global connections she facilitates, but even wiser and more thoughtful in her reflections on ways of improving the quality of student learning, often with the creative use of technology.

Inquisitive, creative, humble, energetic, and passionate, Maureen Devlin provides insight into the journey of a master teacher, focused on her own students’ learning while connecting her experiences as a teacher to essential questions facing the field of education more broadly.

“Remember everything. Capture anything. Access anywhere. Find things fast.” The promise of Evernote is fast becoming a reality for me and while it is the app I use most often, replacing any other place for creating or storing information, I feel I have only scratched the surface of this remarkable resource.

Edcamp Leadership, which took place this past July in New Jersey, was an extraordinary learning experience for me, which I wrote about here. Highlights for me included learning with Dr. David Timony and Mike Ritzius, two educational thinkers who have since become important members of my professional learning network.

For a truly generous spirit, I nominate best individual tweeter and lifetime achievement award to Jerry Blumengarten, otherwise known as cybraryman. Jerry Blumengarten has personally selected more than 20,000 relevant educational links from the internet for students, teachers, administrators and parents. On those rare occasions that cybraryman does not have a page on his web site on a topic of educational interest, he is tremendously skilled at connecting educators within his vast network with one another in order to learn and to share.

There are so many more worthy of award from whom I learn frequently. To all, a huge thanks!

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