My nominations for the 2014 edublog awards are in…sorry for the snubs.
Best individual blog – http://johntomsett.com/
A difficult one. How do you choose the best individual blog when there are so many brilliant ones out there? I decided to select a blog that, although I may not read every post, when I do, it always resonates. @johntomsett’s ‘This much I know…’ series of blogs are often personal and always incredibly thought provoking. I met him once and was struck by his calmness, humility, quiet authority and understated but powerful presence. When he talks, you feel like you are listening to the wisest man in the room: Atticus Finch, Bagheera…even Yoda ain’t got nothing on John. In short, he is the kind of Head I most aspire to be. Be inspired at http://johntomsett.com/
Best new blog – http://thequirkyteacher.wordpress.com/
A controversial choice, but then, that seems to be the point of L’enfant terrible or ‘Quirky Teacher’ as he likes to be known. A newly qualified teacher with plenty to say. Strip away the acerbic style and occasional tone that suggests he actually hates children and there is often a grain of sense in the posts. At the very least, the blog represents the thoughts of a fresh professional who isn’t afraid to show us his perspective. And, for that, the posts are often interesting and certainly spark debate – and anyone who can fill up my timeline for an entire weekend through a single blog post deserves some recognition. I genuinely look forward to seeing how this blog develops over time. Check it out at http://thequirkyteacher.wordpress.com/
Best teacher blog – http://emmaannhardy.wordpress.com/
If it’s honesty, passion and integrity you’re after, then visit @emmaannhardy’s blog. An individual as dedicated to teaching as she is to the Labour party, Emma represents all that is good about our hard-working profession. Her blog ranges from tales from the chalkboard to the political campaign trail and she always manages to remain optimistic about the future. Comrades, embrace the truth at http://emmaannhardy.wordpress.com/
Best administrator blog – http://educationechochamber.wordpress.com/
If you’re bored of a Sunday and want to read around a million blogs, you could do worse than to click on http://educationechochamber.wordpress.com/ . The Echo Chamber, compiled by Twitter’s very own @oldandrewuk (I think?), it must be the most comprehensive and exhaustive list of education blogs the world has ever seen.
Most influential blog post of the year – http://michaelt1979.wordpress.com/
If Michael Tidd doesn’t win this award then the world has gone MAD and I will literally be furious. Michael’s relentless dedication to supporting each and every one of us with the new National Curriculum is nothing short of incredible. It speaks volumes that Michael is the only blogger who I have heard referenced by people in the ‘real world’ – I don’t think it gets much bigger than that! I know of so many schools who have benefitted from his resources, to the extent that not only should he win this award, and get a knighthood, but also, get a personal name-check in every ‘good’ to ‘outstanding’ Ofsted report for the next five years. Struggling with the new NC? Get up to speed at http://michaelt1979.wordpress.com/.
Best individual tweeter – @tstarkey1212
If I was only allowed to follow one person on Twitter then I would quite possibly plump for @tstarkey1212. Not for his insights into education (sorry Thomas), but because he’s irritatingly funny. I like to imagine that his ‘tweet’ button has been specially modified so that when each zinger fires out into the twittershpere a little drum kit gives off a ‘ba-dum-tsssss’ noise – he’s that good folks and he’s here all week. I mean the man even has a twitter festival named after him: Starkeyfest. It just goes to show that if you build it, they will come. Go follow. (Oh and he does have many insightful thoughts on education too-honest)
Best twitter hashtag or chat – #SLTchat
I may not join in every Sunday but, like The Archers, I feel safer knowing that #SLTchat exists. The format hasn’t changed but it has evolved brilliantly, especially with the new ‘scenario’ option. Despite being apparently aimed at ‘SLT’ it is open to all, and the range of comments, ideas and opinions often cannot fail to make even the most talented and experienced of us (ha ha!) think.
Best open PD / unconference / webinar series – SLTCamp
I’ve never been but I just love the concept and down-to-earth-good-natured-brilliance of SLTCamp. Pioneered by Sarah Findlater and Stephen Lockyer, this seems to be a perfect form of CPD for educators. Kicking back against the corporate gubbins of a national conference, this is the real deal.
Best educational use of a social network – http://notveryjolley.wordpress.com/
Not sure if this is the right category but I had to get @ajjolley’s blog in here somehow. If Universal Free School Meals represent the worst use of political showboating, under the pretence of good intentions, backed by poor planning and underfunding, then Andy’s blog is the best educational use of a social network for attacking the flaws in a huge educational issue like a big dog with a juicy bone. Like a modern day, one man Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward, Andy has investigated UFSM to within an inch of its political life, and he shows no sign of stopping. Read everything you will ever need to know about one of the biggest educational changes of our time at http://notveryjolley.wordpress.com/
Lifetime achievement – http://heymisssmith.blogspot.co.uk
For this award I would like to nominate @heymisssmith’s splog: http://heymisssmith.blogspot.co.uk I know she will most likely consider this some kind of mean-spirited and cruel joke about her age but I assure you Miss, my intentions are genuine. Her unending abundance for writing short, sharp, pithy posts never fails to entertain me and make me wish I blogged more. And, for the record, I don’t even know how old she is.
My Made Up Categories They won’t win an award apart from holding a special place in my heart.
Best Artist – https://friendlyneighbourhoodteacher.wordpress.com/
@GazNeedle’s blog literally is like reading a comic from your friendly neighbourhood teacher. If Twitter and the plethora of blogs out there can, at times, be cynical and slightly less acidic than a massive lemon covered in battery innards, Gaz’s blog is the complete opposite. His friendly and good natured blogs remind you of why the internet was invented in the first place. He often shares his ideas and artwork with others and I particularly loved his YouTube video,that he created for a friend, about drawing cartoons. Plus, he once drew an amazing picture to accompany a post I wrote. The man can do no wrong. Feel the love, learn how to draw and follow https://friendlyneighbourhoodteacher.wordpress.com/.
One to watch – http://oldprimaryhead.com/
@primaryhead1 (not not NOT to be confused with me @theprimaryhead) is a personal friend of mine, but that is not the reason why I have nominated him in a category that doesn’t actually exist. No, the reason for this nomination is because his blog may just about to start being interesting. Having left the city for a life in the country – swapping roads for country lanes, fast cars for lumbering tractors, and bustling bistros for a single pub that actually sells pork knuckles as a snack and thinks red wine is basically cider and black in a poncy glass- @primaryhead1 has just taken over a new school. It is a school that is as far away from any of his previous experiences as you can get and has taken him right out of his comfort zone – quite a noble challenge for an outstanding citywide Head and a decision that shouldn’t be dismissed out of turn. Therefore, once the dust has settled, I think we could all be in for a treat as he begins to chart his new journey. Follow it now and wait for the updates at http://oldprimaryhead.com/.