Some key quotations:
“I realize this isn’t going to win me many fans, and I’m likely to lose followers on Twitter and subscribers to my blog, but I guess that would be my point. How many people have jumped on the Edublog Award bandwagon and think it’s a good idea? Is anyone out there giving pause long enough to think about whether educational leaders should be ‘recognizing excellence’ in a way that pits us against each other as we vie for artificially scarce awards?”
“There is an award for ‘The Best Student Blog’. This year, five children who attend K-12 schools somewhere in the world named Jaden, Miriam, Jake, Jarrod and Gemma were pit against each other so adults could vote for their favorite. Would this be an appropriate way to ‘recognize excellence’ in your classroom? If not, then why is this okay?”
“The issue isn’t over who was nominated or who won, rather, the real issue is that anyone is nominated or that anyone wins or loses. I don’t disparage the winners anymore than the losers (full disclosure: I was nominated) — but I do wish that this kind of recognition was not artificially scarce and dispersed to only a select, popular few.”
Full post can be found here.
I wanted to also share my comment to this blog:
Thanks for writing this post, Joe. I’ve been thinking a lot about the entire Twitter, blogging, and #edtech “PLN” and promotion, and I feel like the critical perspective is the minority and marginalized group.
Tyson asks about your disclaimer at the beginning. I can see why you’d want to write them. You mention “groupthink” and this is a key implication here. I found it also with #pencilchat. There are K-12 edtech trends, values, practices, and even particular practitioners that gain popularity. I sit in front of my laptop, asking “WHY, WHY WHY!?” Are people thinking about who/what they are promoting? What is the purpose & what are the implications of such things like Edublog Awards? Sure, one may claim we are recognizing key educators and classrooms sharing and collaborating. What about the blogs that are only read by a select few? What about those teachers who don’t blog at all but do collaborative and transparent learning themselves and/or with their students? What about those who don’t even know about all of this…?
I see a large number of educators celebrating each other here on Twitter and through these Edublog awards, but I think it takes away from the heart of the matter. Why is blogging – or more specifically, the sharing, reflection, and collaboration of learning – important? Are we working to help other recognize these affordances or are we too busy voting away? The work often needs to be done off-line…