Tag Archives: Edublogs awards

Surprise! Edublogs Awards nomination

I am surprised, honoured, ashamed and excited about my blog making the Edublogs 2011 nominations in the Best Teacher Blog category. Thank you to Judith Way, a constant support and person who has inspired me and many others, for the nomination. First time I made it to the shortlist for which I am grateful. So, to explain the shame, I haven’t made time to nominate anybody this year which is a great pity because I would have liked to.

The Edublogs Awards are a fantastic way to discover new blogs and bloggers in all the categories. Each year my RSS reader bulges with new subscriptions after these discoveries. It’s a good thing the holidays are coming up – a chance to spend the time browsing and collecting.

There are so many exemplary people nominated, and many of those outside Australia, but there has been a growing Australian and New Zealand cohort too, and if I had (sigh) managed to vote, I would have voted for some of these –

Best individual blog Slightly addicted to fiction

Best Teacher blog What Ed Said

Best librarian / library blog Lucacept and Heyjude and Library Currants

Best new blog The Way Forward

Best class blog LRC Blog (because the library is a big classroom)

Most influential blog post – Chris Betcher: Tiny bursts of learning

Best educational use of audio / video / visual / podcast EdTechCrew

Best open PD / unConference / webinar series Australia e-Series and  Tech Talk Tuesdays

Lifetime achievement Anne Mirtschin

And that’s definitely not everyone. I’m sure I’ve missed brilliant people. Thank you, if you’ve been reading my blog. Please come in for a chat as often as you like. I might be writing for self expression but I’m really writing for you.

Kick Start Activity 2 – Advanced – Posts! The heartbeat of the Blog.

First of all, how important is it for a blog post to be effective?

That may seem like a stupid question but I think that it’s reasonable considering many bloggers would say they’re not out to score points. At the same time, whether we like it or not, we write for an audience (even if we also write for ourselves). Who doesn’t like feedback and discussion? The question is, how to attract readers and consequently a network, however small, so that we can share our thoughts and have them challenged and extended by others.

One of the ways to do this is to think about how to write an effective post.


from my Flickr photostream

1.  Even adults like looking at pictures

Although this has nothing to do with the writing, but a picture always enhances the blog post. After my initial rave, you may have been relieved to receive the visual distraction, and obviously the picture should be relevant to the post. You can be clever with the picture and use it either to illustrate the message using humour, metaphor, surprise, cryptic association or accompanied by a quotation. Either way, it breaks up the mass of text. I like to use more than one picture if I have enough time to find what I need.

2. The heading should not be too boring and preferably interesting

I’m not saying you have to knock people out with the heading but at least have a hook. When I read Joyce Valenza’s award winning post, Things I think teacher librarians should unlearn (20 and counting), I immediately zoomed in on ‘unlearn’. Not sure why, maybe because I get sick of reading about what we should learn, and unlearning seems a little subversive. I was very curious about what Joyce would consider unlearning.

3. Experience

A heading can be catchy but the content of the post is even more important. Going on to read Joyce’s list of what teacher librarians should unlearn, it was clear that Joyce’s experience enabled her to punch out so many excellent points. An blog post is effective when the author writes from experience.  Even though we might feel we are not saying anything new, there is always someone who will appreciate our perspective, for whom our experiences and observations are new and interesting.

4.  Generosity

People jump at a post which shares generously, such as Joyce Seitzinger’s Moodle tool guide for teachers post. In this case, Joyce adapted a social media cheat sheet with a business/marketing focus to one relevant to education. When you do the hard work and share a resource you’ve created in your post, it’s a winner.

5.  Honesty

Jeremy Harmer’s post, Why I walked out – but would you?, was shortlisted in the Edublogs influential blog post category. It’s a good example of an anecdotal post which I always enjoy reading and also writing. Jeremy writes honestly about walking out of Marc Prensky’s conference session – that in itself attracts the reader’s attention. I think the post works because it’s so reflective, and invites the reader to respond to a series of questions.

Which brings me to my last point:

6.  Conversation

An effective blog post invites readers to join the conversation. This is something I strive to do because there’s nothing more satisfying than engaging people in dialogue, and perhaps influencing them to come back to the blog regularly.

from my photostream

I hope that my post has given you enough to savour, something to chew on.