Got an education-related blog you’d like to share with others? Know of any good education blogs we should be aware of? Then nominate them for consideration in the first-ever eSchool News “Best of the Education Blogs” contest for the chance to be recognized by eSchool News in print and online.

Sponsored by Discovery Education, the Best of the Education Blogs program will honor the elite in each of the following four categories: Best Classroom Instruction Blog, Best K-12 Administration Blog, Best Higher-Education Management Blog, and Best Education Theory Blog.

Basically a web journal, a blog allows any user to post his or her thoughts, links to favorite sites, and–in many cases–audio and visual media. At its heart, a blog is a personal diary for the internet age. Blogs can cover any range of topics–from personal issues, to popular culture, to thoughts or advice on a given profession.

The advent of blogging represents an unparalleled opportunity for educators. The typical educator has minimal contact with his or her peers once the bell rings. In what often can be an isolated profession, blogs can break down barriers of time and space, encourage collaboration, and enhance professional growth and development. They also can be used in the classroom to help students develop writing skills or allow them to post video, audio, or other multimedia.

The Best of the Education Blogs program comes at a time when blogging has exploded in popularity in the education space.

“Blogging is a rapidly emerging method for educators to communicate quickly and easily among themselves, with students, and with education stakeholders,” said Gregg W. Downey, editor and publisher of eSchool News. “We’ve tracked the rising enthusiasm for blogging via our highly popular ‘Ed-Tech Insider’ blogging community. Now, with the Best of the Education Blogs awards program, made possible by Discovery Education, we’re recognizing and rewarding achievement among education bloggers and encouraging best blogging practices among the hundreds of thousands of educators who rely on the eSchool News Network. We hope our readers and visitors will nominate their favorite education blog today.”

The process is fairly simple. Anyone can nominate his or her favorite education-related blog for consideration. Entries will be reviewed by a distinguished panel of judges, including eSchool News editors and Ed-Tech Insiders Steve Burt, Tim Wilson, Tim Lauer, and Tom Hoffman, as well as:

  • Stevan Kalmon, information literacy and technology coordinator for Denver Public Schools;
  • Donna Baumbach, a professor at the University of Central Florida and director of the Instructional Technology Resource Center and the SUNLINK Project;
  • Steve Dembo, former teacher and publisher of www.teach42.com, and currently online community manager for the Discovery Educator Network; and
  • Joe Luft, principal of Flushing International High School in New York and one of the first teachers to use blogs in the classroom.

    The winning blogs and their authors will be recognized in a ceremony at the Florida Educational Technology Conference in Orlando, March 22-24, as well as the March issue of eSchool News.

    But hurry, you only have until Jan. 6 to submit your nominations. You can submit them at the following address: http://www.eschoolnews.com/blogawards.

    These awards aren’t the first to recognize outstanding education blogs. Earlier this month, the second annual “Edublog Awards,” recognized the best blogs in 10 categories.

    The international Edublog Awards program is an online, community-based initiative designed to recognize and celebrate excellence in education and scholarly blogging, as well as promote the use of blogs to support teaching and learning, according to program organizers.

    Among the notable winners of that program were Stephen Downes’ OLD Daily (http://www.downes.com/new/OLDaily.htm) and James Farmer’s Edublogs (http://www.edublogs.org), which won for “Best Individual Blog” and “Most Innovative Edublogging Project, Service or Programme,” respectively. In perhaps the widest margin of victory for the budding awards program, Joyce Valenza’s NeverEnding Search won for “Best Library/Librarian Blog” (http://joycevalenza.edublogs.org/).

    For more information about the eSchool News and Discovery Education “Best of the Education Blogs” awards, please visit:

    http://www.eschoolnews.com/blogawards/

    For more information about the Edublog Awards, as well as a list of this year’s winners, go to:

    http://www.incsub.org/awards/

    To see eSchool News‘ own blogs run by our Ed-tech Insiders, please visit:

    http://www.eschoolnews.com/eti/index.php

    Other education-related blogs of interest include:

    http://discoveryeducation.typepad.com/
    http://educationwonk.blogspot.com/
    http://people.uis.edu/rschr1/et/blogger.html
    http://educational.blogs.com/edbloggerpraxis/
    http://boardbuzz.nsba.org/
    http://www.theshiftedlibrarian.com/

    Links:

    Discovery Education
    http://education.discovery.com