It is a great honour to be nominated again for the EduBlog Awards. I don't know who nominated this blog in two categories - Best Teacher Blog and Most Influential Post - but I would like to say that it is nice to see that, after three years, my thoughts and ideas are still relevant and of value to educators. When I first started blogging in February 2005 I wanted to create a place for thoughtful reflection, a place where I could use writing to think about my doctoral research and my classroom experiences. I never imagined that, almost three years later, I would be part of an international network of educators who not only seem to find value in what I write here but who also inspire, motivate, and engage me on a daily basis. It is thanks to you that I continue to grow as a researcher and an educator. You continue to challenge my preconceptions and do not allow me to remain complacent. But there is another group that also deserves to be recognized here - my students. Over the past three years, I have introduced three different grade eight classes to blogging. I cannot say that every single student enjoyed blogging, I cannot even say that every single one of them benefited from this innovative and unique approach. One thing, however, that I can state with certainty is that every single grade eight student who entered my classroom in the past three years has taught me one very important thing about both myself and teaching - the best teachers never stop learning.
This past year - the final year of my doctoral research - has been especially illuminating. It helped put into perspective some of the findings that I collected in the first year of my study. It was a time of reflection and a time of looking forward, a time when many of my initial observations in the grade eight blogosphere led to some important realizations, realizations that have completely transformed who I am as a teacher. Some of these moments of epiphany are documented here on this blog. This is one of them, and this one, which took months to develop and is especially valuable because it emerged from my own often uncertain practice, is nominated for the 2007 EduBlog Award in the Most Influential Post category. The fact that the ideas in this entry, although seemingly simple, took months to develop makes this nomination especially meaningful.
It is also a great honour to be in the same category with some of the entries that I have printed out after the first reading and gone back to on a number of occasions because they seemed to open yet another door, because they challenged and inspired me. These include:
Ben Wilkoff's The Ripe Environment Karl Fisch's Is it Okay to be a Technologically Illiterate Teacher? Kris Bradburn's How to Prevent Another Leonardo DaVinci
I am also honoured to be in the company of the following inspiring educators:
who, along with me, have been nominated in the Best Teacher Blog category. Their work has often made me ask that crucial question: "And what am I doing that's making a difference?" It's important to have people like that in one's RSS reader. Thank you for sharing your work!
As a relatively new resident of Second Life, I would also like to mention two people whose help and guidance have been invaluable in my journey as a Second Life resident, user, and researcher. Sean FitzGerald and Jo Kay have been nominated in the Best Educational Use of a Virtual World category. Jo's Second Life island, jokaydia, has already been host to a number of meaningful educational events (and will also host the 2007 EduBlog Award Ceremony!). Jo and Sean's Second Life in Education Wiki is a rich and indispensable resource for any educator interested in exploring Second Life. It is great to see that their work has been recognized.
This year's EduBlog awards have also made me aware of new voices from many different categories whose work has already been added to my RSS reader.
It's an honour to be in the company of educators who continue to reflect and grow. Let's keep in mind, however, that the nominees in this year's EduBlog Awards are just a small sampling of all the valuable blogs, wikis, and other resources that we continue to both produce and rely on as educators trying to make meaning of learning in the 21st century.