Friday, March 18, 2011

Happy Birthday to The Innovative Educator - 2011

Happy Birthday to The Innovative Educator! You will be three years old tomorrow, March 19th.

It was exactly three years ago tomorrow that The Innovative Educator took its first step in an effort to publicly become a part of the conversation on learning innovatively. As I shared in my post Why I started a blog and why maybe you should too, this blog was born in great part due to the prodding of blogevangelist Will Richardson who I have since named my Blogfather. It was Will who I would run into at events and conferences who would ask, “Have you started sharing your ideas on a blog yet?” and who would write, “if you want your ideas to resonate with me and to be taken seriously, don’t just talk. Engage. Publish. Converse.”

I took Will’s advice and like any proud parent, I can say I’ve learned so much from the experience of giving birth to this new creation that has developed a purposeful and professional digital footprint consisting of more than 600  entries. Now, when I'm Googled, it is me and my blog that comes up on the front page. And, there are all sorts of other important footprints that The Innovative Educator has made. Its print is left on the front page of Google searches like: learning innovatively, cell phones in education, uschooling, passion driving or passion based learning, personal learning networks, ADD/ADHD, shortcomings of interactive whiteboards, and more.

I’ve watched my baby blog grow from no readers to an average of 125 unique visitors a day it’s first year to 336 a day last year to 636 a day this year.

This year I published nearly double the amount of posts as last year with the help of contributors Jeff Branzburg and his provocative digital comics, Jacob Gutnicki and his on-the-ground insights and school-based stories and my newest contributors grown unschooler Kate Berring and unschooling mom Victoria Bergman.  

Among the most popular of posts from The Innovative Educator  this year are listed by category below:

Passion Driven Learning
Profile of a Passion-Driven Student 2011-Jan-2
Preparing Students for Success by Helping Them Discover and Develop Their Passions 2010-Dec-25
Keeping it real. Ideas for Schools, Educators, and Students. 2011-Mar-3
The Answer to Teacher Retention: Find Passion (Not Data) Driven Schools 2011-Feb-13
Differentiating Instruction is NOT Hard if We Tap into Student’s Passions! 2010-Nov-22

Harnessing the Power of Cell Phones for Learning
5 Steps to Harness the Power of Cells in Education Today 2010-Jun-23
Innovative Ways to Engage Learners with Cell Phones Using Research-Based Strategies  2010-Apr-22
It's not a question of if, but when your school will allow cell phones for learning 2010-Jun-24
6 Ways to Use Cell Phones to Strengthen the Home-School Connection 2010-Aug-19 

Learning to Read without School 2011-Jan-9
I Learned How To Write Without School 2011-Jan-27
Profiles of Adults Who Were Passion Driven Students - Their Secret? They Didn’t Go To School. 2011-Jan-8
20 Characteristics I’ve Discovered about Unschoolers and Why Innovative Educators Should Care 2011-Jan-7
We would prefer not to take your tests. 2011-Jan-17
Hey Teacher! Leave Us Kids Alone!!!- There’s A School for That! 2011-Jan-17
What if kids designed their learning? Here are some resources to get started. 2011-Jan-21
5 things I learned about boredom from unschooling 2010-Dec-1

Cure ADHD without Drugs with These Resources from Doctors, Educators, and Parents 2011-Feb-5
Passion (Not Drugs) As Treatment for ADD/ADHD 2011-Jan-25
Sir Ken Robinson Sets Us Straight On What Is Wrong with Education 2011-Jan-21
The War on Kids. Zero Tolerance 2011-Jan-15

Education Reform
20 Ideas for Parents Sick of Waiting for Superman and Tired of Having Their Children Race to Nowhere 2011 -Feb 21
Why Can’t We Empower Parents with the Dollars to Reform Education? 2011-Mar-1
Reforming Reform - Five Ideas for Improving Education 2011-Mar-2
10 Proven Strategies to Break the Ban and Build Opportunities for Student Learning 2010-Nov-3
5 Pieces of Advice for Lawyers Trying to Scare Educators Who Think Outside The Ban 2010-Sep-24

Learning Innovatively
Don't Force Others Back to The Past! A Dozen Ideas to Help Educators Update and Enhance Traditional Meetings 2011-Mar-8
10 Reasons Students Say They Prefer Learning Online 2010-Nov-18
Google Voice Provides Every Teacher with a Personal Secretary 2010-Apr-17
When and How Should Kids Learn to Type? 2011-Feb-8
10 Ways Technology Supports 21st Century Learners in Being Self Directed 2011-Jan-28

Social Media / Digital Footprints
5 Real Examples of Using Twitter for Education 2010-Jun-29
8 Real Ways Facebook Enriched Ms. Schoening’s First Grade Class 2010-Jul-15
10 Ways Facebook Strengthens the Student - Teacher Connection 2011-Feb-3
The 9 Step Plan to Combating illTWITTERacy 2010-Oct-14
Facebook Doesn’t Get Teachers Fired - Inappropriate Behavior Does 2010-Oct-18
Controlling your digital identity is as easy as 1-2-3 2010-Jul-18
Principal who used to block, now offers guidance to skeptical admins in social media use 2010-Aug-6
Eight Reasons An Innovative Educator Uses Twitter 2010-Sep-3
The Innovative Educator’s Advice for Managing Your Digital Footprint 2010-Dec-23

Personal Learning Networks
The PLN Matures. The Progression of the 21st Century Personal Learning Network 2010-Aug-18
5 Ways to Build Your 1.0 and 2.0 Personal Learning Network 2010-Aug-1
Want to be a great teacher? Don’t go to PD. 2010-Aug-3
5 Readings and 2 Videos to Help Others Get Going with Personal Learning Networks 2010-Aug-18
Think you’re a Digital Immigrant? Get Over It! 2010-Sep-9

The Uselessness of Interactive Whiteboards   
The Ten No Nos of Teaching with a Projector or Interactive Whiteboard 2010-May-10
Erase Unnecessary Costs by Getting Smart about Interactive Whiteboards 2010-May-14
Gary Stager Finally Shares Why He Thinks Interactive Whiteboards / Smartboards Suck 2011-Feb-23

As a result of The Innovative Educator I have had the opportunity to contribute to other media outlets.  In addition to Leading and Learning and Tech & Learning magazine and blogs, this year I have also added to the list, The Huffington Post, Ed Reformer and Mindshift.  Additionally, I have my first book  "Teaching Generation Text" slated for release this fall.  The success of The Innovative Educator has enabled me to present keynote presentations on ways to think outside the ban and educate innovatively at conferences where educators, principals, superintendents and school board members are present and to serve on panels at conferences like Tech Forum and the 140 Character Conference.

You also now have Authority! Growing from being just one of millions of blogs to gaining a credible 464 authority rating on Technorati. But, even before anybody was reading The Innovative Educator, you enriched my life with opportunities to practice my writing skills and articulate and develop my thoughts.

The Innovative Educator has helped me understand the power of influence and given me an outlet to share with my readers about what I love most – “Educating Innovatively!” So, happy third birthday… and many more!


  1. Happy Birthday! Your work is important to our children. Wishing you continued growth and success in the coming year!

  2. Happy birthday! I love being a part of this!

  3. Happy Birthday, Lisa! ;0) Thanks for the shout out...glad you finally listened to me!

  4. @Vickie and Kate Fridkis, thanks so much! I'm thrilled to have you both as my sharing and learning partners!

    @Will Richardson, I'm glad I finally listened to you too!