Best individual blog –> The Inside Lane – Nigel Lane’s blog is our first nomination. Nigel is probably the most prolific Irish teacher blogger right now – certainly on Tumblr. Nigel blogs about issues in Irish education, his own classroom practice and reblogs some inspiring edtech articles. This is a blog that every Irish primary teacher should have on their reading list.
Best individual tweeter –> @fboss – This was a very tough one as there are so many great tweachers in Ireland. However Fred Boss set up #edchatie and has helped run some fantastic Twitter projects throughout the year. A worthy nominee in our opinion.
Best group blog –> Irish Teachers’ Blog – Nigel Lane is a relatively new teacher but his influence to educational technology has been immense. He has already published a book charting a day in the life of Twitter users and has given some great talks at conferences. This latest venture is an aggregate blog of over 25 Irish educators around the country. Nigel’s only flaw is that he is a Blackburn Rovers supporter.
Best new blog –> Irish Teachers’ Blog – See above.
Best class blog –> Michael’s Class Blog – A new blog by Irish primary teacher and his 3rd and 4th class. It is jaw-dropping how often this blog is updated and you can see that the kids in this class are active in all that goes on in the blog. Lucky kids to have such a great teacher!
Best student blog –> The School Stuff – Similarly, this class are very lucky too. Their teacher has given the students free reign to tell us all about what they learn everyday. You can see the amount of learning that goes on in this class each day from the fantastic descriptions the children give about life in 5th and 6th class.
Best ed tech / resource sharing blog –> Seomra Ranga – Irish teachers have this site bookmarked more than any other. Now in its 4th year, Damien Quinn’s site has grown to offer hundreds of resources for free to teachers around the country.
Most influential blog post –> Tweets and Sweets – This article shows how a simple Twitter interaction became one of the most inspiring pieces of collaborative learning between two schools on either side of the Arlantic Ocean.
Best twitter hashtag –> #edchatie – created by @fboss, this weekly edchat with an Irish flavour is one of the main reasons Irish teachers sign up to Twitter. Sometimes it’s the catalyst for teachers to start using technology in their classrooms.
Best teacher blog –> A Crucial Week – A new blog run by a Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) which is kept up to date really well. It gives some super teaching tips as well as gaining an insight into the world of the Irish education system.
Best School Administrator blog –> Fintan’s Blog – This principal frequently writes about issues relating to his school and surrounding area. Always honest, it’s a great insight to some of the work that Irish principals face each day.
Best free web tool –> Twitter – Without question, Twitter has fast become our number one source of educational content. Not a day goes by where we don’t learn something new from our PLN.
Best educational use of audio / video / visual / podcast –> SCC English – St. Columba’s College lead the way in Ireland for educational podcasts. Not just useful to Irish students, these podcasts would help any English student in their schoolwork.
Best educational use of a social network —> Carlow Educate Together NS – Carlow Educate Together have used Facebook to interact with parents for a couple of years now. It has now become one of the central places for parents to interact with the school. During the “snowmageddon” which gripped Ireland early in the year, the school was able to update parents regularly with opening and closing times. They also sent some fun projects to families to help them pass the time as well as learn things.