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The Edublog Awards 2005 Press Release

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Recent news regarding student use of weblogs has not been particularly positive. Fears that students may misuse the platform, or conversely, find themselves at the mercy of evil blog trawlers, have lead to institutions calling a halt to student blogging – in at least one instance, even in the students own time. Rather than looking at how the curriculum might best address the task of supporting learners in becoming responsible, web-savvy citizens, sites such as MySpace and Zanga – are instead being outlawed.

And it isn’t just obviously recreational sites that are being blocked on school networks. Although educators, learners and researchers have been using blogs constructively for over five years now, educational weblogs – edublogs – are currently being blocked at district level by school authorities. In effect, this means that despite the recognition by multiple governments of the value of e-learning (to individuals and economies), and despite an emerging body of research and numerous examples of great educational practice, weblogs – which provide a simple way for educators and students to create and participate in collaborative, conversational and distributed learning communities – are being excluded from the day-to-day business of education.

This year sees the second international Edublog Awards, a web based event that recognises the many diverse and imaginative ways in which weblogs are being used within education, and promotes positive and creative uses of new web technologies in the classroom. Peer nominated blogs from across the globe are currently competing in 10 categories – Most innovative edublogging project, service or programme; Best newcomer; Most influential post, resource or presentation; Best designed/most beautiful edublog; Best library/librarian blog; Best teacher blog; Best audio and/or visual blog; Best example/ case study of use of weblogs within teaching and learning; Best group blog; and Best individual blog.

The full list, descriptive paragraphs, and links to all the finalists can be found at the Edublog Awards site – providing a powerful example of how educators are harnessing the potential of weblog technology, and a rich snapshot of the methods and practices of the learners and educators at the forefront of educational technology today.

Voting is open until December 17th. Winners will be announced at the awards event webcast, hosted by Worldbridges on Sunday December 18th, 15:00 GMT.

This years awards are being managed by Josie Fraser, a UK based educational technologist and blogger. For more information, please contact her via 2005awards at googlemail dot com

Student’s ordered to remove blogs: http://channels.lockergnome.com/political/archives/20051026_high_school_students_ordered_to_remove_blogs_from_myspace_xanga.phtml
Edublogs being blocked: http://incsub.org/blog/2005/edublogs-being-blocked
The Edublog Awards:
Edublog Awards voting open:
Worldbridges – Global Webcasts, Podcasts & New Media: http://worldbridges.com/livewire/

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