We are often asked where turn most often for online information, news, analysis, a ground eye’s view of the classroom—and inspiration. Here’s our current list of blogs, networks, idea generators, and newsletters that grab our attention.
The Daily Riff
The founders are social entrepreneurs, parents and citizens, former NYC media executives, and forward-thinking educators. The Daily Riff presents “different perspectives, not so much to persuade, but to hopefully make us all think differently and take a new look at education…It’s time to tear down the edu-crat ivory tower.”
Education Week Blogs
More than 15 news blogs on a range of topics, plus opinion blogs, including:
“Bridging Differences”: Diane Ravitch and Deborah Mier on what matters most in Education.
“Curriculum Matters”: Education Week reporters on issues at the core of classroom learning. http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/curriculum/
“Living in Dialogue”: Teaching veteran Anthony Cody hosts a dialogue on teaching for change and deep learning.
Constructing Modern Knowledge (“Learning Adventures for Creative Educators”)
#Edchat (“Teacher Reboot Camp: Challenging Ourselves to Engage Our Students”)
EduWonk (“Education News. Analysis. Commentary.”)
Quick and the Ed (“Smart, fresh perspectives on the latest education policy and research from Education Sector”)
The Answer Sheet (“A school survivor guide for parents (and everyone else), from the Washington Post”)
Linking and Thinking of Education by Joanne Jacobs
Mike Klonsky’s Small Talk Blog
Honor Moorman on 21st Century Literacy Lessons
Dan Pink (“What a High School Algebra Teacher Can Teach Us About Innovation”)
Mike Rose Books
Taking Notes: Thoughts on Education from John Merrow
Teacher Leaders Network
TLN is a national initiative of the Center for Teaching Quality. It is a network of active communities populated by highly accomplished teacher leaders from across the nation who are dedicated to student success and the transformation of teaching into a true profession. Much of its work is virtual and takes place in the web environment — a cutting-edge, secure learning platform that combines many functions familiar to users of blogs, wikis, and social network environments.
New Teacher Project
The New Teacher Project (TNTP) is a national nonprofit dedicated to closing the achievement gap by ensuring that high-need students get outstanding teachers. Founded by teachers in 1997, TNTP partners with school districts and states to implement scalable responses to their most acute teacher quality challenges. Since its inception, TNTP has trained or hired approximately 37,000 teachers, benefiting an estimated 5.9 million students nationwide. It has established more than 75 programs and initiatives in 31 states and published four seminal studies on urban teacher hiring and school staffing.
Classroom 20.com is a dynamic social network for teachers and “techies” interested in Web 2.0 and Social Media in education. You can sign up to participate in the great discussions, receive event notifications, and to find and connect with colleagues. The network seeks, especially, to create a supportive comfortable place to start being part of the digital dialog. If you are a beginner and want some extra help, there’s a special Beginner’s Group you can join as soon as you've registered.
Learning Forward (NSDC)
Learning Forward (formerly known as the National School Development Council) is the largest non-profit professional association committed to ensuring success for all students through staff development and school improvement. Learning opportunities abound, from e-learning and webinars to targeted face-to-face professional development workshops and conferences.
ASCD (formerly the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development) is a membership organization that develops programs, products, and services essential to the way educators learn, teach, and lead. Its 160,000 members in 148 countries are professional educators from all levels and subject areas––superintendents, supervisors, principals, teachers, professors of education, and school board members. ASCD’s monthly journal, Education Leadership, is an authoritative source of information about teaching and learning, new ideas and practices, and the latest trends and issues affecting prekindergarten through higher education.
TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from those three worlds. Since then its scope has become ever broader. TEDTalks began as a simple attempt to share what happens at TED with the world. Under the moniker “ideas worth spreading,” talks were released online. They rapidly attracted a global audience in the millions. Indeed, the reaction was so enthusiastic that the entire TED website has been reengineered around TEDTalks, with the goal of giving everyone on-demand access to the world’s most inspiring voices. Educators from all backgrounds will find something of value from the incredible TED talks.
Edutopia, the multi-media arm of the George Lucas Educational Foundation, aims to spread the word about ideal, interactive learning environments and to enable others to adapt these successes locally. Edutopia.org contains a deep archive of continually updated best practices, from classroom tips to recommendations for district wide change. The site includes a rich collection of videos. In its “Schools That Work” series, Edutopia looks at how principals and teachers, parents and students, and schools and districts collaborate to produce better schools.
The Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education (ISKME), an independent, non-profit research institute established in 2002, is a pioneer in knowledge sharing and educational innovations. ISKME helps K-20 educators and the organizations that support them expand their capacity to collect and share information, apply it to well-defined problems, and create human-centered, knowledge-driven environments focused on learning and success.
LearnCentral is a social learning network for education that hosts public, free, and interactive webinars using tools provided by Elluminate. Some are grassroots discussions generated by a worldwide community of practitioners; others are interviews or conferences thoughtfully moderated by Steve Hargadon. The tech tools are easy to use and the site provides excellent personal support.
Rethinking Schools began as a local effort to address problems such as basal readers, standardized testing, and textbook-dominated curriculum. It has grown into a nationally prominent publisher of educational materials, with subscribers in all 50 states, all 10 Canadian provinces, and many other countries. While writing for a broad audience, Rethinking Schools emphasizes problems facing urban schools, particularly issues of race. It is an activist publication, with articles written by and for teachers, parents, and students. Yet it also addresses key policy issues, such as vouchers and marketplace-oriented reforms, funding equity, and school-to-work.
Teaching for Change
Teaching for Change provides teachers and parents with the tools to transform schools into “centers of justice where students learn to read write and change the world.” Teaching for Change operates from the belief that schools can provide students the skills, knowledge and inspiration to be citizens and architects of a better world -- or they can fortify the status quo. By drawing direct connections to 'real world' issues, Teaching for Change encourages teachers and students to question and re-think the world inside and outside their classrooms, build a more equitable, multicultural society, and become active global citizens.
Designed specifically for K-12 professionals, ASCD’s SmartBrief provides a daily digest of the “top” K-12 news stories. ASCD’s editors handpick key articles from hundreds of publications, do a brief summary of each and provide links back to the original sources. Subscribe.
EdWeek (EdWeek Update)
Founded in 1981, Education Week has arguably become the single “must read” news source for K-12 leaders and policy experts. Once just a print publication, in 1996 it launched edweek.org, a hybrid print-online news organization that provides distinctive staff-written original reporting while also aggregating high-quality content from other sources and offering Web 2.0, multimedia, and other features. “EdWeek Update” offers daily news and insight from the K-12 education field. Subscribe.
The National Center for Fair & Open Testing (FairTest) works to end the misuses and flaws of standardized testing and to ensure that evaluation of students, teachers and schools is fair, open, valid and educationally beneficial. The newsletter, FairTest Examiner, offers a regular digest of the latest research, articles, and testimony on NCLB, high stakes tests, and emerging trends in national and state education policy. Subscribe.
National Service Briefing
This weekly newsletter from Youth Service America includes news from the field, grant and award opportunities, tools and resources, profiles of young people making a difference, and a calendar of upcoming events in the world of service learning. Subscribe.
PEN Weekly Newsblast
The PEN Weekly NewsBlast, published by Public Education Network, is a free electronic newsletter featuring resources and information about public school reform, school finance, and related issues. The Public Education Network (PEN) is a national association of 79 local education funds working to improve public school quality in low-income communities throughout the nation. Subscribe.
SparkAction is an online journalism and advocacy center by and for the child and youth field. It aims to: (1) Connect adults and young people to compelling stories, accurate information, and tools to take action on children’s issues, from volunteering to advocacy. (3) Elevate the voices and perspectives of young people themselves. (4) Break down silos in the broad child and youth field and strengthen connections among organizations and agencies to create a stronger, unified voice for children and youth. Subscribe.
MiddleWeb provides a wealth of resources for schools, districts, educators, parents, and public school advocates working to raise achievement for all students in the middle grades. The newsletter typically includes links and brief descriptions for six or seven resources—always of the highest quality, often provocative. Subscribe.
Youth Media Reporter
Youth Media Reporter (YMR) is theprofessional multi-media journal for practitioners, educators and academics in the youth media field. YMR’s monthly newsletter documents, from multiple perspectives, the insights and leading lessons in engaging young people in video, film, television, radio, music, web, art, and print. It also examines the degree that young people and their adult allies use media to make a difference. Subscribe.
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“There’s a radical—and wonderful—new idea here… that all children could and should be inventors of their own theories, critics of other people’s ideas, analyzers of evidence, and makers of their own personal marks on the world.”
– Deborah Meier, educator