Saturday, April 29, 2006

Modeling Best Practice: Student Voices, Teacher's Voices


In a recent conversation I had with the folks in our school division's Educational Technology Department I learned that they're putting together a 5 year educational technology implementation plan. Apparently blogging will play some part in it. They called me up to ask for 3 to 5 suggestions for outstanding, exemplary blogs. My reply? That's not easy!

As we talked about it we realized we should probably distinguish between blogs like this one (a teacher's voice) and class blogs (students voices).

I have tried to avoid posting about "my favourite blogs" because I am confident that I will succeed only in overlooking someone and possibly offending someone by not including their blog. And to be perfectly honest, there is so much diversity in blogging style, content and they ways in which this tool is used that I find it virtually impossible single out such a small number. So I thought I'd throw out an appeal to the collective wisdom of the edublogosphere. What are your top three blogs in each of these two categories: Student Voices and Teacher's Voices. Please leave your answers in the comments even if someone has already made the same choice(s). I'll aggregate the results and share them with everyone. Thanks.


Nick Noakes said...
1/5/06 03:12  

The questions the person asked you assumes that there is only one type of blog ... there are as many as there are purposes ... and (some) individuals have mutiple (individual and/or group) blogs for different purposes and audiences.

Maybe a question like this is a good alert to ask the questionner about their understanding of blogs, as you seem to have done!

Mrs Simpson said...
2/5/06 21:04  

One of my favorite teacher blogs (besides yours!) is by Vicki Davis in Georgia. She is a technology teacher, and she has lots of good information about blogs, wikis, and other exciting tools. She also has some wonderful thought about education in general.

Darren said...
2/5/06 22:46  

Nick, you're absolutely right. The more thought I've given this question the harder it is to answer. One pattern I have noticed in the blogs I come up with on my mental list is that the elementary blogs far outnumber the high school blogs. I wonder why that is.

Jeanne: I agreee. Vicki is doing some outstanding work sharing her learning and her students wiki work. (Thanks for including me in your list too. ;-))

Vicki A. Davis said...
3/5/06 08:06  

Thank you so much for mentioning me in your list. You know I read you too! (Of course its May and you know what that means, but I'm trying to read in my "spare time!")

I love technology plans and we have an evolving 3-5 year phased plan. I think it is important for the plan creators to remember that they are planning for technology that hasn't been implemented yet.

I believe it is vital to PLAN to include a module in every computer-related and otherwise class for emerging technologies. I also think it is important to plan to FUND emerging technologies. Otherwise, those who are sticking to their 5 year plan and are on year 5 right now can't do wikis or blogs because it is not in the 'plan."

We're updating our plan right now, but our technology committee has been good about allowing the plan to evolve as time passes.

What a daunting task! I have my blogroll on my site and read many folks. I do think, however that best practices can be learned from many fields and I love Guy Kawasaki and Kathy Sierra as my favorite non-educational blogs. They are as cutting edge as you get and much carries over into education.

Of course, your list of blogs will evolve also. It is important that to stay cutting edge that technology is pushed to the "front line" and teachers are allowed to be in the drivers seat sometimes.

Good luck!

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