Sunday, November 27, 2011

2011 Edublog Awards!

Yep, it is that time of year. Time to nominate your favorite blogs for the 2011 Edublog Awards!

I learned about this wonderful opportunity to nominate blogs last year when some of my favorite blogs were nominated and won in various categories!  This year, I decided to nominate a few folks myself (and you can do the same by visiting the site and creating a blog posts with your nominations!).

I have been considering my nominations for a couple of weeks now, and let me tell you, there are so many wonderful blog out there, coming to one nomination for each category has been a bit painstaking. I have grown so much from the influence many of you wonderful bloggers have imparted through sharing your passion and joy of early learning. So, before I move on to my list, I just want to thank you all!

Now, in no particular order... my nominations:

Best Educational Use of Social Network:  Deborah Stewart - Teach Preschool on Facebook. 
Deborah has over 25,000 followers from all over the world on her Facebook page. She shares wonderful links and encourages discussion every day. I think it would be nearly impossible to measure the enormous impact she has on the field of early childhood education. I know that I have personally found many new ideas, challenged my philosophy, participated in meaningful discussions, and had the opportunity to grow, learn, and share through the community she has created. If you are an early childhood educator, homeschooler, parent of young children, or anyone who has interest in the field of early childhood education, this page is definitely one you will want to follow, and Deborah also has a great blog too!

Jennifer's blog was one of the first blogs I started to follow. For awhile there, I bet she thought I was a creepy  cyber stalker. I honestly could not get enough of her blog posts and the inspiration she was providing for wonderful outdoor spaces where children could grow and learn. If I had not run across her blog, I don't know if our outdoor space would have been transformed into the bustling, humming, busy learning zone that it is today.  With each new idea or area she talked about, I would find myself scouring the web for additional ideas and inspiration, tweaking the ideas to make them work for me.  I think our philosophy of childhood and education are very similar, and as she once commented, it is almost like we are living similar lives on opposite ends of the globe. She also once wrote me, "I'm just an early childhood teacher...," but Jenny is so much more. Through her love of teaching and sharing she is influencing the field of early childhood education all around the globe. 

Abbie does a great job of reminding folks that learning starts from birth. She has graciously been sharing her journey as she teaches her young children about the natural world around us. She has been providing great activities, sharing her success and challenges on a daily basis. I know that I have been inspired to try many of the things she has shared (bird feeding/watching, animal tracks, etc), and I love that she is one of the joint hosts of an outdoor play link up! Oh, and did I mention that she has a phenomenal list of books for young children?  If you have not had an opportunity to check out Abbie's blog, please take a moment to do so. I promise you, it will be well worth your time.

Best Group Blog: Childhood 101
Christie Burnett and the crew over at Childhood101 really keep the inspiration flowing! They have a fantastic blog, a wonderful playopedia resource (hundreds of links and ways to play!) , and a phenomenal e-zine: Play, Grow, Learn!  I have to admit, that I have not been a follower of Childhood 101 for as long as I have followed the other blogs named above, but I wish there were more hours in the day so that I could scour through more of the archives! If you are looking for some great ideas on how to incorporate more learning through play, make sure that Childhood101 is on your list of places to visit!

Best Open PD/uconference/webinar series: Early Childhood Investigators
I have been so impressed by the number and variety of free webinars offered by Early Childhood Investigators. As a trainer, and early childhood educator in a rural area, it is wonderful to see such an incredible quality resource made available for the life long learners in our field.

Best New Blog:  Kierna Corr - Learning for Life
Kierna has only been blogging since January, but she has an adventurous spirit and continually shares her experiences working with, teaching and learning from young children.  I love to see all of the playful learning activities she has to share, the joy on the children's faces and her persistence in promoting outdoor play no matter what the weather.

Most Influential Blog Post: Teacher Tom - Spoiled Brats
I don't think I've run across a post from Teacher Tom that didn't touch a nerve in some way. Most of the time, it has been an "ah-ha" or a "why didn't I think of that?" type of nerve. Tom has an eloquent way with words, and the experiences he shares as he works with young children often make you want to take action, or even pack up and move to Seattle! I had a hard time choosing a post for this category, because in all honesty, there are so many wonderful posts that Tom has written that have been influential. I loved his post on Aggressive and Violent, but I think this one, on Spoiled Brats tops it by just a smidge. Hop on over and check them out.

Best Tech Ed/Resource Sharing Blog: Donna Burns and Sherry Hutton - Irresistible Ideas for Play Based Learning
This former teaching duo, now taking their love of learning and education on the road has an amazing site for sharing their early childhood education resources with the world. The site title could not be more fitting. Sherry and Donna have amazing ideas and suggestions for their readers, bringing child-centered, play-based activities to the forefront of their agenda. In addition to their wonderful blog, you can also find them on Facebook! On a personal note, Donna and I were able to make a soap swap. I found out that she was unable to obtain Ivory Soap in Australia, and I could not find soap flakes here, so we swapped resources! You will not find a duo more willing to share their bountiful resources with the world!

Best Twitter Hashtag: #playoutdoors
I have to admit, I'm still a little twitter shy. I haven't quite mastered the world of twitter yet, but that doesn't keep me from hopping over there every once and awhile! When I do, it is wonderful to see all of the conversation and resource sharing around the topic of outdoor play supported by the community using the #playoutdoors hash tag.

Best Class Blog: Journey Into Unschooling
Not all classes are confined to the walls of a school room, some of us prefer to hold our classes at home, or embrace the fact that the world is our classroom.  This wonderful blog follows a family with four children and their parents through their learning adventures as unschoolers. Most of you know that we homeschool here, and I follow oodles of homeschooling blogs, this one is definitely at the top of my favorites!

Whew! That took longer than I expected. Time to hit the book again! I hope you enjoy perusing my nominations as much as I do! If you are interested in making nominations, you can do so by following the Edublogs link but you need to make sure that you do it by December 2nd!


Deborah said...

Thank you for including me Amy in your amazing list of blog nominations!! Super cool!

Play for Life said...

Amy you are so lovely to include us in your nominations .. Thank you so much ... You know we think you're AMAZING don't you!
Donna :) :)

Juliet Robertson said...

Great choices and really pleased - I didn't think about use of Facebook as an education resource. Doh!

Kierna C said...

Thanks so much, I am honoured to have received a nomination and especially from you, Amy. Good luck to all involved - I'm with Juliet on the 'doh' never thought of FB as an educational resource!

amida said...

Thank you for the nomination!

Amy A @ Child Central Station said...

You are all so very welcome. Thank you for doing all that you do, and for sharing so much with the world!

Christie - Childhood 101 said...

Wow Amy, thank you so much for the nomination and your kind word. I really didn't think I fit into the Edublog awards as I am not actually teaching (at least outside my own hom!) right now so it is wonderful (and exciting) to be included.

Play for Life said...

... This one's for you Amy!

jenny said...

Amy, thrilled beyond words and very touched to be included in your nominations - but more so by your kind and beautiful words. I hope you know that you have been a wonderful inspiration to me as well, and that your blog is always a must read - even when my blog reader is full to over flowing!

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