Tuesday, February 5, 2013

What Matters Most To Me When Ranking Educational Blogs (Hint, It's Not Traffic)

Last month the Teach 100 was launched for the purpose of trying to rank the popularity and influence of educational blogs. Today, Larry Ferlazzo drew my attention to another top 100 ranking produced by Onalytica. And it seems like at least once a week I see some kind of list of "the top 50 (or 10 or 100) blogs for teachers of X." In fact, I recently wrote a few posts in which I recommended a handful of blogs for language arts, math, and history teachers

But trying to get on these lists is not why most of us blog. Why we blog is to try to help others learn from our work. So what really matters when you see a list of "influential blogs" isn't how much traffic a blog gets or where it ranks on a list. What matters is whether or not you like the blog and you benefit from reading it. I read lots of blogs that don't appear on any lists yet they're blogs that I count as the most influential to me. My top 100 and your top 100 will always be different and they should be. Otherwise we're all just reading the same stuff and that gets boring after a while.

Class Badges Adds a New Make Your Own Badges Option

Class Badges is a free achievement tracking service that launched late last year. On Class Badges teachers create goals for their students. When students reach their goals teachers give them a badge to them to keep in their student profiles. Teachers can create goals for things like completing a large research project, for perfect attendance, or for completing an informal learning activity with their parents while visiting a local museum. This month they have added the option to create your own custom badges for anything that you would like to track and reward your students for doing.

Applications for Education
Class Badges is being used by some teachers to help students track their progress toward the completion of large research projects. Some teachers are using Class Badges to document students' mastery of key elements of course curriculum.