The 2010 EduBlog Awards are now taking nominations, and I don’t want to miss this opportunity to pay tribute to some social media that have been especially valuable to me.

Here are my nominations:

Best Use of a Social Network – English Companion Ning founded by English teacher and author, Jim Burke, is hands down my favorite place to go for teaching help and inspiration. Over 23,000 English teachers eagerly sharing with each other is a wonderful thing.

Best New Blog – Failing Schools written by three wise young teachers to address the many myths about why schools fail and what we can really do to help them.

Best Group Blog – InterACT – The blog of the Accomplished California Teachers who declare their mission is “to amplify teacher voice in educational policy and research while providing our members with resources and support to become more effective leaders at every level.”  My hope is that they will serve as a model for similar networks in other states and regions.

Under the honorable mention category is a service I’m not sure I can nominate because I did serve as a guest moderator for one of them, but I highly recommend it to everyone: The various educational #_chat groups on Twitter. My fav, of course, is #engchat, which meets every Monday for an hour of fast-paced sharing and reflecting on specific topics led by a different guest moderator each week. There are several other subject related groups holding similar Twitter chats (social studies, gifted, principals, math, science, and more). If you’re not a Twitter user, here is the best reason I can think of to become one and to get yourself into TweetDeck or some similar application so you can keep up with the conversations!

Just as with our students, web and social networking tools are opening learning opportunities for teachers that go far beyond what has been available to us under the title of professional development. We can be proactive about our own professional growth needs, about taking leadership on educational issues, about being heard and about listening to the valuable ideas of others.

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