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“And I’d like to thank…”

December 9, 2007

The Edublog Awards are probably the closest thing we have in the Edublogosphere to an “Oscar” ceremony, but I wonder if I’m the only one thinking that there is something missing? What I want to know is, why there aren’t categories for pupil entries… and is it time to start a separate Awards ceremony for the great work done by pupils?

Edublog Awards Logo
It’s always an honour to be given recognition for good work. It is a vindication of your efforts, and in the education sphere, it is also an acknowledgement that you are making a genuine and positive difference to the lives of those you are responsible for educating. Events like the Edublogs Award ceremony are a fantastic and worthwhile idea, not least because they introduce you to new people and ideas from the world of education. I really can’t fault the whole process (even though I think that Don or Ewan should have won their category! 😉 ) …but…

I was very disappointed to see the lack of representation of student work. If you’re involved in edublogging then you are unlikely to have missed the launch tomorrow of Student2.0. This attempt to give students a genuine forum where they can give an end-users view of Education2.0 is, I hope, the thin end of the wedge. However, it did remind me that the categories in the Edublog Awards are geared to the educators… they highlight the pedagogy and practitioners… they reward the good teachers… they do not praise and celebrate the innovative and incredible work being done by the pupils…

I think we now have enough pupils and students and learners producing blogs and wikis and goodness knows all what to justify having an Awards Ceremony to celebrate their work. I think that we have to realise that the pupils and students deserve to have their work praised and recognised on a national and international scale, and there is no intrinsic reason why this should not be the case… so I have an idea!


SL CeremonyI propose that we should set up an awards ceremony to celebrate and share the great work being done by the people we are educating….
It should be open to any pupil or group of pupils, anywhere, in any language…
The categories could be based on those used in the Edublog Awards, with suitable additions…
The results should be decided by pupil and educator voting…
Students and educators should be allowed to nominate entries, with a final nomination list selected by a panel of suitably qualified judges (made up of students and educators)…
I don’t necessarily think there should be prizes per se, the awards should be a means of recognition rather than an incentive…
I think we should get started on this idea now!


My initial thought is to aim to hold the award ceremony in September during the Scottish Learning Festival. This is one of the best education conferences anywhere in the world, and has a strong history of focussing on education rather than being a trade show. It has a superb and dedicated ‘Education Village’ which illustrates the work being done in Scotland, but the SLF has always had a very strong international flavour. As such, I think it would be a superb venue to have a ‘real’ awards ceremony which would also be shared live online using a variety of tools such as Second Life, uStream and GLOW….

What do you think?

I know this is no more than an idea at the moment, but it is one which I believe has merit and which should be developed. I am willing to coordinate the idea if you think it has potential, and I already have a few ideas for potential support. I’d love to know what you think, and would appreciate it if you could leave any comments and ideas here at the moment. Similarly, I’d appreciate it if you could pass this post on to anyone you think might be interested in the idea.

What next?

Initially, I want to see if there is enough interest in the idea, but I’ll move to a wiki to start hammering out the details later… so, please give this some thought, and use the comments to make your suggestions about any aspect of the idea… and please take the time to talk about this with your students and pupils…. after all, we know they have something worth saying so isn’t it about time we started listening and recognising this?

[UPDATE: I’ve just heard from the Bassplayer that Student2.0 won a Convener’s Award in the Edublogs Awards… and they’ve yet to go live! See Sean’s comment below!]   

13 Comments leave one →
  1. December 9, 2007 12:36 pm

    Yeah, there was originally a student category, but I’m not sure what happened to it. Arthus got nominated for best individual blog though.

    Surprisingly Students 2.0 got the covenor’s award! Although it isn’t in the awards post…

    I was disappointed however at a comment aimed at Arthus… that he should be waiting his turn, waiting until the educators had moved on before he should be getting the award.

  2. December 9, 2007 12:38 pm

    And I think you’re on to an idea btw… 🙂 I’d be more than happy to help with it too

  3. December 9, 2007 12:40 pm

    I also spelled convener’s wrong in the first comment… I’m obviously not with it today

  4. December 9, 2007 2:27 pm

    What a great idea. There are many student bloggers who deserve some sort of recognition for their commitment to blogging. I would want to see it open to all students or have categories for all students so holding the awards in Second Life or something similar would restrict that.
    Look forward to hearing more about this.

  5. December 9, 2007 2:47 pm

    Hi Lynne,
    I was really just meaning holding the awards ceremony itself in SL, as well as as many other ways of broadcasting it as could be managed.

    I think what will be interesting is the potential categories that could be devised…

    As an aside, what a great bunch of bloggers your class are! Lots to read and enjoy (and comment on) in their blogs.

  6. December 9, 2007 5:00 pm

    Hi Neil

    I thought that the event went really well last night. It appeared that voting was up on last year and that they were trying hard to exclude block voting. I’m also amazed at the number of folk that I know who were ‘in-world’, the problem was that I didn’t know any of their SL names!

    I think your proposal is sound and that it is necessary, both to celebrate what has gone on and drive forward innovative uses of new technologies (and collaborative/constructivist/conversational learning).

    I’d be delighted to help out in any small way that I can.

    BTW Although my mind was blown by watching my avatar live via uStream and the ScienceRoll guy blogging (and snapping) live, I thought that the turn-out in SL and uStream (don’t know about Skype) was low, and in world-wide terms, rather insignificant.

  7. December 9, 2007 5:09 pm

    I had real problems getting on to the SL island as there were only a maximum of 50 people allowed on it. This ‘maximum permitted people’ is not something I’d encountered in SL before so I don’t know if it is the norm or a limitation or a financial thing… As such, it is maybe too early to condemn the turn-out…

    Incidentally, I’m like you, I was there (sitting just behind Mrs Blethers and to the side of Ewan), but didn’t know who anyone was… for what it’s worth, I’m ScottishBlog Writer in SL… I’ll maybe see you there in future!

  8. December 9, 2007 9:07 pm

    Hi Neil
    Great idea. What a wonderful way to try to get more students involved in blogging and reflecting about what is going on and what should be going on in their education. I didn’t attend the awards but read about them, but I wonder how “fair” is the voting.

  9. December 10, 2007 9:54 am

    A great idea Mr W! – one of the issues I have about the edublog awards is the fair criticism of the technorati patting themselves on the back. Let’s get it back in focus. What’s the point of educational awards if the focus isn’t on the pupils? Like David, whatever I can do to help…

  10. December 10, 2007 12:07 pm

    Thanks everyone for the kind comments (and links)… I think this may be a definite maybe! I’ll see how much more interest ther is, so if you’re dithering about saying anything… don’t! (And that includes pupils!)


  11. December 11, 2007 1:15 am

    I’m in. But, instead of the typical awards routine, it would be better if there was a system that recognized a larger percentage of student bloggers. Perhaps there could be a top 100 list of individual student bloggers in multiple categories. Give many students around the globe the opportunity to be recognized for their ideas and content. Excellent idea!

  12. December 11, 2007 4:23 pm

    This is something that we have discussed in East Lothian; awards in recognition of excellent Web-logs.

    I will bring it up at our next EduBuzz Meeting and let you know our latest thoughts.


  13. December 11, 2007 8:49 pm

    @George Mayo: I hope that the new Student2.0 blog will give us access to the best student blogging/new tech use out there… I would worry that there may not be enough bloggers out there to warrant a top 100 (yet!)… but part of the exercise would be to see what is out there and to celebrate it!

    @Tess: I’ll be very keen to hear what you guys think! I’m definitely thinking on a global scale for the awards… but having seen what is going on in East Lothian, you’d have to think there would be a high level of representation from there. Keep me in the loop and I’ll get the next bottle of wine! 😉

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