2009 Edublog Award Nominations

edublogawardsblogAn Edublog is a blog written by someone with a stake in education (teacher, instructor, policy maker, corporate educator, etc.). Now in it’s sixth year, the Edublog Awards “seek to recognize excellence in the use of blogs and social media to facilitate education.”

Here are my nominations, by category, for the 2009 Edublog Awards:

Best individual blog:
elearnspace (George Siemens). I just love George’s writing style and spin on things. I often find myself reading and scratching my head thinking “holy crap I never thought of it that way…damn you George Siemens for screwing up my entire understanding of <insert topic>!”  A teacher and a blogger for sure.

Best individual tweeter:
Mark Oehlert (@moehlert). Mark has a background in anthropology and history and has worked in e-learning for ~10 years (currently working in the government sector).  He seems to always have his finger on the pulse of e-learning and his unique background means you’ll get some fascinating links and a unique spin. He’s a giver too – frequently carrying conversations forward with re-tweets and replies. Can’t forget his wicked sense of humor. One of the ‘who’s who’ in e-learning.

Best group blog:
The three group blogs I read this year were (by mid-year) gone, abandoned, or no longer a group effort. The one I do read I also post to so I abstain. (Although not voting sends its own message, huh? Especially when you go through the trouble of writing it out like this. La la. la. I can’t hear you.)

Best new blog:
performance.learning. productivity (Charles Jennings). The former CLO for Reuters and Thomson Reuters and current Director of Duntroon Associates writes deep, reflective posts and has a wealth of experience and advice. A must read.

Best student blog:
Mathemagenic. Up until the middle of the year and for years prior, Lilia Efimova has documented her Ph.D work on her blog. She openly shares her work and insights and I learn something every time I visit her blog.

Best resource sharing blog:
Centre for Learning and Performance Technology and Jane’s E-Learning Pick of the Day (both from Jane Hart). Always a wealth of information, I frequently turn to Jane’s site to discover new tools and view her directories.  I’m pretty sure Jane Hart is more than one person but have yet to prove that ; )  She’s everywhere!

Most influential blog post(s):
There are two on the same topic. #1: The Great Keynote Meltdown of 2009 and #2 Spectacle at Web 2.0 Expo…from my perspective. There were a lot of postings, tweets, and  conversations at conferences about the ever-present backchannel – at face-to-face events, during webinars, etc. Here are two posts that highlight the worst of that and both serve as catalysts for productive conversation.

Most influential tweet / series of tweets / tweet based discussion:
@lrnchat (#lrnchat) is a weekly (Thursday 8:30-10:00 pm ET) discussion on Twitter hosted by @marciamarcia, @quinnovator, @moehlert @koreenolbrish and @janebozarth.#lrnchat is “a place for people interested in the topic of learning who use the social messaging service Twitter to learn from one another and discuss how to help other people learn.” Transcripts are posted on the #lrnchat blog. Regrettably, I have a weekly conflict (hockey) with the time but always follow the next-day transcript. If you can jump into the live conversation, I encourage you to do so. If not, browse the transcript. #lrnchat is kind of like ice hockey – fast moving puck, some slapshots, a couple of checks, and some excellent stick handling. And, on some weeks some drunken hecklers. Pass. Shoot. Score. (but don’t let the hockey analogy scare you away, you’ll learn a lot at #lrnchat).

Best teacher blog:
dy/dan I don’t read a lot of teacher blogs but if I did I bet there wouldn’t be a lot of blogs by math teachers on the list. This one definitely would. He’s the kind of math teacher that appears on Good Morning America.

Best educational tech support blog:
Pipwerks.com (Philip Hutchison). Categories include e-learning, JavaScript, SCORM, and web design – just what I thought of when someone said “tech support” while sitting in a fabric-covered cube along side other fabric-covered cubes in a department called ‘learning & development.’ Sometimes I wanted to cry when conversations included the acronyms SCORM and SME. I think Philip can probably make SCOs snarky and fun. Philip also has a Lab where he posts coding experiments. I know, right? (BTW, nice having dinner with you in San Jose, Philip.)

Best elearning / corporate education blog:
Two things come to mind about this category – aggregation sites with no original posts and ‘how to guides’ for a specific elearning too.  Adventures in Corporate Education (Gina Minks) is neither of those. Gina writes a variety of posts that include concepts, tools, companies, organizations and education. And, she’s a practitioner so her postings carry some extra weight I think.

Best educational use of audio:
Xyleme Voices features podcast interviews with industry analysts, consultants, and practitioners in the field of learning. The site is managed by Dawn Poulos.

Best educational use of video / visual:
MasterNewMedia (Robin Good) – Robin Good publishes news for “individuals, entrepreneurs, communication managers, and educators in development, research, and training institutions worldwide.”  His topics go beyond education and cover information design and data visualization, interface and navigation design, learning technologies, social networking, video-Internet television, with easy-to-understand guides and  comparisons.

Best educational use of a social networking service:
LearnTrends Online Conference on Ning (George Siemens, Tony Karrer, Jay Cross).

Best educational use of a virtual world:
In spite of her dislike of heavy metal music,  I’ve been following Sarah Stewart’s SecondLife Education New Zealand (SLENZ) project. Sarah is a midwife and educator who helped create a virtual birth unit in Second Life. In the event you want to check out the virtual birth unit, here’s the link. (For the record I did listen to heavy metal music while in labor with no adverse effects. Except for my son’s rock-n-roll hair. Nice rock hair. Not glam rock hair or a mullet. That would be lame.)

Lifetime achievement:
Stephen Downes OLDaily. As one of four writers for a relatively new daily group blog, I am amazed at Downes’ ability to post relevant content EVERY DAY. If I’m traveling or something and get behind in my reading (1000+ unread on my Google Reader for instance just this morning), I’ll review his before I hit ‘mark all read’ on the rest. This way I know I’m not missing something big. My work often collides with his ideology but I have to say over the past several years, he has influenced me.

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