I’m pretty sure it was an oversight that not one Australian blog was included in AITSL’s Best Blogs list published at the end of 2014.
The Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) is one of my favourite government organisations as they do so much to support the professional development of teachers. They are also one of the few organisations that seem to acknowledge the value of informal professional learning networks (PLNs) in developing teacher proficiency. They have a positive official presence on Twitter, many of their project officers engage regularly with teachers online, and they do much to support our efforts. They assist my podcast, The Teachers Education Review, contributing a fortnightly segment, and they occasionally promote our show, along with the rotation curation twitter account, EduTweetOz and the AustralianTeach Meet movement.
I’m not against promoting blogs from other parts of the world. One of the strengths of being a connected educator is that we can learn from teachers from so many different countries. We don’t thrive in isolation. However, there are many, many teachers doing excellent work in Australia, and in some areas such as positive education, we are leading the world. Our context here in Australia is unique, so it’s important that we promote and pay attention to each other’s voices, not just the international stars.
With that in mind, I used Twitter to build a crowd-sourced list of blogs written by Australian educators that people think are worth reading.
The list grew quickly and I was introduced to several excellent blogs I’d never come across before but am keen to explore.
One of the bloggers I was introduced to by this process was Edna Sackson who writes What Ed Said and, exploring her blog, I found this post entitled 10 Tweets that Don’t Add Value… in which she mentions that tweeting out lists with too many entries isn’t really adding value, as no one has time to read them.
This of course made me wonder about the value of my own list. Currently there are 51 blogs on it, and she’s right, I don’t have time to go through them all either. Well certainly not in one sitting. However, I still think the effort was worthwhile, and I’ve already found some gems, including Edna’s blog, amongst the many that were contributed.
So, today I added each of the listed blogs to Feedly, which is a reader app I can access using Chrome, as well as through an app on my iPhone and iPad. With Feedly I can present the entries from those 51 blogs are presented as a magazine, and flick through at my leisure.
I’m looking forward to browsing the posts, and sharing those I find interesting with others on Twitter. At some point, I’d like to curate the list too, perhaps by sorting them into categories as a number of the blogs have specific focuses.
One blog from the list that is particularly worth reading is EduResearch Matters, edited by the fabulous Maralyn Parker. Several Australian education researchers contribute to it on a range of subjects. It’s a great place to cut through all the hype and find out about evidence based practices.
We’ve a few more weeks of summer holidays left in Australia – a perfect time to discover some new blogs and catch up on reading. Enjoy.