Education, Humor, Technology

My Top 10 in 2010

As much as I crack corny jokes and “pun”-ish those around me with my cheesy humor, I am actually not a big fan of tired cliches.  Nonetheless, I feel the need to wrap up every calendar year with a look back on the things I learned and the highlights of my digital world.  To this end, and possibly just to put them all in one place, here are the ten blog post and articles that influenced me the most in 2010.  They are sorted by the effect that they had on me.

Made Me Laugh

Short Imagined Monologues by Timothy McSweeney (and others)

This entire blog deserves your undivided attention for about one hour.  Go ahead, I’ll wait.  Okay, wasn’t that AWESOMELY funny?!?  It’s easy in a year that bashed teachers and promised that firing them would make education better to get depressed and forget how to laugh.  That’s when I visit McSweeney’s for some much-needed hilarity.

The Oatmeal Comics at

I think it was Jerry Seinfeld who said that the funniest jokes are about the things all around us that we all grumble about in our daily lives.  The Oatmeal is a perfect way to turn grumbling into laughing.

Made Me Nod in Agreement

7 Class Size Myths (and the truth) by Valerie Strauss at The Answer Sheet

This is one of several WaPo blog articles that really pushed my thinking this year, as well as fed my growing frustration with the class size problems that we all see coming.  I walked away from this article realizing why my biggest classes struggle more and why so many policy makers want to make us believe that teachers are the biggest factor in a kids life.

The Social You vs. The Professional You by Jeff Utecht at The Thinking Stick

I use the ideas in this blog post when I’m talking to teachers about the difference between Twitter and Facebook and why it’s helpful to write a blog.

Education Experience is Paramount by Kurt Wootton at Huffington Post

The new education blogging section at the HuffPo has been very interesting and a nice range of views get shared there.  This one has immense significance for so many districts across the country that are hiring superintendents from outside the world of education.

Finding the Strength to Write by Chris Lehmann at Practical Theory

Chris, who is the antithesis of every administrator I’ve ever known, expresses himself in ways that I wish I could match.  He strikes directly at that feeling of hopelessness that plagues all ed bloggers and classroom teachers from time to time.  Is what we are doing actually making any difference?  He convinced me that the answer is a resounding YES!

Made Me Think in New Ways

Roger Ebert: The Essential Man by Chris Jones at

Always a fan of movies (of the crappy B variety or the Oscar-nominated cerebral kind), I have always had enormous respect for the film critic Roger Ebert.  This article is a must-read for any film buff as it shares the largely untold story of Ebert’s major surgery and his writing since.

Seven habits of highly effective technology trainers by Doug Johnson at The Blue Skunk Blog

For better or worse, more and more of my time over the past few years has involved providing edtech professional development to my colleagues.  This piece did more to improve my presentations than any other single resource.

tl;dr by Will Richardson at web-logged

As most of my like-minded colleagues, I often bow at the altar of Will Richardson.  This post uses the “too long; didn’t read” shorthand to symbolizes the way that reading is changing and reading instruction is not.  Great stuff!

Ignore the Test by Scott McLeod at Dangerously Irrelevant

Scott makes some very good points about standardized multiple-choice tests being the scapegoat for the poor preparation we are giving many of our students.

What do you think about these?  Where’s your Top Ten list?  Well, get on it!

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