Below are the 10 blogs and websites I found useful during this school year. Each offers a unique lens through which educators can not only get apprised on the debates in education and technology, but also access useful resources to improve teaching practice.
- The Media Education Foundation
This is my #1 go-to resource when I explicitly teach ‘media’ in my classroom. It’s an excellent source for integrating critical media across disciplines. The board of advisors include: Noam Chomsky, Henry Giroux, Naomi Klein, bell hooks. It also included the late Stuart Hall. Seriously? It doesn’t get better.
Edutopia, funded by The George Lucas Educational Foundation (GLEF), is a blog for educators, which focuses on implementing assessment, social and emotional learning and technology, among other areas. I found them useful for the resources they link to, such as their resource roundup on digital learning. There are good articles that provide useful ideas for teaching, learning and assessment.
- Education Radio
“Education Radio is committed to exposing the profit driven interests fueling current education policies while addressing issues of true equity and access in public education. ”
This is a blog that focuses on producing podcasts related to education. There are multiple contributors, many of whom are activists. I highly recommend listening to the following: Educational Technology: Tool for Capitalism or Democracy? (Published Saturday, November 26, 2011)
- Audrey Watters’ Hack Education
I recommend starting with her post “On ‘Viral” Education Videos” published 13 May, 2013. The video featured exemplifies the most transformative part of teaching. In this instance, the teacher didn’t see the opportunity.
This blog focuses on an interesting concept: Hack Education, which refers to “a technological solution, a technology intrusion, a technological possibility, a technological disaster.” Rather than focusing on how technology and education is affecting systems of education, she focuses more broadly (and much more interestingly) on the implications of technology on our future. The content is substantive and very well written.
- The Grassroots Education Movement
This is a blog that is “in defense of public education” and focuses on school-level organizing in the U.S. If you are looking for political strategies to resist the corporatization of public schooling, this is a good source.
- Rethinking Schools
Rethinking Schools is a non-profit magazine founded in 1986, which advocates for “common schools.” Common schools refer to spaces where “children from a variety of backgrounds come together and, at least in theory, learn to talk, play, and work together.” Their mission is to address the various inequalities that constitute our society through their magazine. The current issues features an editorial on “Queering Schools” that’s worth a read. LGBT issues are so important and underrepresented in schooling literature.
- Media Smarts: Canada’s Centre for Digital and Media Literacy
Media Smarts is an organization which promotes digital and media literacy or, rather, digital citizenship. There are some good resources that can supplement the Media Education Foundation. I stress supplement because this is a corporate sponsored organization, which means that they have a stake in promoting only the benefits of digital media. I included it because it is a Canadian source, which is often underrepresented.
- Centre for Democracy and Technology
This Centre is a non-profit organization whose goal is to “preserve the user-controlled nature of the Internet and champion freedom of expression.” This is a useful blog to track news about legislation related to privacy. I found this unique in its international focus.
- Diane Ravitch’s A site to discuss better education for all
This blog focuses on writing about the corporatization of education in the U.S and delivers thoughtful opinion about education; she draws on anecdotal data and incorporates polemic debates in her posts
10. Valerie Strauss’ “The Answer Sheet” published by the Washington Post
Valerie Strauss is an Educational Reporter for the Washington Post who publishes op-ed pieces that reflect the current debates in education, especially in the U.S. The Canadian educational landscape is quite different from the U.S; however, many here do fear that corporatization and global movements toward a ‘Knowledge-Based Economy’ will privatize public education sectors and undermine employee protection legislation fought for by teacher unions.
EduShyster: Keeping an eye on the corporate education agenda
Jennifer C. Berkshire follows how “Education Reform Inc.” is affecting the educational landscape in the U.S., with focus on its social impacts. It’s quite tongue-and-cheek, which is why I included it. The style of the pieces might offer budding bloggers a more satirical model for their writing.