Friday, July 19, 2013

A Challenge!

A few weeks ago, Michelle Baldwin, a friend from my PLN wrote an interesting retrospective piece following ISTE entitled No More Rock Stars and I've been thinking about it since.  And I fully appreciated her point that no matter the pinnacle of success we reach in our given fields (unless maybe you truly are a rock star musician) we are all just human beings.  We learn and grow from each other.  And this got me re-thinking my RSS feed of information.  I subscribe to numerous blogs of individuals who have certainly been put up on the "ed-tech" pedestal and I enjoy reading their posts full of insight and wisdom.  However, today, I noticed two things.  First, most of these individuals are so insanely busy that they rarely have time to write a post.  Second, because they have the opportunity to travel the country connecting with amazing educators they have a different perspective than many of us.  As a result they give a broad and generalist overview of the current field of vision.

On the flipside, most of us don't have those unique opportunities.  And if we are able to travel to conferences, many times it is on our own dime and not paid for by our districts or organizations.  And we certainly aren't being paid to appear at the conference itself.  Now don't get me wrong, I'd love to be in a position that afforded me that opportunity.  But my focus is on being the best me I can.  If I help some people along the way through this blog, social media outlets or face to face during professional development opportunities like conferences, all the better.  For lack of a better term, the average educator, technology support specialists, instructional / technology coaches and yes, even administrators are "in the trenches".  Hopefully, we are working together to provide the best educational experiences for our students.
And this, my friends, is where the real power lies!

Some of the most amazing posts I have encountered of late are from those individuals.  Let me give you 3 examples of probably thousands of people you have probably never heard of but should be paying close attention too.

Let's start with my new friend Carrie Baughcum - her blog attracted the attention of the EduWin Crew.  This year at her blog http://www.holdontoyourchair.com/ she recapped her experience with being a 1:1 iPAD classroom.  It is insightful and passionate and a must read for any educator.

Next up, Pernille Ripp's Blogging through the Fourth Dimension, where every post is directly from the heart. You can feel her dedication through her words and can be moved to action by almost any one of her posts. But what's most impressive is her attitude and humility which can be summed up in a quote from her about.me page: "I have no awards or accolades except for the lightbulbs that go off in my students' heads every day." As a co-founder of edcamp MadWI and  the creator of http://www.globalreadaloud.com/ and a book entitled "The Passionate Learner - Giving Our Classroom Back to Our Students Starting Today" being published soon, I have a feeling the above statement will soon change but something tells me it won't change Pernille fantastic outlook on education.

And finally, one I discovered today, My Hullabaloo from Mr Matt Gomez (can't leave the guys out can we?) I don't know much about Matt and he may already be very well known (just not to me).  But what impressed me was how many posts suddenly appeared in my RSS feed when I subscribed to his blog.  It seems like he writes at least every other day about resources that matter to educators.

OK, so those are my three examples.  Now, here's my challenge too you.  Go find three blogs by someone "in the trenches" that resonate with you and subscribe to their posts!  When you find three, please leave a comment below listing them and why they are important!

Better yet, start writing a blog yourself if you don't already.  Share the gift of your knowledge and experience because what you do matters!  You'll be surprised, how sharing your thoughts with the world can change your insight!
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