There is a profusion of blogs on the Internet, but some of them stand out because they are not only compelling, but they convey accomplished, artful, intelligent, and powerful content. I’ve selected nine blogs that I read regularly to expand my own thinking about science teaching, technology and education. They represent the range of topics that interest me, and that I find are important. I hope you will, too. Here they are.
- Cool Cat Teacher Blog The author of this blog is Vicki Davis, a full-time high school teacher of technology, and global curriculum developer in Camilla, Georgia. She is author of award winning wiki, blogs, and co-founder of the Flat Classroom projects You will find some of the most innovative ideas on teaching and technology on this blog, as well as a philosophy that clearly is progressive. The name of her website is derived from the name the Westwood Wildcats, which was suggested by her students.
- Dot Earth Written by Andrew C. Revkin, Dot Earth is a one stop site to learn about the efforts to balance human affairs with the Earth’s limits. The Dot Earth blog is part of the Opinion section of the New York Times. Here you will find an interactive site that you can use to explore the trends and ideas about the environment which you can share with your students. It is a trusted environmental science website.
- Education Matters Written by Chris Guerrieri, a teacher in Jacksonville, Florida, this blog is a very active site for reading about the issues that impinge on the day-to-day life of a teacher in the classroom. Guerrieri imparts a very strong view of what’s wrong with education today (too many people in suits who have no clue about what’s happening in the classroom). If you are looking for some support on issues like high-stakes tests, bullying, billionaires in education, poverty, and how teachers really make a difference, then you should go to his site.
- Mr. Barlow’s Science Teaching Blog Mr. Barlow is a high school science teacher in Melbourne, Australia. His blog is subtitled “A Bunch of Interesting Stuff,” and you will clearly find an abundance of stuff here. His blog is complemented by biology teaching podcasts, and Apps for the iPhone and iPad. But for teachers, his site is a model for the way technology can be integrated into science teaching. You’ll find examples of this at his site, and it is quite impressive. Be sure to visit Mr. Barlow.
- Schools Matter. This is a powerful site that addresses issues in “public education policy, and it advocates for a commitment to and a re-examination of the democratic purposes of schools. If there is some urgency in the message, it is due to the current reform efforts that are based on a radical re-invention of education, now spearheaded by a psychometric blitzkrieg of “metastasizing testing” aimed at dismantling a public education system that took almost 200 years to build.” If you have not read a blog on social justice, I recommend you go over there. There are several authors who contribute to the site including Judy Rabin, Jim Horn, Robert D. Skeels, and P.L Thomas.
- Teachers Lead This is a website authored by Anthony Cody and Nancy Flanagan, each National Board Certified Teachers, with combined experience of more than 50 years. Anthony was a science teacher in Oakland, California, and Nancy a music educator in Michigan. Their commitment is to leadership from the ground up, and to provide the tools to teachers and administrators. Anthony Cody manages a blog on the Education Week website entitled Living in Dialogue, and writes provocative essays on educational reform. Nancy Flanagan writes a blog on Education Week entitled Teacher in a Strange Land.
- The Dispersal of Darwin This is a blog devoted to all things Darwin, written by Michael D. Barton, who recently finished his graduate work the history of science at Montana State University. It’s one of my favorites. Here is what he says about his blog: My interests are with Charles Darwin, and the development of evolutionary theory. This blog is a place for me to share with interested folk news and views on Darwin, evolution, and natural history, with occasional posts about other science-related topics. I’ve written a great deal about Darwin on my own site, and found that Michael’s site was the place to go for information and great images.
- The Intersection Edited by Chris Mooney, The Intersection blog has for nearly 10 years brought analysis of the intersection between science, politics, and culture. Chris is a science and political journalist and the author of three books, including the New York Times bestselling Storm World, and Unscientific America: How Scientific Illiteracy Threatens Our Future, co-authored by Sheril Kirshenbaum. If you are looking for cutting edge progressive science, then I highly recommend Chris’ blog.
- The Royal Treatment I met Ken Royal more than ten years ago in Hartford, CT during a seminar I presented on science teaching for the Bureau of Education & Research. Subsequently I visited Ken’s middle school science classroom where he was doing scouting expeditions into the world of technology and telecommunications. In the 1990’s very few teachers had integrated the Internet into teaching. Ken was one of leaders of using the Internet in the classroom. Now Ken is with Scholastic where one of his responsibilities is writing the blog, The Royal Treatment. He says: After 34 years in education, working at all levels and areas, including as instructional technology specialist, it has been easy to look and write about these technologies and products from an educators point of view. I look forward to invitations to attend conferences, review products, and interview the people behind the products. It is also a joy listening to district leaders actually using these products to improve technology, management, curriculum and safety better in their districts. This is the blog for technology know-how.
Conclusion. These are 9 compelling websites that will inform not only about science and technology, but science and education in society. You can visit the Cool Cat Teacher to find amazing ways to use technology with your students and connect with others around the world. The Royal Treatment will keep you up-to-date on new technology products and ways that schools are using them. For great ideas and science content, you should visit Mr. Barlow’s site, and don’t forget his Podcasts and Apps. Science, technology and society (STS) is an important part of science education, and you’ll find great content at Chris Mooney’s Intersection site. Education Matters, Schools Matter, and Teachers Lead are crucial sites for us to interact with educators who speak out on the issues that impact education today such as high-stakes testing, charter schools, standards proliferation, and teacher assessment.
Share your ideas. What is your favorite blog site? Share it here in the comments section so that others can benefit from your suggestion.