In conjunction with the fast approaching ACEC2010 conference, (I have less than a week to get my presentations ready but who’s worried about that :), the organisers have initiated the ACCE Australasian Educational Media Awards. With sponsorship from Edsoft, the awards have been created to
…… acknowledge the contribution of Australasian educators who support the learning community through blogs, wikis, podcasts, forums, mailing lists, virtual communities and other internet resources.
Now I need to add a number of disclaimers here before I continue.
- This blog has been kindly nominated by one of my colleagues
- I also have nominated another exceptional blogger who’s pedigree in this area has stood the test of time
- I am not a great believer that the quality or efficacy of a blog, wiki or other social networking site can be reflected in a popular vote, (in this case a popular vote serves as only 20% of the final award criteria)
- There are numerous other bloggers etc whose work has been of high quality over an extended or short period of time whose spaces have not been nominated
Each of these caveats aside, these awards and others like them, do serve a number of important functions. In highlighting how readily educators are willing to share their expertise and findings and how powerful an influence this sharing has become, these and other spaces like them, raise really important questions about models of professional development that are traditionally supported and promoted by schools and educational authorities. Learning for teachers can now be truly incremental and centred around the teacher’s need. The greatest impediment to this style of learning are the demands of the system and or school to follow or complete traditional forms of PD. The breadth and number of nominations in this and other groups suggests the wheel may be turning.
Another positive from nominating spaces for these sort of awards is the opportunity to expand and explore. Even though learning networks are very much in vogue and many of the nominees are important nodes in the networks they inhabit, networks like schools can stagnate without renewal and participants moving in and out of the network. Checking through the list of nominees gives a chance for such renewal at the same time giving new entrants to the notion of networking a chance to vet and follow some practitioners with a proven track record.
The listings also highlight the many places along the continuum that make up the continuing development in the use of these spaces and associated technology. Even though there may be some common features to their work, very few of the nominees have begun their experiences in the same space nor have they nuanced them according to a set of guidelines. All speak with a voice that is identifiable and authentic.
So even if you don’t want to vote for any of the nominees, (and indeed in writing this post I am definitely NOT canvassing for votes for this blog), take some time to check through the other 42 nominees, you will definitely find more than the odd gem or three.
Update: Despite my suggestion that the use of social media and the like enables a whole new group of “experts” to share their work and findings, John Connell, one of the most authentic voices in this whole process, sounds a cautionary note in posing the question, Who are the Information Imposters? Though the context is slightly different, keynote presentations as opposed to blogging and notwithstanding that I would be extremely surprised if any of the ACCE Award nominations are information imposters, Alan Coady in commenting on John’s post makes a good point in stating….
……… we’ve probably all, at one time or another, been guilty of innocently giving the impression that we have a more complete handle on a given subject than eventually turns out to be the case.
But then again isn’t it the nub of all learning.