Best of 2012 – These are a few of my favorite things!

best of 2012 fireworksIt seems like everyone has a “Best of” list going right now as we wrap up 2012…so why not me too?  Here is some of what I’ve really enjoyed this year…


GigaOm: I love this blog. It is just chock full of interesting info. The posts are often short blurbs, so easy to skim through a bunch of info quickly.  Mostly focuses on tech.

Barking up the Wrong Tree: This blog, written by Eric Barker, is just a lot of fun. Often thought-provoking, sometimes silly, always enjoyable.  The range of topics is wide.

The Creativity Post: I watch this blog primarily for the articles about creativity, but there’s a lot of other stuff here too. Sometimes I’m annoyed by their content because it can be a bit pseudo-scientific…those are the posts I don’t tweet!!

MindShift: This is a blog on the KQED page that focuses on learning, technology and culture.  All things I’m interested in and this one deserves a thumbs up.

From Experience to Meaning: I don’t remember how I came across this blog, but it’s written by Pedro de Bruyckere, from Belgium, and focuses on kids, education and culture. What I really enjoy about Pedro’s writing is that he’s all about using science to debunk some of our popular myths about learning.


Frank Catalano (@FrankCatalano): Many of you know Frank from his writings on GeekWire. Frank is an edtech guru and consultant and a lot of fun to follow on twitter.

Jennifer Borgioli (@DataDiva): Jennifer is so great to follow because she is a fearless advocate and defender of data-based solutions for education. She’s smart, savvy and able to make amazing arguments in 140 characters!

Audrey Watters (@audreywatters): Audrey is an education writer and self-described rabble-rousers. And I like rabble rousers. I don’t always agree with Audrey, but she almost always makes me think.

Arne Duncan (@arneduncan): The Secretary of Education; the man many love to hate.  For my part? I kind of like him and agree with much of what he says. Except when he waxes poetic in his tweets.


The Thiagi Group: You’re going to look at this site and think, “Hmmm, not very fancy. Not very pretty. Don’t they have a web designer??” But don’t let that dissuade you. Thiagi is a brilliant trainer and performance improvement expert. Try the free training games for yourself and see if you don’t agree.

TeacherCast: I might be a bit biased on this one, since TeacherCast republishes my blog posts. But Jeff Bradbury, who almost singlehandedly runs TeacherCast, is on a mission to provide great resources for teachers.

CNET: Cnet is a combination product review/product news/deals/how-to site for all things tech. It’s worth checking here before making a tech purchase.


TabPilot: TabPilot is a tablet management system that, in my opinion, gets it right. I wrote about them earlier this year here.

Native Numbers: This number sense app, by Native Brain, is well designed and fun to use.  And Native Brain, its developer, is committed to creating apps that demonstrate actual learning impact. Imagine that!  I wrote about Native Numbers here earlier this year and you can find it in the app store by clicking here.

Socrative Student Response System: I’m totally on board with the student “clickers” that pretty much everyone uses.  I wrote a whitepaper a  while back about best practices for clickers….you can read the highlights here.  But the reason I’m wild for Socrative is that they provide a student response app.  So teachers can use Socrative with whatever devices they have in their classrooms; they can even use Socrative with a BYOD program.  No more purchasing hunks of plastic that can’t be easily upgraded.


Inbound Marketing: Get Found Using Google, Social Media, and Blogs by Halligan & Shah: I just think this book is brilliant.  Easy to read and gives tons of great ideas…especially for those launching start-ups on a shoestring budget (like me!).

Business Model Generation : A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers and Challengers by Osterwalder & Pigneur: Not a new book, and familiar to many.  But the whole business model canvas approach really works.

Don’t Make Me Think: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability by Steve Krug: This is a must-read for anyone relying on a website to drive their business.  Which means pretty much everyone.

Well, I think that about wraps it up.  Thanks, readers, for all of your support and comments in 2012!  Looking forward to a great 2013 learning more together!


About karen mahon

i am a behavior and learning scientist. i hold an ed.d. in educational psychology and am trained as an instructional designer. i have spent more than 15 years working in education and instructional software design.
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5 Responses to Best of 2012 – These are a few of my favorite things!

  1. Jeff Durso says:

    Excited to see “Native Numbers” on your Best of 2012 list – looking forward to a 2013 filled with learning impact!

  2. Hello there! I know this is kinda off topic however I’d
    figured I’d ask. Would you be interested in exchanging links or
    maybe guest authoring a blog post or vice-versa? My website discusses a lot of
    the same subjects as yours and I think we could greatly benefit from each other.

    If you’re interested feel free to shoot me an email.
    I look forward to hearing from you! Great blog by the way!

  3. Pingback: Have Questions? You Need ‘The Answer Pad’ | disrupt learning!

  4. Iris says:

    Although not present, I have loekod at several of these companies online to see if they could be adapted for medical education both for medical students and for patients This is exciting work and remarkable that newschools brings it all together

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