Here’s to the individual bloggers

Teach100

The Teach100 is an attempt to rank the top education blogs in the world. Most of the ranking system is purportedly objective, with 20% of the rankings an admittedly subjective factor. People will disagree about the order of the rankings, as well as whether we should even rank education blogs in the first place.

I want to focus on a different aspect of the Teach100: the role of individual bloggers versus those blogs that have a larger entity behind them. If you look at Teach100′s top fifty education blogs, most of them have a corporation or media company or some bigger institution behind them.

Mixed in with them, however, are Richard Byrne and David Warlick, former teachers who are now tireless advocates for powerful learning with technology. Larry Ferlazzo, who teaches ESL students in California. Vicki Davis, middle school teacher in Georgia. Shelly Terrell, international school educator. Eric Sheninger, New Jersey principal. Doug Johnson, the technology and libraries director for the Mankato school district in Minnesota. Jose Vilson, New York City math teacher (and the coolest educator I know virtually). And, yes, even a few university professors like Bruce Baker, Tom Whitby, and Jackie Gerstein.

I’m greatly appreciative of the work done by many of the institution-backed blogs. I learn lots from Edutopia, from Valerie Strauss at The Washington Post, and from the ProfHacker folks at The Chronicle of Higher Education. But I’m in complete awe of the individuals who somehow find a way to stand side-by-side with The New York Times, ScholasticEducation Week, Inside Higher Ed, the National Education Association, and the United States Department of Education.

Here’s to the individual bloggers. All of you. Some of you make the big list, most of you don’t. But every day you enrich us in ways previously unimaginable. Thank you for all that you do. Thank you for all that you share.

Keep on bloggin’…

6 Responses to “Here’s to the individual bloggers”

  1. It’s funny as hell to see myself on that list at spot 99, with my country listed as the United States (I live in Canada, and have for the past four years, before that Thailand and England). It makes me wonder how carefully that list is generated if they can get something like “country this blogger lives in” wrong.

    Without knowing how the different categories are generated, it makes me wonder how valuable the ranking is. What does “authority” mean? Who decides that?

    I think a list of really great education blogs is a good idea. I’m not convinced that ranking them is a useful activity.

  2. Hi Scott,

    Thanks for the mention. The Blue Skunk is not usually included in such lists (nor am I 100% comfortable with them). But like you, I most appreciate the reflective practitioners who take time to share their experiences, insights, successe and failures.

    Doug

  3. I gotta tell you: as a blogger pretty much doing it with no institutional backing or anything, just a dollar and a dream, it’s cool to see my name on the list. We can be frank and also notice the lack of color (or colour, as it were) in the list, with or without the institutions.

    Having said that, I too contemplate how we include and exclude people, but I guess this isn’t a measure of “favorites” but metrics applied from various factors.

  4. Those lists bother me. It’s just like the Edublog Awards and the Bammy’s, for that matter. It makes me feel like there is a big clique for the “real bloggers” and somehow I’m not a part of it. I’ve been blogging for nine years, always as a teacher (though one year as a teacher-coach). I’ve been tweeting for four years. I’ve been writing, making, creating, sharing.

    But somehow when the lists come out and I’m not included, I’m suddenly twelve again and feeling like the kid who can’t find a seat at the lunch table.

    If we’re supposedly about inclusive communities, teacher growth, and PLN’s why are we pushing anything that puts people into a top ten or fifty or one-hundred?

  5. @John I wasn’t included either, but you can ask that your blog be added and it will appear in the rankings in a day or two. Like others, I’m not too confident in the methodology or how meaningful it is to talk about “top blogs.” If Dangerously Irrelevant were ranked 1,000th I’d still read it because I find it useful. But lists are a hoot!

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