This year's Edublog Award finalists have been announced. To be named a finalist is an accomplishment in itself. Voting is through Wednesday, and I admit that I like the transparency in voting using Listly.
Here's how I use the edublog awards:
- Go through the blogs and add many to my RSS Reader.
- Vote when I have a strong opinion. (Just remember that this year people can see your vote – with transparency comes accountability. Personally, I like this.)
- Follow every finalist on Twitter. Yes, every one. Now, later, I may unfollow if I see that they don't fit, but if they're on one of these lists, to me, they've been nominated and vetted and are worth the follow to give them the benefit of the doubt.
I also want to thank those of you who kindly nominated me this year – I made it in on the shortlist under “Best Individual Blog” and “Best Teacher Blog.” It is an honor – thanks. Meanwhile, I did record a show on Every Classroom Matters with Sue Waters about how the process words and I'll let you know when the show goes live.
But I didn't get nominated? Maybe I should just stop sharing.
Also remember this… don't marginalize or minimize your own work if it is nominated or didn't make the short list. While my podcast “Every Classroom Matters” was nominated, it didn't make the short list. That is OK.
Like this blog, I'm in that for the long haul and will keep interviewing regular classroom teachers, exceptional students, and people who have important things to say that classroom teachers need to hear. I don't need a nomination to validate how passionate I am about that. It is important and each download or message I get about the show tells me that.
See this for what it is — one of many awards out there for blogs, websites, etc. That said, I do like how it grows and improves each year and I use it to grow my PLN and find new, great people to follow. Newcomers should always be welcome — and many of them aren't newcomers, they are people who have been teaching and educating a long time who may have just started blogging.
Add newcomers to your PLN: Don't Stagnate
The day that your RSS Reader or Twitter stream has no room for new people is the first day you begin to stagnate. Stagnant water is water that doesn't circulate — circulate and add NEW PEOPLE to your PLN that you've NEVER HEARD OF. This is important. Just because you've never heard of them doesn't mean they don't have something valuable for you to learn. This is the only way to avoid the echo chamber danger that happens when only certain voices are listened to.
Tribute to my friend Beth Holmes: Be Someone's Beth
I write this post with a heavy heart having just learned that Beth Holmes, former director of the Center for Quality Teaching and Learning in Columbus, Georgia has passed away. I'll never forget Beth because she mentored and encouraged me very early on when I was writing this blog and facing the discouragement that often happens when you undertake something new.
Beth brought me over to Columbus, GA in 2008 to speak and gave me a teaching award from CQTL. It was one of my very first presentations after I started blogging and wiki-ing with my kids. She sat me down at a lunch I'll never forget and told me:
“Vicki, you have something valuable to share and I think you should share it and keep sharing it.”
I say this because Beth is no longer with us but she is through the encouragement she gave me (and many others as evidenced by her Facebook page.)
Each person in the Edublog Awards is important because they are changing lives. Each of you are important because you are educators, parents, grandparents, and education advocates. You're encouraging the legacy of learning for generations to come.
I'm in Virginia at VSTE and am dedicating Monday's keynote to Beth. Without her encouragement, I'm not really sure if I'd be here to give the keynote because I might have quit because I felt so unimportant and small in the grand scheme of education. In everything I write to help people, there's a little bit of Beth – she kept me going when I wondered if it was worth it.
I want to be your Beth. But realize this… you're someone else's Beth Holmes.
You win when you share and encourage
So, if you're sharing anywhere– you're a winner. Yes, you are. Thank you for sharing and good luck building your PLN through #eddies13. Voting is open through Wednesday. If' you're not happy with the finalists and someone you appreciate was left off remember that you can nominate in November of each year and no one can nominate their own work.
If your favorite wasn't nominated, will you take the time to tell him/her?
You can leave them a message and let them know – if they're not on the list, they might just need to hear from you that their work is important to someone. Be their Beth.
We share because we care: that is our biggest reward
If you share — you're a winner. Thank you for blogging, tweeting, liking, and sharing best practices to your circle of influence. All of us have a circle of influence and to them — you may just leave the legacy of a lifetime like Beth left on me.
For when you share — the reward is the legacy and no award can top that.
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