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Nominations for the 2011 Edublog Awards

November 19, 2011 1 comment
Through his blogs, Matthew Ray shares his passion for his world, his work, his students and anything else that has touched or influenced his life.
I am nominating his blog From the Desk of Mr.Foteah, where he shares his thoughts and opinions penned in an honest and thought provoking way, for Best Teacher Blog.  Sometimes making them laugh, sometimes making them cry, he inspires his readers as he challenges them to change the way they think or teach.
According to Matthew, he blogs because, “I inspire people and that inspires me.”  Therefore, I am also nominating two of his blog posts for a 2011 Edublog Award for Most Influential Blog Post.
The first nomination was featured on WordPress in August 2011 as Freshly Pressed: Dear Me (On the Eve of My First Year Teaching). As a teacher beginning his fourth year, he reflected on his three years of experiences and wrote a letter to himself as if he were beginning his first year of teaching. His lessons learned were heartfelt and certainly inspired his readers.
An avid blogger himself,  this year, Matthew  shared this love as he undertook the  exciting challenge of teaching his third graders, (all children with IEPS) the basics of blogging. He’s written many  wonderful blog posts which follow their adventures with blogging but one of his most influential is 10 Reasons Your Students Should Be Blogging. The practical educational and social reasons for having students blog influenced many members of his own school as well as his PLN to start blogging with their class.

Re-entering the World of Twitter

July 30, 2011 2 comments

One of the things that I haven’t done since I lost my mother in January is to use Twitter.  I’m not sure of the reason, but whatever it was, I felt that I just couldn’t connect at that time.  Of course, I continued to read the myriad of educational emails that crossed my path on a daily basis and  even tweet some things that were of interest to me.  I promoted the value of Twitter to my student teachers and encouraged them to join.  I continued to retweet the blogs and photos posted by my son. But that was it. It just wasn’t the right time.

Throughout those months my son consistently tried to  convince me to go back on to Twitter.  He reminded me that I had people in my PLN who had a lot of important things to say.  He reminded me how much I enjoyed reading some of the blogs.  He reminded me that  I liked to be a part of #spedchat. He was right but I refused, always with some excuse, usually saying that I didn’t have the patience for it.  It just wasn’t the right time.

That was until yesterday, the first day of #RSCON3.  I participated in #RSCON2 and remember being in awe of the fact that people from all over the world were part of this exciting  day of sharing and learning.  Even though I  took so much away from that conference, I’m not sure that I would have participated in #RSCON3 had it not been for my son, @MrMatthewRay, and @pernilleripp presenting WisconsiNewYork: Collaborating and Connecting.   How could I not watch this presentation?   There was no question in my mind that I wanted to hear and see Matthew and Pernille in action.   When I signed on to RSCON3   viewing their presentation was my sole intent.  Something, though, drew me to other presentations.  Listening to the committed organizers and eager participants who want to make a  positive change  in the field of education was inspiring.   I was again struck by the fact that people from all over the world were learning together.   As usual, I garnered many  practical ideas to share.  But my real motivation for today was to hear Matthew and Pernille.  Watching them was wonderful.  Their organized, animated presentation took the audience through the steps necessary to replicate their skyping project.   They spared no details as they gave the listeners practical advice and suggestions.   Their honesty about their concerns was shared as well as lessons learned by their students and each of them .  I beamed with pride as I watched and listened to my son. This was the first time that he taught an audience of adults and he did well.  You can view the slides from their presentation here.

In reflecting, I realized that Matthew has figured out the value of Twitter and how to make it work for him.   He’s selective in what  he uses it for but  has made it an integral part of his learning and professional growth.  He truly has the right idea.  So kudos to you, my son, and a big thank you too.  You reintroduced me to the wonders of Twitter and I am committed to get back into it.  Not through immersion, but gradually, so I too, can  make it an integral part of my learning and professional growth.  Now the time is right.