Best Teacher Blog 2006 Finalists

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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 . 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.Teacher

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Best Undergraduate Blog 2006 Finalists

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My blog is currently somewhat of a hodgepodge regarding educational issues. I share my experiences in the classroom, my questions as a pre-service teacher, and opinions on other educational issues.

I am a preservice teacher at a small, public university. I am currently placed in a practicum with first graders (ages 6-7), but once I graduate, I will be certified to teacher K-6 (ages 5-12). I discovered blogging in my “Teaching with Technology” class, thanks to Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach. I’m located in Virginia, US.

The CILASS student blog is kept by the 24 student ambassadors of the Centre for Inquiry-based Learning (IBL) in the Arts and Social Sciences, a Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning funded by the Higher Education Funding Council for England. Each student ambassador represents a department at the University of Sheffield’s faculties of the Arts, Social Sciences and Law - you can read more about us on the Who’s Who page. The blog is intended to spread the word of IBL among students, to inform students about the work the student ambassadors engage in, but also to provide students with the opportunity to share and discuss their own learning experiences. Only two months old, the blog is still finding its feet, judging from the shortlisting, hopefully in the right direction!! :o)

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Best Wiki 2006 Finalists

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APWH - This wiki served as the center for two major projects for Dan McDowell’s Advanced Placement World History classes. The first project had students collaborating to review for the AP exam. The Holocaust Wiki Project was the second undertaking by the students. For this project the students created a branching simulation based upon extensive online research.

Dan currently teaches world history to 15 years olds at West Hills High School, Santee, CA, USA. He has been working on integrating technology-based projects with his students for his entire teaching career. In the last couple of years he has been using wikis for several projects. He blogs about using Web 2.0 tools and teaching at A History Teacher.

Classroom Google Earth was setup by Tom Barrett in October 2006. For nearly 2 years Tom has been using Google Earth as a teaching and learning tool in his classroom and has been publishing select curriculum based work on the Google Earth Forum. With over 15,000 views and counting, Tom has extended the sharing of these valuable resources onto the wikispace platform. He hopes that the greater accessibility of wikis will further encourage colleagues to contribute their Google Earth ideas and resources.

Tom is currently an assistant headteacher and Year 6 teacher at Priestsic Primary and Nursery School in Nottinghamshire, England. He has been exploring the breadth of web 2.0 collaborative tools this academic year with his class of ten year olds. He has begun a professional blog of his ponderings as well as a blog for his class.

CoLearners is a wiki site maintained by David Warlick for his professional development activities. For more than a decade, he has made his handouts available almost exclusively online and to the public. They have existed as static web pages, on PiNet Library (a CMS developed by Warlick), and a Moodle Site. Warlick as settled on a wiki for a number of reasons. Using PMWiki, an open source wiki engine by Patrick Michaud, Warlick utilizes a number of added extensions and some of his own hacks to provide dynamic and user editable content for his keynotes and workshops, instantly available photos from the events, aggregated blog entries from participants who have attended in reflected on what they learned, lists of relevant links from RSS feeds, and self-generating wiki pages for attendees to share their notes into collaborative session notebooks.

David Warlick is an independent education consultant, who has written a number of books about educational technology and new literacy, and spoken to audiences of educators throughout the U.S., Europe, Asia, and South America. He lives with his wife, two children, and Rasta the dog, in Raleigh, North Carolina, USA

The Flat Classroom project is a collaborative genuine assessment project between Vicki Davis‘ 15-17 year old Computer Science Class (10th grade) at Westwood Schools in Camilla, Georgia and Julie Lindsay’s grade 11 ITGS class (16-18 year old) at International School Dhaka (ISD) in Bangladesh. This two and a half week project is the semester assessment for each class with one student from each classroom paired to create a wiki and video artifacts about topics emerging from the ten flatteners as outlined in Thomas Friedman’s book, The World is Flat and their affect on the business and educational worlds. The wiki has served as the hub, assessment tool, project management tool, and discussion area for this asynchronous project. All student work will be turned in by Tuesday, December 12th at 12 midnight GMT and judging will occur from a panel of international judges . Everything done in this project has been documented via wiki and individual class blogs in order to promote easy duplication of such projects by other educators.

SupportBlogging! was started by Steve Hargadon to promote the benefits of educational blogging during the dialog on DOPA. The wiki grew so quickly that within days of being started it drew the attention of School Library Journal, which soon published a short article on it. With the collaborative efforts of edubloggers worldwide, the site now provides help to new bloggers; runs an email list for edubloggers; lists and allows searching of hundreds of student, teacher, class, administrator blogs; lists and allows searching of articles, books, videos, podcasts, workshops, and conferences on edublogging; and is spawning a series of edublogger “meetups” at ed tech shows and an annual EduBloggerCon.

Steve Hargadon is based outside of Sacramento, California, USA. He sells computers to schools under the website, runs the Open Source labs for the CUE and NECC ed tech shows, and has started a series of training workshops under the banner (where he also hosts series of audio interviews on educational
Click here to vote!

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And the nominations for the 2006 international Edublog Awards are…

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Thank you all for your patience. This years nominations have poured in from edubloggers worldwide – and the results, as I’m sure you will agree, are pretty outstanding. My condolences to the many, many high quality nominations who didn’t make this years finals: there were plenty of worthy contenders who would have been equally at home here representing the best that the edublogosphere has to offer. Please do enjoy checking out this years finalists, recommending them to colleagues and above all – voting!

This year I’m rolling out the votes with the posts, as well as providing an overview page, which is where the winners will eventually be announced. This means that you can vote for the categories you want or are most interested in – although I hope that you’ll explore all of our shortlist. Is someone missing from the category? Feel free to build on the resource by mentioning them in the category comments. Do also get in touch at the awards email address – - if you review category shortlists on your own site, interview finalists, or create any other kind of post that would help enhance this years award.

Voting is open from now until Midnight GMT Saturday 16 December 2006 – a mere week away. Winners will be announced on Sunday 17 December – more details very shortly!

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Last week for nominations!

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Only a week left to make sure that your favourite blogs, bloggers and projects are nominated for the third international Edublog Awards!

Please do help spread the word – huge thanks to everyone who has posted about them so far. Nominations have been flooding in – again – many thanks for taking the time to make such a valuable contribution - and the shortlist will be announced on the 2nd December. Nominations call and procedure here.

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Edublog Awards 2006 - nominations open

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I’m delighted to announce the third international Edublog Awards – the independently run, community-based awards programme which recognizes and promotes excellence in the educational use of social software.

As the reality and potential of distributed learning and distributed learner identities and communities are increasingly acknowledged, articulated and understood, education moves further towards facilitating truly learner-centered and learned driven environments.

A lot has changed in the world of educational technology since this time last year. The continuing rise and mainstreaming of easy to use network-as-platform applications, and increasing access to affordable online speed and space, have seen the continued expansion of users of all ages creating and communicating online.

Learners and educators still however face difficult issues around network restrictions, around data protection and ownership, and around commercial protectionism. This year has also seen a marked increase in hostility towards social networking sites in the US, demonstrating a widespread lack of appreciation of the informal and formal educational value of user-centered applications.

The Edublog awards are more relevant than ever in this climate – a space for us to refocus the debate surrounding young peoples use of technology as irresponsible, dangerous or illegal, and look at the positive, powerful and transformative work which continues to be demonstrated.

This year there are ten categories:

  • Best audio and/or visual blog
  • Best group blog
  • Best individual blog
  • Most influential post, resource or presentation
  • Best library/librarian blog
  • Best newcomer
  • Best research paper on social software within learning and teaching
  • Best teacher blog
  • Best undergraduate blog
  • Best wiki use


Again, nominations are made confidentially. Please email in your nominations to the awards address:

Only current edubloggers are invited to nominate contenders. If you post publicly, and produce some content related to education, you are recognized as an edublogger for the purposes of this competition and are eligible to nominate. Please include your blog url with your nominations.

Each participant is able to make a maximum of two nominations per category. Self-nomination is perfectly acceptable, but you are encouraged to nominate the blogs, projects and papers that you genuinely believe to be outstanding examples of practice. Please list your nominations in order of preference. You may enter the same person or site for more than one award.

Nominations are open from 8 November to 30 November. When you have decided on your nominations for all of the categories you want to propose, you can cut and paste the template provided into the body of an email, complete it and send to the awards email address:

The most popular, eligible nominations in each category will be available to vote on from 2 December to 14 December. Winners will be announced live at a special broadcast awards ceremony currently scheduled for 15 December 1500 GMT.

Good luck to everyone! Let’s build an irresistible argument!

Josie Fraser

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International Edublogging Women’s Day 2006

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Many countries celebrate International Women’s Day on March 8th - tomorrow.

This year, we’d like to encourage the whole edublogging community to celebrate the women edubloggers in their lives - friends, mothers, sisters, daughters, online colleagues and co-workers. Please join in the party on this special day with at least one post about women who edublog. It might be a profile, interview, overview of their blog - or just a round up link-fest of all your favourite women edubloggers. So if you have benefited from the contribution of women who blog in, around or about education (and let’s face it - who hasn’t?), please take part in the women edubloggers extravaganza!

Please include the phrase “International Edublogging Women’s Day 2006” in your post, for extra Technorati points!

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Time to get organised…

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Well, the awards were fantastic this year and it’s great to see so many people talking about them. What makes the Eddies so special is that they are so firmly anchored in the edublogging community. So, if you have some good ideas about how the awards could be improved, make sure you share them. I’d love to hear from you! I’d also like to try and drum up some volunteers to help out with next years awards - so if you’d like to actively participate in an international awards event, let me know - either through the comments here or by email. I’m looking for people to work the following 2006 Edublog Awards sub-committees:

* Non-English language edublog participation
To ensure we are supporting and including bloggers writing in languages other than English

* Funding & Sponsorship
So we can afford publicity materials and prizes

* Publicity & Press
Responsible for spreading the word and designing publicity materials and graphics

* Women’s edublog participation
To make sure the contribution of women edubloggers is recognised

Please think about volunteering, or if you can’t - why not spread the word we’re looking for volunteers? Working on the awards is a great opportunity and a lot of fun.

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2005 Winners Announced

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If you weren’t able to join us earlier you can now enjoy the party over at EdTechTalk. You can also check out the vote stats. Dave Cormier has also posted his list of the top ten news events of the edublogging year - his top picks which ran (pretty contentiously) through the awards announcements. Check them out and leave your comments!

Well done to everyone! If you weren’t able to make an acceptance speech (or even if you were) please do feel free to mail in a paragraph and/or a link to a post on your blog about your win! We took a total of 3268 votes this year.

The International Edublog Awards Winners 2005

* Most innovative edublogging project, service or programme 2005

James Farmer: Edublogs

“Sometimes when people win something and say “it wasn’t me, it was the team” etc. you know they’re really talking out of their arses and they do in fact entirely think it was them but feel compelled to say otherwise. However, this isn’t always the case and I promise you that I am in no way talking out of my arse when I say that Elgg is an amazing and developing product that Dave & Ben have put together in an incredible way, Ed Tech Talk is another two-man stunning production and Stephen’s Web must have had more man hours put into it than most decent sized buildings. Whereas all I’ve done is whack up a blogging service which a bunch of people seem to have found useful… So, seriously, and I promise you with no arse at all, this isn’t for me, it’s for the people who use”

* Best newcomer 2005

Konrad Glogowski: Blog of proximinal development

* Most influential post, resource or presentation 2005

George Siemens: Connectivism: Learning as Network-Creation

* Best designed/most beautiful edublog 2005

D’Arcy Norman: D’Arcy Norman Dot Net

* Best library/librarian blog 2005

Joyce Valenza: Joyce Valenza’s NeverEnding Search

* Best teacher blog, joint winners 2005

Konrad Glogowski: Blog of proximinal development

Anne Davis: Edublog Insights

* Best audio and/or visual blog 2005

Dave Cormier and Jeff Lebow: Ed Tech Talk

* Best example/ case study of use of weblogs within teaching and learning 2005

Thomas Hawke, Thomas Stiff, Susan Stiff, Diane Hammond (YES I Can! Science team): Polar Science

“Thank you very much! The Polar Science Project was developed and coordinated by the YES I Can! Science team - Dr. Thomas Stiff, Susan Stiff and Diane Hammond of McMaster University in Canada. The project blogs were one of many communication tools we used to give students the opportunity to interact with Canadian scientist Dr. Thomas Hawke, as he conducted research on the aerobic capacity of Weddell seals in Antarctica.

We would like to thank Dr. Hawke for his interesting and informative articles, and all of the students and their teachers for their insightful questions and observations.”

* Best group blog 2005

Rudolf Amman, Aaron Campbell, Barbara Dieu:

* Best individual blog 2005

Stephen Downes: OLDaily

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Awards show Sunday

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Hope you’re all looking forward to Sunday’s awards show and the announcement of this years winners as much as me! The show starts at 15:00 GMT (apologies to that part of Australia and New Zealand for whom it might be a bit too late for), so you can listen in live as the winners are announced. The show is being cast by Worldbridges under the title Edtech talk number 30, and will of course be available to listen to after the event.

The chat room will be open too, so why not join in with the show -
Type any ID to enter.

You can also listen to the second half of last Sunday’s Awards rundown, EdTechTalk number 29, part 2, where you can hear Dave Cormier and I run down the short-lists from Best librarian/library blog onwards. Unfortunately the first half got eaten up, but rest assured I said lovely things about everyone.

Dave has also taken the time to set up this account with all the links for all the nominees.

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The Edublog Awards 2005 Press Release

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The Edublog Awards 2005 Press Release

Do you know of a news provider or editor in your country who might be interested in the Edublog Awards? Please feel free to forward this information and help us spread the word!

Recent news regarding student use of weblogs has not been particularly positive. Fears that students may misuse the platform, or conversely, find themselves at the mercy of evil blog trawlers, have lead to institutions calling a halt to student blogging – in at least one instance, even in the students own time. Rather than looking at how the curriculum might best address the task of supporting learners in becoming responsible, web-savvy citizens, sites such as MySpace and Zanga – are instead being outlawed.

And it isn’t just obviously recreational sites that are being blocked on school networks. Although educators, learners and researchers have been using blogs constructively for over five years now, educational weblogs – edublogs – are currently being blocked at district level by school authorities. In effect, this means that despite the recognition by multiple governments of the value of e-learning (to individuals and economies), and despite an emerging body of research and numerous examples of great educational practice, weblogs – which provide a simple way for educators and students to create and participate in collaborative, conversational and distributed learning communities – are being excluded from the day-to-day business of education.

This year sees the second international Edublog Awards, a web based event that recognises the many diverse and imaginative ways in which weblogs are being used within education, and promotes positive and creative uses of new web technologies in the classroom. Peer nominated blogs from across the globe are currently competing in 10 categories - Most innovative edublogging project, service or programme; Best newcomer; Most influential post, resource or presentation; Best designed/most beautiful edublog; Best library/librarian blog; Best teacher blog; Best audio and/or visual blog; Best example/ case study of use of weblogs within teaching and learning; Best group blog; and Best individual blog.

The full list, descriptive paragraphs, and links to all the finalists can be found at the Edublog Awards site - providing a powerful example of how educators are harnessing the potential of weblog technology, and a rich snapshot of the methods and practices of the learners and educators at the forefront of educational technology today.

Voting is open until December 17th. Winners will be announced at the awards event webcast, hosted by Worldbridges on Sunday December 18th, 15:00 GMT.

This years awards are being managed by Josie Fraser, a UK based educational technologist and blogger. For more information, please contact her via 2005awards at googlemail dot com

Student’s ordered to remove blogs:
Edublogs being blocked:
The Edublog Awards:
Edublog Awards voting open:
Worldbridges – Global Webcasts, Podcasts & New Media:

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Here’s the 2005 badge for those of you who made it to the shortlist. Wear them with pride!
edublogs<br />
awards nominee

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