I am at the stage in my online networking of reading blogs more regularly and commenting on them here and there, as I did with Steve Hargadon's recent blog post "Ugh. Classic Politics Now Extends to Social Networking in Education." This post addressed the Dept of Ed's sponsorship of program called Connected Online Communities of Practice. And so, I began to consider the accessibility of thinkers like Steve Hargadon.
I used to have only a handful of education heroes who usually took their place through books; for instance, David Perkins, author of Smart Schools,and co-author of many amazing texts including The Thinking Classroom, and one of my other favorites is Ron Ritchhart, author of Intellectual Character, and then there is Heidi Hayes Jacobs, author of Curriculum 21. These folks are at the top of my Hero "shelf" and I have been blessed to hear from them all in person.
In addition to these are my new educational heroes who do not hang out on the shelf, they walk in my mind's door regularly and authentically through blogs, podcasts, mini-blog posts, connections to other inspirational educators. These are educational thinkers such as Bob Sprankle, Richard Byrne, Rodd Lucier, Maria Knee, Alice Barr, Cheryl Oakes, Dave Cormier, Jeff Lebow, Jennifer Maddrell, John Schinker, David Warlick, Lorna Costantini, Ben Hazzard, Peggy George, Kim Cofino, Lucy Gray, Wesley Fryer, and many others. I am so grateful that these folks share their thinking actively, candidly, and in real time!
In the classroom, we have started an idea I grabbed from... somewhere... A Technology Slapdown (sharing, geek of the week, etc.) Not only is this an opportunity to redefine a phrase in a positive light, it is a great way for students to share their tech discoveries. Here are few of my own from today's online browsing:
•A resource for discussing events in Japan
•Supporting Students after school: http://www.onceuponaschool.org/
•Origin of Building Learning Communities: http://nlconnect.novemberlearning.com/