I know that I had set a goal of having this post out two weeks ago Wednesday, but it simply amazes me how little things tend to start building to bigger things and then it kind of snowballs from there. Yeah, even though I don’t have a teaching job life does go on. Like last Monday, I started a part-time job that pays $11.00 per hour with absolutely no relation to education whatsoever. It is assembly line type work, scanning documents into a computer, using very little brain power and absolutely zero creativity.
Enough whining now and on to part two of my post on the blogs I visit most. This is something educational and creative that I can do as I wait for and apply for teaching jobs.
This first blog I began following and reading because it was linked to in my twitter stream so frequently that I just couldn’t seem to ignore it. TeachThought, @teachthought on Twitter, is a good blog that focuses on many issues in education from learning and trends in education to technology, iPads, and games this site has a little of everything. Recent posts of note (remember I am a social studies certified teacher) include Popular Historical Learning Simulation Now Playable In-Browser–For Free very similar to the popular Civilization and Age of Empires games and A Primer In Heutagogy And Self-Directed Learning.
I think that every teacher on Twitter has come across Free Technology for Teachers by @rmbyrne. Richard is a teacher in Maine who blogs every day offering practical advice and app reviews for the busy teacher. Richard also runs a technology retreat in the summer that I think would be awesome to attend. 29 Games Kids Can Play to Try Engineering and GeoSettr – Create a Street View Geography Game are two recent posts that I have found particularly useful. Richard provides bite sized professional development via his blog and he can be seen at many conferences presenting on larger topics. He also regularly posts on Google + and is very responsive in that space.
Dr. Doug Belshaw, @dajbelshaw is one of the first people I started following on twitter many months ago. His blog title Doug Belshaw: Open Educational Tinkering is exactly that. Doug writes about current topics in education but in such a way that it is accessible and personal. He is a teacher at heart, works for Mozilla, and breaks topics into chunks making the learning of sometimes difficult concepts easier. One of the many current issues he is working on is web literacies. First draft of Mozilla’s Web Literacy standard now available! He also does a lot of work on open badges which is best described in his post Explaining Open Badges through analogy. Dr. Belshaw is at the cutting edge of making digital learning a part of educational life.
Can’t forget to read Hack Education by @audreywatters because she will cause you to think, re-think, and think deeply. Audrey describes herself as, “an education writer, rabble-rouser, rambler, recovering academic, lifelong learner, serial dropout, part-time badass, mom.” I think her writing is truly inspired. She is not afraid to speak what’s on her mind and I can tell that she puts a lot of thought into her posts. A couple of recent posts that I found particularly inspiring are On ‘Viral” Education Videos and her newest Hack Education Weekly News: MOOC State University. She is known worldwide and has been known to give Keynote addresses and presentations.
John Spencer @edrethink is part teacher, part prankster, a dad, and an educational thinker. He shares the Blog Education Rethink with Chad Segersten. I enjoy his fun approach to life and education. In following his blog and following him on twitter and Google+, I’ve come to appreciate his humor and sarcasm as he adds to the educational conversation. I really enjoyed one of his recent posts titled, The Problem with Should. John has written a few books and also writes for a couple other websites. You can find him hanging out on various social media around the Internet.
Josh Stumpenhorst, @stumpteacher, challenges my thinking. He blogs at Stump the Teacher. I’m glad that Mr. Stumpenhorst is part of my PLN because he has a way of challenging the status quo and thinking through things realistically. Many times teachers and college professors like to think of ideas in the best possible case situation, Josh paints more of a picture of reality through experience. This quote from his Blog puts it well, “This blog is a reflection of my restless mind and not necessarily a reflection of my school district.” Two recent blog posts really resonate with me, Take Aways and Questions #futurenow and Bullying Will Never Be Solved.
Lastly, I am going to leave you with link to some more general Blogs that I follow to round out my weekly reading. I hope you enjoyed this two part post, and feel free to leave challenging questions and comments by clicking on the thought bubble in the upper right corner. Cheers!