Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Why a list of 19? Cuz that’s how we roll

Every time I run across a blog post that touts the top 5 or top 50 or 100 of anything, I am generally intrigued.  As much as I like to have choices, I also like to have some of those choices already made for me – by someone in the know, of course. I like to think that one or two of the items on that list of top treasures is going to change my life.  Anybody else like me? Anybody?

Everyone seems to have a list of top somethings to quack about, surely we do, too.  Actually, Scott and Linda and I get asked quite often ask about where we learn and do research in order to stay ahead of the herd, so to speak. It’s hard to pin-down the who, what, and how of our own professional development, but I thought that by looking at the top blogs/publications we read might be a start.    

So here is our list of 19 top educational blogs and publications that we read and recommend to others:
  1. The Eighth Floor Blog:  Where did you think I would start?!?
  2. Learning is the Reward:  Linda shared this blog by local educator, Janice Airhart  I am a former medical technologist, research scientist, writer, and editor.  For the past six years I have taught Freshman Composition at the local community college and for the past five, I have taught pregnant and parenting teens.  Currently, in addition to continuing at the community college, I am teaching all science courses (four!), junior English, Desktop Publishing, and Creative Writing.  This means a lot of preparation time, but my schedule also gives me the opportunity to immerse myself in subjects that I enjoy.”
  3. Teaching Like it is 2999: “ Welcome to Ms. Magiera's Technology in Education Blog: Redefining The (digital) classroom” – another from Linda
  4. Classroom in the Cloud: Maybe I missed it, but I didn’t find an About Page on this blog – however, if Linda endorses it, so do I.
  5. Innovative Educator:  This is a blog all three of us read.  It has variety and relevance – two things I appreciate! Check this one out. It’s worth subscribing to.
  6. Teq Blog: Welcome to the Teq blog! Here you will find ideas, tips, and commentary on best practices related to interactive technologies and their integration into the curriculum. We hope you enjoy your time here and will become an active part of our learning community. The blog is written for educators, students, administrators, and anyone interested in learning how to infuse technology into their daily lives and practice.  We can thank Linda for this one, too.
  7. The Pursuit of Technology Integration Happiness:  More Linda!  Michael Zimmer is the author.  His goal is to share ed tech resources and discuss general education issues.
  8. Miss Lamb’s Website:  one of our part-time instructors, Kerry Wiley from Broken Arrow, recommends this site as a resource for upper level English teachers. This is a nice example of integrating both a website and a blog. This also uses a different kind of tool, called Weebly, instead of the typical Google Blogger or Wordpress site.
  9. Life Hacker:  tips, tricks, and technology for living better in the digital age. This one comes from Scott and has a definite Geek flavor to it. 
  10. Teaching Generation Text: Also from Scott.   These are stories from educators, parents, students, counselors and anyone using cell phones to enhance learning.
  11. Tech Teacher:  This one is from Shawn Beard from Sand Springs (formerly a full-time Eighth For instructor – still part-time) Thanks, Shawn, for being brave enough to share your own blog.  This site was designed by a teacher, for teachers. My goal is to provide meaningful discussion on topics related to technology and the classroom and reviews of iPad apps, classroom software, and Web 2.0 Tools. ~S. Beard  I would like to also add this to my list of recommendations.  Shawn always finds the best information.
  12. Problogger:  this is where my list starts.  This blog is a blog for the blogger.  You will find a variety of tips and tricks when it comes to writing and managing your own blog.  Lots of guest bloggers and a list of jobs for professional bloggers . . . fancy yourself one?
  13. Read. Write. Connect. Learn:  Will Richardson’s blog.  His focus is on teachers and classrooms in a Web 2.0 world.  I have been reading his blog since 2005.  I am intrigued by his perspective and that he takes the time to share his “big thinks.”  
  14. Free Technology for Teachers: by Richard Byrne.  The title kind of tells the story. This site is to share information about free resources that teachers can use in their classrooms. Although the primary focus is technology, that’s not all you get here.  After all, technology is not the only resource teachers need!
  15. Cool Cat Teacher:  by Vicki Davis.  This is a widely popular EdTech blog. I think I have been reading this blog about as long as I have Will Richardson’s – they started about the same time and were among the earlier adapters.
  16. Social Media Examiner:  Social Media Examiner, the world’s largest online social media magazine, is designed to help businesses discover how to best use social media tools like Facebook, Google+, Twitter and LinkedIn to connect with customers, generate more brand awareness and increase sales.”
  17. Edutopia:  The rest of these are not so much blogs as they are publications that help keep most educators up on the hot topics, etc.
  18. Journal of Online Learning and Teaching (JOLT): The MERLOT Journal of Online Learning and Teaching (JOLT) is a peer-reviewed, open-access, online publication addressing the scholarly use of multimedia resources in online higher education. JOLT is published quarterly in March, June, September, and December
  19. Education Week:  a deep and wide resource.  I participate regularly in their webinars.  Very topical.  “Editorial Projects in Education Is the independent, nonprofit publisher of Education Week and other high-quality print and online products on K-12 education. EPE's mission is to raise awareness and understanding of critical issues facing American schools. It is a 501(c)(3) organization”

It is harder than you think coming up with a list you would recommend to your peers.  The Eighth Floor Consortium is deep and wide – sixty-seven K-20 schools from all over eastern and middle Oklahoma. No worries, though.  There is something for everyone here.

 If you ask us in 3 months, some of these sites will have changed, for sure, but not as fast as technology changes.   

Why a list of 19?  Cuz that’s how we roll.

Just sharin’
Lee Anne

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