The website is open and the nominations too! There are many educators blogging, tweeting and sharing their ideas, thoughts and resources from all over the world piling in to acknowledge the hard work and efforts by all.
However, I’d like to give a shout out to those who continue to flag up the benefits of learning and playing outdoors. At the moment, these remain predominantly early years educators, which strongly suggests that perhaps other sectors still need to wake up to the value of learning outside. In recognition of these efforts, I’m nominating the following:
Best teacher blog
Let the Children Play by Jennifer Kable
It was the outrage of last years Edublogger awards that this blog did not make the nominations shortlist. Please, please, please do one thing and submit your own nomination for this friendly and inspiring progressive preschool Australian blog which has captured the hearts and minds of tens of thousands of pre-school educators across the world. Nominations close on Friday 2nd December – HINT! HINT!
Best individual blog
Child Central Station by Amy Ahola.
This blog highlights the contributions made by the wider education sector. Remember those homeschoolers, childminders, after-school carers who add value to, around and beyond the formal education sector. Amy’s blog illustrates that these education professionals ensure children come first and that outdoor experiences really matter.
Best ed tech/resource sharing blog
Irresistible Ideas for Play Based Learning by Sherry Hutton and Donna Ridley-Burns
This duo have continued to attract huge followers, not just of their blog but their Facebook page too. They truly understand the power of pre-school practitioners to provide and share support, advice and ideas. They actively promote outdoor play – just look at the photos on their blog’s header. Social media marketers could learn a thing or two from Sherry and Donna.
Best new blog
Exploring the Outdoor Classroom by Kristin from California
This blog has exploded onto the pre-school blogging world with mouth-watering photos, tasty ideas and recipes for outdoor play only previously dreamed of. It is lovely to see the passion ooze out of each post from a self-confessed “nature nut”!
Best twitter hashtag
Supporting children with play and learning is a shared task. #playoutdoors represents educators, parents, individuals and organisations who recognise this. It’s a true education community providing information, support and ideas to each other via the medium of Twitter.
Best individual tweeter
This was a tough decision for me. I decided to step out of the outdoor category because this guy truly understands the purpose of Twitter as a tool for reaching out to, and engaging with, others. Firstly he is highly responsive to those who get in touch. Second, he provides a stream of wider thought about education in a way that can only be described as verbally tactile.
Best group blog
This was set up by Fergal Kelly as a direct result of a series of tweets by a huge number of Scottish educators from students and probationers to ex-directors of education and former HMIe inspectors. It’s an ad-hoc selection of posts submitted by these people who are standing up and saying “We’re educators and we want the best for children and young people in our schools.” It’s moving things beyond rhetoric and negativity around initiatives in education.
Most influential blog post
Teacher Tom and his post Spoiled Brats
What I like about Tom Hobson is his willingness to question and write about wider issues within and beyond education yet link it to events and activities at his pre-school. He is not an Alfie Kohn echo or wannabe Ken Robinson and both would learn a lot from his personal take on educational matters. Spoiled Brats was shared over 2000 times on Facebook alone just after Tom wrote it and apparently it’s still getting daily hits.
Finally there are many wonderful blogs and bloggers out there who haven’t been mentioned. I wish there was space to include you all – especially those who are part of the amazing and supportive pre-school bloggers network – you know who you are!