CASTLE adds 3 new blog partners!

As part of our never-ending quest to tap into the potential of social media to enhance the practice of school administrators (and the university programs that prepare them), I am pleased to announce that CASTLE has added three new blogs to its portfolio. Two of the three blogs have been in existence for a long while; the third is a new blog by a faculty colleague.

Are we trying to become the Weblogs, Inc. or Gawker Media (or Education Week) of the edublogosphere? No, not exactly. But we ARE trying to assemble a portfolio of blogs that meet the various technology and/or leadership needs of practicing school leaders.

Our blogs

Here are the blogs that we've initiated to date (and their topical focus):

  1. Dangerously Irrelevant (technology, leadership, and school reform)
  2. LeaderTalk (school leadership; group blog)
  3. Edjurist (school law; group blog)
  4. 1to1 Schools (1:1 laptop programs; group blog)
  5. To this mix, we've now added the following (which fill in a few significant topical areas in which we were lacking)...

    5. Virtual High School Meanderings (online schooling)

    Dr. Michael Barbour, an Assistant Professor at Wayne State University, has been blogging about online schooling for years. As you'll see if you read it for a while, if it has to do with online schooling, you'll likely find it at Michael's blog. Michael posts A LOT; the comprehensiveness of information he provides is astounding. Michael also maintains a virtual schooling wiki or you can follow him on Twitter. Michael's blog soon will be renamed Virtual School Meanderings to reflect the growth of online schooling in earlier grades. 

    Here are some representative posts to get you started:

    • Idaho needs our attention
    • Documenting Clovis - End of semester edition
    • The impact of opencourseware on paid enrollment in distance learning courses
    • Virtual schooling in the news
    • Virtual schooling presentations at SITE
    • 6. Educational Games Research (educational gaming)

      John Rice is an educator, author, and speaker, as well as a doctoral student at the University of North Texas, who has been blogging about educational gaming since February 2007. I am a learner in the area of educational gaming so I always gain a lot from John's posts. John does a nice job of looking at K-12 and higher education and also includes a post now and then on corporate simulations, serious gaming, and the like.

      Here are some representative posts to get you started:

      • Learning STEMs from McLarin's Adventures in Oklahoma
      • Animating the news: How videogame technologies can alter our perceptions of real live events
      • How to design an educational video game: Three important considerations
      • Study: Reaction times lowered via video games
      • Toy spy robots: A practical way to teach programming
      • 7. School Finance 101 (school finance / policy)

        I have known Dr. Bruce Baker, school finance professor extraordinaire, for many years. Bruce is a fantastic scholar. His interests extend far beyond school finance to include a variety of policy and leadership issues. Those of us in educational leadership academic circles know that Bruce is not afraid to take on the establishment and confront uncomfortable political and educational truths. I was delighted to see that Bruce started blogging more extensively last fall and was even more pleased when he agreed to join us. Bruce writes about deep, significant school funding and/or policy issues, but does so in a way that's accessible to those of us who aren't experts in this area. You also can find Bruce on Twitter.

        Here are some representative posts to get you started:

        • Racial achievement gaps and within-district funding inequity
        • Why do states with the "best" data systems have the worst schools?
        • Pondering the usefulness of value-added assessment of teachers
        • NCTQ teacher quality ratings: Where's the "quality?"
        • New Jersey teacher salaries: Spiraling out of control?
        • I encourage you to subscribe to all three of these blogs for a while. There is some really important information and thinking coming out of all three of these channels. I can guarantee that you'll learn a lot and gain some valuable resources for your own work.

          Next steps

          What lies ahead for the CASTLE blogs? Well, we will be shifting a couple of our existing blogs over to WordPress, so you'll see some visual changes and added functionality in the next few months. We're going to add some new authors to our group blogs, particularly LeaderTalk and 1to1 Schools. And we're in conversations with our sponsor, the University Council for Educational Administration, about initiating a blog that deals with school leadership for social justice. If you've got some other suggestions for us, or know of a blog that might be a good addition to our portfolio, let me know!

          Happy reading!

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