Thursday, April 6, 2017

Innovative Educational Blogs for Inspiration & Motivation

The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery.
~ Mark van Doren

I have been teaching for over 20 years and I still love walking into a classroom and learning with my students. I love almost every moment of every day and I cannot ever imagine not being a teacher.

This week, I have been reflecting on my dual experience as a Technology Coordinator and Science Teacher. I currently serve Neuqua Valley High School as a 0.6 Instructional Technology Coordinator and a 0.4 AP Environmental Science teacher. Despite the stress of sometimes juggling the responsibilities of both positions, I wake up each day inspired to learn how to do something a little better. I like to think of myself as a Life-Long learner with a Growth Mindset.

Things were different for me 10 years ago, it was all about my classroom. I was solely focussed on my students and perfecting my craft.  (I hope that I never find perfection, but it is a great constantly moving target to aim for.) I really only wanted to master my content and find ways to help my students do the same. There was one huge flaw in my plan, I was mostly on a solo mission. I was not an active collaborator in any way. I realize today that this was a huge mistake.

What changed for me?

Looking back, I realize that the growth of the educational blog was what tipped the balance. While many of the blogs I started with no longer list, here are 5 blogs I would recommend for any educator who is looking to get started exploring innovative ideas to help all students. This is not an exclusive list and I know there are many other incredible and innovative educational blogs. Please share your favorites in the comments below.

  • The Principal of Change - Stories of learning and leading.
    George Couros - "I am a learner, educator, and Innovative Teaching, Learning, and Leadership consultant. I am also the author of "The Innovator's Mindset". I believe we need to inspire our kids to follow their passions, while letting them inspire us to do the same."
  • Mindshift
    Mindshift - "MindShift explores the future of learning in all its dimensions. We examine how learning is being impacted by technology, discoveries about how the brain works, poverty and inequities, social and emotional practices, assessments, digital games, design thinking and music, among many other topics."
  • Ditch That Textbook
    Matt Miller - "You just don’t have enough time to keep up with everything. You’re looking for some new, creative ways use technology and keep students engaged. I’m Matt Miller, and I know exactly how you feel. It’s my passion to equip teachers to thrive in this new era of education and think differently about the craft of teaching."
  • The Innovative Educator
    Lisa Nielsen is The Innovative Educator. "She found school boring and irrelevant. That ticked her off so she became a public school educator who works to help change that for others. She does this by finding and sharing innovative ways to prepare students for relevant and real-world success."
  • Cult of Pedagogy
    Jennifer Gonzalez - "When I was in the classroom, I felt alone in my nerdiness. The teachers’ lounge was never a safe place, and finding others to share my real thoughts and feelings with took a lot of work. I learned to stifle the urge to gush about some new strategy I was planning to try or to open up about a struggle I was having with my students. I came to expect that my genuine questions would be met with sarcasm. Most of the time, anyway. I did work with some amazing people, too, and I’ll be yanking them over here as quick as I can."
I highly recommend subscribing to each of these innovative blogs.

5 not enough for you? Then, I highly recommend exploring the Teach 100 List of Educational Blogs. (Spoiler alert - There are more than 100 blogs here!)

What blogs or educators do you follow? Please share in the comments below.




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