Sizing up the competition
September 23, 2010
Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just hit a button like this? Just one little button, on our computers, laptops, phones, home and work computers, and we could begin directly typing into our blog? Better yet, how about that same key gives us instant access to not only our blogs, but instinctively knows what blogs we would have interest in and brings up those as well? Well…we’re close. iGoogle is doing a fine job of keeping all of my blogs in order. I have to really determine which are best suited to my needs, but this is a start:
http://davidwarlick.com/2cents/ 2cents Worth
Even though his September 17th entry reads more like a consumer review than an informative blog about teaching and learning, David Warlick is a skilled writer with a lot to say. He captures the essence of creativity (he calls it “innovation”) in a 21st century world, seamlessly merging his thoughts with external input (tweets), and places to go for more information or related upcoming events. A particularly intriguing post explains the joy of the iPad, and its potential downfalls (can you produce?), noting, however that we still have many capabilities to learn. He expands the idea of literacy to include 21st century goals such as exposing the truth, employing the information, and expressing the ideas effectively. For Mr. Warlick, these are the new “3 R’s” of education. In the end, educators need to seek out literary tools, not the necessarily the newest piece of technology on the market without regard to what literacy is and how a literacy tool functions.
http://coolcatteacher.blogspot.com/ Cool Cat Teacher Blog
Vicki Davis, a teacher from Georgia has created a blog with topics varying from internet connectivity to people with disabilities. As a participant in the Flat Classroom Projects http://www.flatclassroomproject.net/ , she seeks to connect the members of classrooms. Her blog is focused on K-12, primarily upon junior high and high school learning and experiences. Her spot on a student produced YouTube video, featured the student’s appearance on Edutopia http://www.edutopia.org/. Look to this blog for a wide variety of subjects pertinent to junior high and high school education.
http://janeknight.typepad.com/socialmedia/ Social Media for Working and Learning
Janet Hart, a “social business consultant,” blogs to a sophisticated reader about advancements, evolutions, and new products in the world of social media. Her blog is not for beginners. Although the beginner can certainly learn something from her blog, e.g. a Twitter list for working professionals http://c4lpt.co.uk/connexions/wpl.html, the claim (with well-supported reasons) for having public social media, not banning social media, and keeping social media active in the workplace and in organizations; her blog is certainly geared toward the reader with considerable social media savvy. I suspect that after following her blog for some time, readers will gain this level of sophistication and move into the realm of her intended audience. DO not give up on this blog, beginners, you’ll get there.
http://drzreflects.blogspot.com/ Dr. Z Reflects
Dr. Z, Leigh Zeitz, posts what he is passionate about. This certainly is focused on technology and learning, but includes anything that seems to inspire him, and he passes this on to inspire others. He reports current events, like his September 13 post about a Wisconsin school removing internet filters. In addition, he offers valuable advice to new and seasoned educators. He reminds his readers to integrate the technology in addition to modeling the technology. He asks pertinent questions and truly “reflects” on the information he has presented. This is a representative conclusion to his August 9 post, “Do you know a source for finding/identifying the necessary knowledge/skills/attitudes/tools for optimizing a technology-rich learning environment? What do you think?”
All of these blogs remind other bloggers of the scope of the content that one can post. All four are very professional, well organized, easy to navigate, and aesthetically pleasing. They all provide models for other bloggers while providing the readers with information they can use in practice and in theory. In 2cents Worth,http://davidwarlick.com/2cents/, Mr. Warlick demonstrates a clear sense of style and personal voice that is refreshing in such an informative blog. Ms. Davis http://coolcatteacher.blogspot.com focuses on topics relevant to her audience. Ms. Hart http://janeknight.typepad.com/socialmedia/ thrusts your social media awareness to the next level, while Dr. Z http://drzreflects.blogspot.com/ provides inspiration for his readers, mixing pedagogical theory with instructional practice. I am hopeful that I, too, may be able to emulate some of the bloggers.