16 November 2012

Participating in the EduBlog Award Nominations

There may have been a time when writing, reflecting, ruminating even, were lonesome affairs. Writing very often, still is. Blogging is different. It depends on the reason why one blogs and for who. Blogs are more quickly shared and consumed. They may become part of a particular circle or network of participants or simply points of reference or consultation. 

 As I have mentioned in the past, blogging for me is organic and continues to be.  I began this blog for students I had at the time, to set an example, hoping to perhaps motivate them as well. In the process, this blog has changed and more than only learners, I hope to share interesting tools, platforms and possibly some ideas with other educators, and not only learners. 

 This past week one of my posts was awarded as post of the month by Teaching English-British Council,  a most unexpected surprise and honour during a particularly busy week.  In some ways being awarded such mention is different to me than the Edu Blog Awards, for which nominations have already begun. I recall Tony Gurr's post of 2011 which made me smile with honest perspectives. 

 Yet, last year, when this blog received 2 nominations, it really made my day! Unexpected, I was left blinking at the screen thinking there must have been some mix up. But no. I keep the nominations on my blog as a reminder that others do read it and hopefully like my suggestions. In a way, the nominations gave me a sense of belonging to a blogosphere in which I too participate in - giving me a sense of an audience which often escapes me, as my mind focuses more on how and what may foster a student's interest in learning. 

This year I want to participate by sharing my nominations for the Edu Blog Awards - not only as a retribution, but as modest way of thanking those who share and teach me so much throughout the year. 

I can't honestly forward a nomination for all categories; even for the categories I will mention, it is frankly difficult for me, for there are so many excellent bloggers who stimulate and develop my learning. If by any chance I have not mentioned your name or blog, please do not take offense; regulations state one blog for each category.

And so to sharing my nominations:

Individual Blog - All Things Learning by Tony Gurr. Tony writes provocatively, his posts make me smile (and even at times, outright laugh with recognition of his examples) - always has amazing images connected to the theme of the post, and focuses on teacher training/ learning as well as other issues which I find relevant to discuss, unveil, and de-mystify. 

Group Blog - Connected Principles  by a group of principles and teachers, who I dare say transform ideas, teaching issues and always find inspirational. Always on the cutting edge, Connected Principles should be part of all educators' weekly reads. 

TeacherBlog - The EFL Smart Blog by the one and only David Mainwood. David's blog is a joy for any teacher in despair for ideas and students love the flow of each lesson and materials David develops. 
Always providing a complete lesson, David selects current and interesting topics which engage and captivate students. 

EdTechBlog - e-moderation station by Nicky Hockly. In each post,  Nicky teaches, shares and updates teachers' skills. Topics include, of course, m-learning, but also tips, advice and activities to put it all into practice in classrooms. Clearly and calmly, e-moderation station  leads readers to put mobile learning into action with confidence. 

Individual Tweeter - @mcleod and @mcleodreads of Dangerously Irrelevant. Scott McLeod's tweets are always up-to-date with current issues and shares fantastic reads for all who are interested in education - not only teachers themselves, but administrators as well. 

FreeWebTool - If the choices above were difficult, this one is close to painful! But as EduBlogs focuses on education, I have no other choice than to nominate two: Edmodo, a free social/learning network for teachers and students; one that I use everyday, connecting me not only with my classes but also with other educators. Safe, reliable and simple to use Edmodo is so much more than a mere exchange of messages and assignments with students.  

Equally, I would wish to nominate LiveBinders  - not only was it my initial curation tool, but it has to many practical features: from keeping your files/documents private or public, sharing only with those you choose to, and as well as Edmodo, LiveBinders also has a free app - a feature which is increasingly necessary to take into consideration. 

Influential Post - International MOOCs Past and Present by Stephen Downes at Half an Hour. Again, this decision does not come lightly, as all of Stephen's writing are excellent. However, with the rapid increase of Open Learning and MOOCs in particular, this post clarifies what many mistake to be MOOCs.

Educational Wiki - Storykeepers Resources - a wiki with apps for story-telling. A wonderful source of reference and ideas on how to create digital stories with iPads.

Twitter Hashtag - #ideachat - never a dull moment where professionals share and discuss what creativity and innovation are. If you haven't participated yet, I strongly encourage you to do so - you may not always have time to attend the full hour but will certainly leave inspired and with new ideas to connect in your life.

Social Network - Teaching English-British Council on Facebook. With so many other worthy networks, why this one in particular? English is widely spoken; there are more non-native speakers of English than native English speakers. In turn, the service that Ann Foreman provides with Teaching English -British Council on Facebook  is truly remarkable. Ann also curates and teaches besides giving such effective support to English teachers all around the world. How does she do it?!

Lifetime Achievement - another most difficult choice! But it must be done, so my nomination goes to John Mak , the best and most prolific thinker and writer on the subject of MOOCs, Open Learning and Connectivism. John's Learner Weblog is a constant wave of ideas, provocations, connections and shared learning.  It may not be a blog dedicated to language learning or Edtech, but certainly one that cannot be ignored in today's,  fast paced and changing educational landscape. 

And so I come to an end.

To all those who feel left out, please don't. As I repeatedly mention, there are too many from whom I learn from and my gratitude for your teaching, sharing of ideas is daily.

And now, may readers, bloggers, participants of social networks, make their choice!

Best wishes to all who are nominated. 


  1. I love this time of year because my GoogleReader gets an injection of awesome sites! Thanks for sharing your nominations... I've already found a few that I didn't have and can't wait to explore :)

    1. Hi Ms. H-Reflective Teacher,

      Thank you for your kind words and enthusiasm - I fully understand and discover many bloggers and wikis at this time of year as well. I hope you enjoy exploring my nominations; they are truly excellent references for educators! :-)

  2. Dear Ana,
    I've been reading your blog for a while and I find it fantastic. Your posts are beautifully composed and enjoyable and very informative to read. Thank you for writing!! :) Dora

    1. Hi Dora,

      Thank you so much for your awesome feedback! It's not everyday that I hear this and so it's truly wonderful to know that someone actually reads my suggestions and likes the way I tie it all together :-)

      I hope that you have found tools/platforms and possibly some ideas which have been useful to you in your teaching context; we all have so many teaching contexts that one needs to adapt to our learners and their environment.

      I hope I may continue inspiring you to re-visit! Thank you again.

  3. Hi Ana,
    Congratulations on your award. I am most honored and humbled with your nomination, and would like to express my sincere thanks to you. Your posts here are awesome, and I enjoyed learning with you.

  4. Hi John,

    Thank you for your words but the honour and gratitude is all mine!

    You teach and share so much to so many with your clarity, insights and relevant questions which provoke one into thinking and learning. Most people only associate Connectivism and MOOCs with Stephen Downes and George Siemens (both for whom I have immense respect) but there are others like yourself, who are an important reference for anyone interested in these areas.

    Your constant reflections, provocative questioning and learning that you share will all, are a terrific example and contribution to what Connectivism is all about.

    Thank you for all that I learn with you!

  5. "The one and only" eh? :)
    Well thank you very much indeed! Also thanks for the interesting collection of links. Quite a few I didn't know. Cheers Ana!

    1. Hi David,

      Glad that you found my suggestions of interest and yes, your work is indeed quite unique for both teachers and learners! :-)

  6. And here are my nominations: http://questsandtreks.edublogs.org/2012/11/18/the-edublog-awards/ :-)
    Thank you.

    1. Hi Daniela,

      Thank you for your time to pass by share your nominations; thank you too for including me (though I do not live on Twitter ;-)

  7. I teach English as a third language to teenagers and found your ideas simply wonderful.plan to implement some in the class.Thank you for sharing.

  8. Hi Chandrima,

    Thank you for your kind words and time to read my suggestions. I hope that you have lots of success in classes and that your students enjoy the activities! Best wishes

  9. Dear Cristina,
    You are one of the best inspiring teachers i've ever seen. All of the resources you share are influential, thank you!

  10. Hi Elmas,

    Thank you for your kind words regarding my blog; as for being inspiring, I tend to believe that the majority of educators wish to inspire and motivate their learners to do well.

    Meanwhile the EduBlog Award voting has begun and it was with delight that I saw many well known educators as well as my nominations above be nominated. I hope that as you read their work, you too will enjoy what they share with us all! :-)