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I am the Department Head of Mathematics at Daniel McIntyre Collegiate Institute, a grade 9-12 (students aged 14 years to 18+) high school in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. A Difference is my personal professional blog where I explore the meaningful and concrete pedagogical applications of the read/write web in my classroom. The first post I ever wrote, Why “A Difference”, explains the name. There are over 1000 students at our school which is probably the most multicultural school in the province. One of the teachers at our school estimated that our students collectively speak over 50 different languages.
I think of A Difference as my laboratory where I play with new technologies and tools before trying them out in my classroom. I have a separate blog for each of my classes. The currently active class blogs are Pre-Cal 30S (Fall ‘06), Pre-Cal 40S (Fall ‘06) and AP Calculus AB (2006-07). I also use A Difference as a place to engage other teachers from around the world in a dialogue about teaching and learning in a continual effort to improve what I do each day in my classroom.
Doug Noon: Borderland is a place where I can explore the contradictions I find working with kids in an institutional setting, helping them develop an awareness of who they are in a world that is changing more rapidly than anyone can understand. The name for the blog was inspired by my interest in the notion of peripheral participation and situated learning. I teach at Denali Elementary, a school in Fairbanks, Alaska, which is pretty far out on the global periphery. If the world has edges, we’re on one. Our school has a racially diverse student population of about 400 kids. I work with 9 and 10 year-old students, and my primary focus is on language and literacy. We’ve been publishing student writing in a classroom writing project called Tell the Raven for nearly a year. My blogging manifesto may provide more of an idea of what the Borderland blog is about.
Vicki Davis is a teacher and technology administrator at Westwood Schools in Camilla, Georgia.
I created the Cool Cat Teacher blog to document and share my learning with other teachers and to learn from them. As a former businesswoman, I believe that teaching is a noble calling and that teachers need encouragement and practical advice. I also believe that teachers should blog in order to promote a better exchange of best practices. I teach keyboarding, computer applications, and computer science to students aged 10-18. Prior to teaching in the classroom, I taught professional development technology integration courses for teachers. I am known for my award winning class wiki, wiki-centric classroom structure, and use of broad scope of Web 2.0 tools to improve student performance. She is a co-founder of the Women of Web 2 and co host of the Wow2 skypecast.
Teresa Almeida d’Eça: I am an English teacher in a state middle school in the greater Lisbon area, in Portugal. I’ve been teaching at Escola de Sto. António - Parede for 10 years.
This blog, which started in the 2005-06 school year, is aimed at 5th and 6th graders in their first and second year of English. Their age range is 9 to 11.
The main collaborators in this blog are my three 6th grade classes: 6C, 6D and 6E. There are 70 students altogether. They have been with me since last year in the 5th grade. And as regular and very helpful co-collaborators I have friends and colleagues from all over the world who belong to the Webheads in Action, an online community of practice I’ve been with for 5 years. They come from such countries as Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, the United States, Canada, Portugal, Sweden, Italy, Sudan and Australia, among others, which shows what a great advantage belonging to a CoP is for this type of collaboration.
The aim is for students to practice the language they learn in class freely outside of class and, at the same time, open up horizons by communicating with teachers and peers from all corners of the world about the work and fun activities they carry out.
It is great to be nominated for the award. I am a university teacher with strong interest in many kinds of technologies for learning. You can get more details about my work from http://www.learnactivity.com/ . I started this blog in order to provide improved support for students in my class. Rather than using learning management system to support learning as it was my practice before, I organized blog-based environment where students were accessing course material, posting reflections, featuring artifacts created through the learning tasks, commenting and critiquing each others work, and otherwise participated on regular basis throughout the semester.
The blog environments contained connected community of interlinked blogs belonging to individual students (please visit their blogs to see how that add dynamics to our community). In addition to the blogs, I also collected data from a questionnaire, interviews with small selected number of students and the end of the course evaluation focusing of the course and the facilitator effectiveness. Overall, results demonstrated exceptional capacity of blogs to provide advanced learning environment.
Teaching Generation Z was created in mid 2005 as my first foray into the realm of blogging. I thought it would be a great way to document my work and maybe get to make some connections to other like minded teachers out there in cyberspace somewhere. I could never have imagined where this blog has taken me in terms of professional learning and networking with so many other amazing educators. This blog has been my gateway to other sectors of education, radical and challenging thinkers, inspiring ideas and new, unique opportunities, all without leaving the comfort of suburban Adelaide! I like to think I cover a broad range of technology and education related topics, all with a uniquely Aussie perspective. So if you have ever read one of my posts, left me a comment, remixed some of my words, encouraged me to take up an opportunity, added me to your skype list or blogroll - then this nomination has as much to do with you.