It's that time already. The Edublog Awards were started about 7 years ago to counteract the trend of blocking social media in school districts and celebrate the educational power of these resources. Obviously social media has been transformative for me and my practice and I wanted to participate for that reason again this year. Additionally, winning the 2010 Best New Blog award in this incentive brought SpeechTechie a lot of recognition and new readership, so THANKS again to those who supported me in that round, and to Edublogs as well. Finally, I hope that others in our field will participate as well and write their own nomination posts (click through to see how) so that our #SLPeeps, Speech-Language Pathologists who are dedicated to sharing resources through social media "Represent" in this forum as we did last year. It is tough to make a list like this because I wish I could nominate everyone for everything, but here goes:
Best individual blog- iLearn Technology's focus on edtech interactives and webtools for general educators consistently highlights resources that SLPs can put to use.
Best individual tweeter- @SLPTanya, our Twitter Yoda, who not only co-moderates #SLPchat, but also has taken to posing discussion-baiting questions throughout the week under the hashtag #SLPsnQs (always archiving each in chirpstories). This is all in addition to her dedication to interpersonal engagement on Twitter.
Best group blog- Though technically a podcast, I am going to give a shout-out to the folks at EdCeptional, a very thoughtful group discussion and shownote series on the role of technology in special education.
Best new blog- all4mychild presents incredibly thoughtful and sophisticated evaluations of apps (and books, in their books4all branch) and bridges student engagement with tech tools into other activities that elicit real-world, functional communication.
Best student blog- Though I have seen some terrific SLP grad student bloggers surface this year, I want to give recognition to Becoming OliviaSLP. With humor, grace, professionalism and terrific production values, her vlog series is making me wish she were around when I was in grad school.
Best ed tech/resource sharing blog- Cindy L Meester has a great and very well-regarded blog that not only shares resources such as websites and apps in thematic posts (we love themes!) but also through an extensive curated list of static pages in her sidebar. Check it out!
Most influential blog post- Barbara Fernandes' post for ASHAsphere- Gaming Into Education: Can Even Angry Birds Promote Learning?- is an extremely insightful and thorough example of therapeutic repurposing, showing how what is perhaps thought of as one of the most brainless apps is actually a goldmine of language- when we as SLPs make it so.
Best twitter hashtag- #SLPeeps, a true online community in every sense of the word.
Best free web tool- Glogster EDU remains an accessible free tool, especially for SLPs who can share the one free login with many students on our caseload. SLPs can use Glogster to create interactive posters on any topic with images, graphics, animations, audio, and video
Best educational use of audio/video/visual/podcast- A.T.TIPSCAST's Assistive Tech Specialist and SLP Chris Bugaj presents low- and high-tech adaptations that make learning accessible to all students, one digestible (and always funny and engaging) tip at a time.
Best educational wiki- Karen Janowski's and Joyce Valenza's UDL tech toolkit is a one-stop (but extraordinarily robust) resource for implementing Universal Design for Learning across the curriculum. How lucky am I to get to actually work with Karen in my district??
Best open PD/unconference/webinar series- I went to my first unconference this year at EdCamp Boston and it was one of the best PD experiences I have ever had. Allow teachers to collaborate with each other, and watch what happens!
Best educational use of a social network- Born this past December, the monthly #slpchat moderated by @speechreka and @SLPTanya has engaged participants in a wide variety of topics- all leave having learned and shared!
Lifetime achievement- Connecticut special educator and Apple Distinguished Educator Meg Wilson is probably younger than I am, but has already established herself as the Queen of "Sharing Out"- from her groundbreaking iPodsibilities site to her adept, approachable hosting of the excellent MacReach podcast, to her involvement in I Education Apps Review. She's just amazing!
Please check out these great resources if you are not doing so already! Hopefully some/all of these guys will be shortlisted, and I will let you know when the voting starts.