2010 has been a great year blogging for me; this is my third year blogging, and each year gets better. Blogging is a craft that could be called asymptotatic, as Dan Pink describes in Drive; there is no ceiling to bump into, no limit, and provides a stimulating challenge for the ongoing pursuit of mastery. Pink: “You can approach it. You can home in on it. You can get really, really close to it. But you can never touch it…. Mastery attracts precisely because mastery eludes.”
In 2010 I posted over 150 times here at 21k12; over at Connected Principals, which was launched in August by the terrific blogger George Couros, I posted over twenty times (in many cases, those posts were re-posted from here at 21k12).
Readers of my blog don’t have the same perspective about the “success” or relative significance of posts that I do, because they don’t see the stats the way I do about visits. But once a year it seems wise to share the dozen or so posts which seemed to strike a chord with readers.
What is nice to me about this list is that it corresponds very closely to my own view of my favorite posts, the ones of which I am proudest. Below this list I add another half dozen that I wish had received as much attention as this list.
1. Reverse Instruction: Dan Pink and Karl’s “Fisch Flip”. 190 views here, 2001 views at CP. Over 2000 views in a period of less than two months is certainly a personal record for my blogging. One of my favorite aspects of this successful post is that its content was entirely the result of my learning as a blogger. I had previously posted about Khan Academy, and spoke about the concept of inverting instruction there, but then John Sowash commented on that post about reverse instruction, and this new post was born from that dialogue on Connected Principals. I should also thank here the attention given to this post by Stephen Valentine in the November Klingbrief and Shelly Wright who blogged about it here.
2. Engaging, not Distracting, the Digital Generation: Responding to the Times’ Wired piece. 327 here, 890 at CP. Like many others in my corner of the blogosphere, I was inflamed by the Times piece, and spent Thanksgiving week furiously thinking how to respond, and then poured my passionate indignation into this post. I am so happy it struck a chord for others too; it was my most “retweeted” post, 121 times at CP.
3. In Schools of the Future, Students Learn by Vigorously Doing, Digitally. 203 views here, 801 at CP. I am indebted here to the influence of Howard Levin and his writings about empowering students with laptops in learning, which this post recapitulated and discussed.
4. Innovation in Schooling: Taking Inspiration from Steven Johnson’s new book, Where Good Ideas Come From 103 here, 791 at CP. This one spiked at CP, to more than 500 visits in 48 hours, when author Steven Johnson tweeted about my post, with a link, to his 1.5 million followers on Twitter. Johnson’s tweet: Loving that folks are already applying my book’s ideas to their fields (like education) tho it hasn’t even come out yet http://bit.ly/9nlQL2
5. Why I Blog: A Principal’s 13 reasons. 140 here, 480 at CP. I am looking forward to speaking on this topic at the NAIS Annual Conference with two blogging colleagues, Josie Holford and Michael Ebeling.
6. An Open Letter to NAIS: Elect an Ed. Tech Director to the Board. 621 views here at 21k12. As of yet I still don’t know whether this campaign had any success in electing an ed tech director to the board, but I am not giving up hope: 621 people read this here, NAIS President Pat Bassett himself visited and endorsed the campaign, and I know the conversation will continue to grow. We will make this happen.
7. Dan Pink on Drive and its applications to education today. Blogging from the ISAS teacher’s conference during Dan Pink’s talk. 459.
8. Medina’s Brain Rules: Informing Teachers as Researchers 22 here, 419 at CP.
9. Advice for New Teachers and for the New School Year 135 here, 412 at CP.
10. Khan Academy: Where does it fit into 21st century learning? 29 here, 398 at CP.
11. Suggestions for Studying for Exams 38 here, 324 at CP.
12. High School Stinks: Correcting Course with Lessons Learned Shadowing Students 321 views at CP.
A few of my other favorites:
1. A Lesson from Avatar: Speaking to Students on the meaning of Jake’s “True World”. This has received 180 views here at 21k12. most of them from Google searches on the term “lesson of avatar”; in it, I explain to students how we can better understand what makes for true happiness from the lesson of the film Avatar.
2. Confronting the Creativity Crisis: Questioning, Problematizing, Learning by Doing A response to the Newsweek cover story about the Creativity Crisis.
4. NAIS AC: 10 Takeaways, the High and Low My summation piece about the NAIS 2010 annual conference. Also, this companion piece: Best of the Rest from NAIS, A Top 10 list, about other NAIS blog posts.
5. St. Greg’s Students Discuss on Video the CWRA (College Work Readiness Assessment) Very proud of this video, which has had almost 300 views, and which I frequently show in presentations.