Revisiting Your Blogroll

I actually blogged about this last summer after Building Learning Communities 2008 (BLC08). But it’s something that has resurfaced with me. I find myself reading a lot of new blogs (or at least new to me) lately and checking out many blogrolls. So the questions that come to mind are:

  1. Does the blogger really read all of these blogs?
  2. When is the last time they updated their blogroll?
  3. Why has this blogger included these particular blogs in his/her list?

Let me explain.

Does the blogger really read all of these blogs?
Some blogrolls are pretty extensive. I wonder if bloggers don’t want to hurt anyone’s feeling by not including them. Possibly they are trying to fill up real estate on their page. Perhaps even they really subscribe to all those blogs in their reader. There are several bloggers out there that have different blogrolls. Scott McLeod has a list just for “Blogs That Deserve A Bigger Audience”. Liz Davis has a list just for “Technology Blogroll”. Some even have lists for their student blogs like Wesley Fryer.

When is the last time they updated their blogroll?blogroll
I am very curious when I look at someone’s blogroll who links to a particular blogger frequently and yet doesn’t list them. It makes me wonder if their “roll” is neglected. It is a separate section of a blog, so I understand that when one goes to post, you wouldn’t exactly think to update it. It’s time consuming to make sure that the title of the blog and the URL are entered correctly and that you have in the list those blogs you want. But your subscribers and visitors are counting on you.

Why has this blogger included these particular blogs in his/her list?
This takes me back to Educon 2.1 this past January. Liz Davis and I ran a session on Equity Issues in the Blogosphere. Some mistook our equity to mean gender equity, but if you look at the session recording, it was far from it. Bud Hunt made a great suggestion the evening before the session to change the title to “Equity in Your Blogosphere” – which made all the difference. Who do you read? Are you reading from all different points of view? Classroom teachers, administrators, people of color and different nationalities, both genders, math teachers, language teachers, high school teachers? I could go on with the list. Do you have a diverse blogroll? Are you getting more than just one point of view?

So, I have revisited my blogroll. I prefer to keep mine kind of on the short side. But these are blogs that I subscribe to. There are others that I read through Tweets and other recommendations. I’m sure I’ll revisit it again soon. Hopefully it won’t take me another year.

Seven Things You Don’t Need to Know about Me

Liz Davis tagged me in this meme. I figured that it would be a great topic of conversation as my husband and I prepared for the family to come for Christmas dinner. It was pretty entertaining to create the list as we peeled shrimp, sauteed various vegetables, and worked to keep the kitchen clean and the kids occupied.

Seven Things You Don’t Need to Know about Me

1. I was always envious that my cousin had a lavender room when we were kids. I fulfilled a childhood wish by selfishly painting my daughter’s room lavender.

chocolate

2. I actually dropped a math course in college because the professor lectured using his middle finger. (The professor was rumored to have been the inventor of AstroTurf, but I’ll admit that it wasn’t until I wrote this that I finally confirmed that false.)

3. My first career out of college was in book publishing.

4. My second career out of college was in financial services. But I moonlighted as a cannoli stuffer in my then boyfriend’s (now husband’s) pastry kitchen.

5. I met said husband at a photo copier. He was making copies. (Don’t you remember the Saturday Night Live skit with Rob Schneider?)

6. My husband accuses me of favoring Dirty Dancing as my movie of choice, but it’s really Clueless.

7. My parents had my brother and I convinced we were allergic to chocolate growing up. When I got to college, I became a chocoholic – and lived to tell about it.

Here are 7 more bloggers that may have 7 things to share:

AJ Kelton

Clif Mims

Kern Kelley

Erica Hartman

Angela Maiers

Lisa Durff

Cathy Nelson

My Google Reader is Growing: The 2008 Eddie Nominations are Posted

bestnew

The other day when I posted my nominations for the 2008 Eddies I really didn’t give much thought to my own blog. I really wanted to give credit where it was due to some of the other blogs that I read on a regular basis. I wish there had been more categories or you could vote for more than one blog in the same category.

I was so psyched when Liz Davis nominated ThumannResources for the Best New Blog category. Her kudos mean a lot to me as I admire her techno talent and her philosophy on how technology should be embedded in education and professional development. That must be why I spend so much time reading her blog and linking to posts that I feel people should read. I even nominated Liz’s post on the Ten Tips For Growing Your Learning Network” for a 2008 Eddie.

So, have you stopped reading my post yet and gone over to this awesome list of edublogs? These are blogs that you should stop and take a look at. Here are the categories:

1. Best individual blog

2. Best group blog

3. Best new blog

4. Best resource sharing blog

5. Most influential blog post

6. Best teacher blog

7. Best librarian / library blog

8. Best educational tech support blog

9. Best elearning / corporate education blog

10. Best educational use of audio

11. Best educational use of video / visual

12. Best educational wiki

13. Best educational use of a social networking service

14. Best educational use of a virtual world

15. Best class blog

16. Lifetime achievement

bestresource

I have to admit, that I was honored when Kevin Jarret nominated ThumannResources for the Best Resource Sharing Blog category, but as Kevin pointed out on his blog, I even nominated Larry Ferlazzo. Take a look at the nominations in this category. You’ll see Kevin’s and Larry’s and many others worth perusing. I highly recommend reading Miguel Guhlin and Silvia Tolisano‘s posts and I myself am going to look into the other nominations, some of which are new to me.

If this is your first time here, thank you for stopping by. I hope you’ll come back again to read my next post and consider leaving a comment so that you can participate in the conversation.

If you’ve been here before, thank you for your support and please leave a comment so I know who you are. 🙂

P.S. Please consider voting for ThumannResources in the Best New Blog category. That would be great.

UDL, UBD, PBL – ABCDEFG…..

Implementing New Curricular Learning with Universally Designed Experiences” (INCLUDE) is the name of the grant that many districts in New Jersey applied for and received from the NJ Department of Education along with federal funding through NCLB Title IID and IDEA-B. The objective of the INCLUDE Grant program is to increase student achievement in middle school mathematics by improving instruction and educational technology.

I’ve had the pleasure in the past couple of months to meet with several of the participating districts to discuss professional development in Universal Design for Learning (UDL) as well as educational technology. What’s got me is that we use so many acronyms in education that it’s tough to keep track of what we’re all referring to. Let’s recap what I’ve already written about:

INCLUDE
NCLB
IDEA
UDL

There are many of us that won’t admit to NOT being able to decode an acronym when presented one we are unfamiliar with. We may Tweet it or e-mail someone asking if anyone has any resources to share. This is what seems to be happening with UDL (not UBD) in New Jersey. Universal Design for Learning is here.

I’m very excited!

For additional resources on UDL, please visit my UDL blog at:

http://udlatrutgers.edublogs.org 

Two other resources you can’t do without:

Cast.org

Karen Janowski’s blog