Many posts from other blogs have made me “think” during 2008, so it was a challenge to come up with some kind of criteria to narrow down this “The Best…” list.
I finally decided that I would include the posts in other people’s blogs that prompted me to write my own posts.
So those are the posts I’ve included here. Each one is also followed by a link to the piece it prompted me to write — either here or at our “In Practice” group blog.
Here are my choices (not in any order of preference) of The Best Posts From Other Blogs That Made Me “Think” In 2008:
* Bill Ferriter wrote about a teacher in Washington state who refused to give his students a state-required standardized test. My subsequent post was called Refusing To Give A Standardized Test and talked about the role of civil disobedience in our country (pretty creative headline, eh?)
* Bill Ferriter got me thinking again with his piece on teachers who were reluctant to use technology. My once again unimaginably titled “Teachers Who Won’t Embrace Technology” followed and discussed effective strategies to make change.
* Gary Stager wrote a post criticizing the use of Brainpop movies in the classroom (as I write this his blog appears to be down and that post inaccessible, but I assume that should change shortly). That prompted me to write “Is Brainpop Bad For Students?” where I spoke positively about my experience with the site.
* Darren Draper wrote Controlling Mobile Phone Use In Schools. I wrote “Cellphones In Class” explaining why I supported our school’s ban on the devices. Darren’s same post got me thinking about iPods, so I also wrote “iPods In Schools”, which explained why we ban them, also, at our school.
* Doug Johnson wrote a useful post titled Seven Stupid Mistakes Teachers Make With Technology. I commented it in my post called “Teachers And Technology Mistakes.”
* Joyce Valenza wrote When YouTube is blocked (seven ways around) which, as far as I can tell, is the definitive description out there about how to access appropriate YouTube content at school. After I read her list, I wrote The Best Ways To Access Educational YouTube Videos At School highlighting two tools (one that’s on her list and one that is not) that I found to be the easiest for a non-tech-savvy person like me to use.
* Mathew Needleman’s Royalty Free Music And Images post offers about as complete a listing of resources that there is out there. I then identified the ones that, in my mind, were the easiest and most accessible sites that could be used by an English Language Learner or anyone who is not particularly tech-savvy. So I pulled a few from Mathew’s list, and also included several additional ones, and wrote The Best Places To Get Royalty-Free Music & Sound Effects.
* Both based on my community organizing and classroom experience, I’m a big believer in the importance of storytelling — helping people develop their own and listening to them. I haven’t yet written a post in response to Silvia Tolisano’s extraordinary post on storytelling, but it’s on my “to do” list.
You might also want to explore — if you haven’t already done so — the Edublog Award nominees for Most Influential Blog Post this year.
In the comments section, please feel free to share posts that got you thinking this year, too…