Obviously edublogs.org is waaaay below the standard of something like The Webbys but at the same time there are plenty of sites and tools which, from an educational perspective, are certainly not (for example, elgg springs to mind)… and it seems a great shame that a peak awards body like The Webbys- and lets face it, with debatable tangible results awards matter a great deal in education – should be so utterly content obsessed as to include almost nothing but ‘material’, ‘spark’ and ‘resource’ sites in this years offering.
It’s like when it comes to these things real learning flys out the window to be replaced by flash / worksheet based paraphernalia. The Barbicans Can I have a word? site is a classic example, great snazzy resources and worksheets – woohoo. The NASA site doesn’t, thankfully, use Flash but might as well for the amount of stuff on it – sigh. BioEd is at least targeted at teachers (more of that needs to happen) but it’s level of authentic engagement is limited to a bloody poll on the front page – sheesh. And the library of congress – well – it’s a library site… deserving of a separate category in my view.
The one standout, almost, is Teenwire which allows kids to discuss, share stories and ask questions related to sexuality and relationships… but needless to say that didn’t win the judges or the peoples voice awards, and more to the point, while it’s a great individual project (and should be recognised as such) it ‘aint gonna change the way we teach and learn through this medium to any significant degree – which, IMO, should be a clear category in an area which needs a lot of change.
Now I’m not saying there’s no need for these sites as resources, worksheets and more are very very important, especially in a K-12 environment, but I am saying that I think elearning 2.0 is starting to recognise that the most important aspect of learning is authentic communication and interaction, it’s social didn’t you know. How long it’ll take ‘the establishment’ to catch up with this (if it ever will) I don’t know, but in the meantime you know where not to look for sites and tools that are progressing teaching and learning online beyond the multi-million $ production models.