Best individual blog – I have shared out, noted, and thought about more ideas from http://michaelkmilton.com/ than any other website as of late in terms of actual classroom projects and lesson ideas. Michael Milton is sharing out so many fantastic ideas that it is hard to keep up. My lucky social studies teachers receive something from this website from me at least once a week.
Best new blog – Bianca Hewes – Not necessarily new to blogging, but new to me this year. I came across her after studying PBL for my school. She is brutally honest and speaks it like it is. I appreciate this more than anything else in the world. She is not a cookie cutter, pretty classroom, everything is great type person. She is real. She speaks truth. The good and the bad. Her ideas are top notch and I hope to develop a voice like she has developed. She is an outlier pushing the ideas of classroom projects and helping students lead the charge in learning.
Best student blog – Student Voice – I have worked with Zak Malamed as he has helped some of my students on a project and listening to him speak at ISLI. From there I have jumped onto this site and really love the ideas and platform of this site. So many great voices being shared. Students leading by example on how powerful the student voice can and should be. #stuvoice
Best ed tech / resource sharing blog – Scott McLeod – Dangerously Irrelevant This guy is one of my favorites. He challenges status quo. He raises important ideas that need to be addressed. He is a boundary pusher and a much needed voice if we want to make positive change in education. Love that he has no fear. And he let me wear his Google Glass and now I want a pair so bad!
Best teacher blog – Vicki Davis – Cool Cat Teacher – Always great content. Never miss a post. She is personable, shares her ups and downs, and provides quality content that any teacher can apply and learn from. Have been following her for years and information constantly gets better. I am proud to call her a mentor and friend. She is top notch and leading the charge in education remaining true to her classroom.
Best library / librarian blog – I just came across http://www.techbrarian.com/ and it is by far the coolest looking website and just blows my mind. So much to learn here and I need a few days to just process it all. This has inspired me to reshape my blog, develop a new website, and really design a better concept of myself. So good, so good. More need to be aware of this work and site.
Best administrator blog – Jimmy Casas Jimmy is the principal for our high school so I am keeping it local. When he writes a post it comes from the heart and the mind. It is a real voice and we don’t see this enough from administrators. It is hard to open up when one little phrase can be taken out of context, but in order to connect and grow, we have to be open and honest. He does just that.
Most influential blog post of the year: Pernille Rip http://pernillesripp.com/2013/09/22/dear-bammy-awards-where-did-it-go-wrong/ I love her too! I am probably not on her PLN radar but she is great. She shares so many great things about education, her teaching, and her students. This blog post was something that really opened up some great conversation. Someone had to speak up and she did. This took courage and frankly it made me think even more highly of her for speaking up. This post is important not because of the questions raised about the BAMMY’s, but the importance of speaking up and advocating for what is right. The conversation that erupted was paramount to moving education forward. More teachers need a backbone to speak up about the truths of education and issues. This blog post is an exemplar about how to do this professionally.
Best individual tweeter – Ginger Lewman @gingerlewman I LOVE Ginger. She challenges my thoughts, questions my thinking, speaks her own piece, and this is what I love about her. She is another real authentic voice in education who is not afraid to ask the questions that need to be asked. My best conversations about education have been with her.
Best twitter hashtag – This is tough. I have debated between the following #iaedchat #edchat #tlap and #itlchat. In the end I think I have to go with #iaedchat as it is the one that I constantly share with and connect with the most. The others are great and I even have one, but if I go by use, then #iaedchat is the clear winner.
Best free web tool – Audacity. Loving this tool as I push my boundaries to create podcasts. Learning so much with this tool that has been around for so long. Really, I should go state Google Hangout. Yes, let me go with Google Hangout. So many fantastic connections have been made with other educators, classrooms, and students. Okay, so there it is a mid write-up change in making. Google Hangout, but still wanted to give Audacity a plug 🙂
Best educational use of audio / video / visual / podcast – I am going with Vicki Davis Every Classroom Matters Podcast My favorite podcast dealing with education. I have not missed one yet. Professional, seeking out many new voices, and I am learning so much from these 10-15 minute episodes. She also helped give me a nudge to start my own. One day I might have an audience like her.
Best open PD / unconference / webinar series – Not sure if it fits this category http://www.twoguysandsomeipads.com/p/the-two-guys-show.html is a must. They helped motivate me to enact on my personal goal of podcasting, interviewing, and raising awareness through another media. These shows are great for the conversations and the information that can be obtained. The chat with Ginger Lewman is the best.
Best educational use of a social network – No doubt I have to go with Ginger Lewman. She has challenged me to get going on some platforms like FourSquare. She has her own blog, tweets, and FB posts, but she also has LifePractice Learning. She is always leading the way and testing out what is new and happening. She is everywhere and does it the right way. Must give credit to the mentor who has helped me and continues to help me navigate the social media world.
Best mobile app – Twitter, just because it is my one stop source to connect with the best educators around the world. I check this app at last 200 times a day. It is an addiction that needs help, but only a little bit because I am not giving it up.
Lifetime achievement – Angela Maiers – She is living her words and inspiring so many. I cannot express here enough of how much she has helped me to find my voice as an educator as well as helping my students and students around the world to do the same. It is not easy to stand up strong for what you believe, but she does just that and is constantly working to bring in more people and students. She is connected and always upbeat. Love her message and hope to spread the message as well.