Yesterday morning (in Winnipeg) EdTechTalk hosted the awards ceremonies for the 2006 EduBlog Awards. K12 Online 2006 won in the category of Best Post, Resource or Presentation. Sheryl, Wes and I have said to each other many times: "This is really a win for the broad cross section of the edublogging community that came together to make it such a success." -- Congratulations, and thank you.
I neglected to mention one person who worked tirelessly and quietly behind the scenes. Without her poise, charm, sensitivity and class, K12 Online would have been less than it was: Lani Ritter-Hall. Thanks Lani, this is as much your win as anyone else's; both as a presenter and a volunteer who gave unselfishly of your time and energy for the benefit of us all.
Personally, I don't attach too much significance to these stats. The percentages would be a little more interesting if we also knew the total number of votes cast, but even then, I don't think it would be terribly relevant. The fact of a blog's nomination is the most significant datum here.
In order to be nominated your site must be blindly and consistently chosen by many different people as one of the best in a category. One email address, one nomination per category (I think). For me, the whole exercise could be concluded when the nominees are announced. The annual list of nominees is a significant contribution to my personal learning network.
The voting process is such that one person can vote many, many times as long as they do so from different computers. (How many computer labs are in your school?) As a matter of fact, a knowledgeable computer user could vote many times from the same computer. (What do you know about "cookies?")
Now it's possible that someone might use many different email addresses to skew the nominations in their favour but given the amount of time and effort required to do that I think it unlikely. The ease with which one person can cast multiple votes makes that a far more likely practice.
Are people actually doing these things? I don't know. And I don't really care. Look, it's nice to win. I would have been happy to win in my category but that I didn't doesn't really bother me. In my view, the fact of my nomination carries far greater significance. I think the same is true for all the nominees. I wish nothing but the best to all the winners ... and congratulations to everyone who was nominated! You've earned the recognition of your peers. Peers who really understand what it is you've been doing. Bravo!
The winners and nominees are, or rather, my reading list for next little while is:
Best Audio and/or Visual Blog
absolutely intercultural! Anne Fox (Denmark), Laurent Borgmann (Germany)
Best Group Blog:
Polar Science 2006 YES I Can! Science team, McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada Diane Hammond, Susan Stiff, and Dr. Tom Stiff (Canada)
Best Individual Blog:
Christopher D. Sessums :: Blog Christopher D. Sessums (USA)
Most Influential Post, Resource or Presentation:
K12 Online Conference 2006 Darren Kuropatwa (Canada), Sheryl Nussbaum-Beach (USA), Wes Fryer (USA)
- Barbara Ganley: Finding Our Way through the Edublogging Labyrinth
- danah boyd and Henry Jenkins: MySpace and Deleting Online Predators Act (DOPA)
- Terry Freedman et al: Coming of Age
Best Library/ Librarian Blog:
Hey Jude Judy O’Connell (Australia)
Best Research Paper:
Nancy White: Blogs and Community Nancy White (USA)
- Henry Jenkins et al: Confronting the challenges of participatory culture (PDF)
- Martin Owen et al: Social software and learning
- Ulises Mejias: Teaching social software with social software
Best Teacher Blog:
Have Fun with English! 2 Teresa Almeida d’Eça (Portugal)
Best Undergraduate Blog:
CILASS Student Blog University of Sheffield Student Ambassadors of the Centre for Inquiry-based Learning In the Arts and Social Sciences (England)
Flat Classroom Project Vicki Davis (USA), Julie Lindsay (Bangladesh)
Edublog Star Award (Convenors choice):
Duck Diaries Barbara Cohen (USA)