Edublog awards – Top 10 news events of the edublog year 2006

2006 – THE YEAR OF DISCOVERY

(my top 10 goes up to 11)

11. Patents trademarks and servicemarks OHMY!

On the 26th of July we all discovered that our industry had grown up when Blackboard filed suit against desire2learn for patent infringement. It seemed, suddenly, that Blackboard had invented the ‘common sign on to multiple courses where a person signing on was able to be in two courses at the same time’ or some such thing. We also heard that Web2.0 TM! and Podcast TM! are now part of the protected lexicon. By the end of 2001 it became very clear that everyone wasn’t going to be making infinite money infinitely on the interwebs… It takes about 5-7 years for patents to clear —> expect an onslaught.

10. Television

After years of being the bad boy on the block this year TV discovered that it could finally win the hearts and minds of parents all over by being the ‘safe place’ for kids to not exercise. A night has not gone by in 2006 without a crime drama relating the chilling tale of an axe murderer climbing out of someone’s monitor to slay Eunice the family Beagle.

9. A Series of Tubes

Senator Stevens discovered that he’s desperately in need to new assistants in his office. He revealed in a speech (that was supposed to lead to legislation) that my movie downloads were ‘clogging his tubes’ and that there was someone in that worked for him who seemed to think that the internet was a dumptruck. This is the only conclusion I can draw from the fact that, on June 28th, he said the following “

Ten movies streaming across that, that Internet, and what happens to your own personal Internet? I just the other day got… an Internet was sent by my staff at 10 o’clock in the morning on Friday, I got it yesterday. Why? [...] They want to deliver vast amounts of information over the Internet. And again, the Internet is not something you just dump something on. It’s not a big truck. It’s a series of tubes. And if you don’t understand those tubes can be filled and if they are filled, when you put your message in, it gets in line and it’s going to be delayed by anyone that puts into that tube enormous amounts of material, enormous amounts of material.

8. Burnout

This year any number of people in the edubloggosphere discovered that reading 1302 blogs everyday in your bloglines account is not going to cut your grass, read the latest Harry Potter novel or take your husband out to dinner. The sale of replacement delete keys soared as people hacked and slashed their RSS readers down to a reasonable 200 blogs.

7. Learning communities

This year we also discovered that we could learn together. The year was full of online conferences and new communities and new wikis that popped up to ‘support people’s learning in a collaborative way’ In the words of Jennifer Maddrell… It is hard to collaborate alone.

6. MMO – Second life

This year professional educator research and funding type people seem to have discovered that children like to play games. Especially fun ones. Massive multiplayer online games have been all the rage… second life and world of warcraft are the latest victory for 10 year olds on the battlefield of education. I’m not sure they notice… but now those ten hours a night are educational.

5. Content management systems – pligg elgg drupal

This is the year that I and many other folks discovered,. for the last time, that we have no business coding webpages for our students or for anyone else for that matter. Now we’ve got pligg and elgg and drupal and moodle and any number of a kagillion other products that somehow warrants Bluehost to offer us 50Gigs of space for a hundred dollars a year.

4. DOPA

The government discovered that legislation to ‘protect children’ (COPA) written in 1998 just might not be current enough to deal with the fastest developing technology of our time. The solution DOPA. Planners of this legislation started off solid, recognizing that D (DOPA) comes after C (COPA) clearly making DOPA more current. The thinktank funding must have run out after their first breakthrough as their next idea was to bar students access “from commercial social networking websites and chatrooms” Mmm… stop capitalism and a 13 year old from talking in one fell swoop of the pen. Ha.

3. Google.

This year we discovered that google is trying to take over my desktop. Trying to crush my desktop in fact. On last years list we predicted that the web based app was going to rule 2006, we didn’t expect them to all come from one company. Expect breakfast.google.com and ‘google university’ in 2007.

2. Emancipation

This year teachers everywhere discovered that they don’t need to look to their school for their edtech needs. The year was full of teachers taking the power back… of finding ways to move around the complications of funding and bureaucracy to use the free tools and free help to make our education a better place

1. ME!

This year… yesterday in fact, Time magazine discovered that ‘I’m’ the internet. They’ve awarded this year’s ‘person of the year’ award to ME! or you! To a random person or, as the English Language lacks a clear delineation between second person singular and second person plural – to all of us. Seems the hundreds of millions of us who’ve been making websites since Al Gore made the internet are now validated.

(don’t see something obvious… might have been on last year’s list)

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9 thoughts on “Edublog awards – Top 10 news events of the edublog year 2006

  1. Dave, I’d have to question DOPA even made your list at all, let alone make it to number four. This was a piece of proposed legislation limited to one country, and hardly of significance to anyone online outside of the US. Number nine is nearly as irrelevant except it was quite funny, but I wouldn’t know the Senator from the Prime Minister of New Zealand. If your list is to be meaningful to an international audience, then US localised items aren’t terribly meaningful. But the rest of the list, fantastic! I might even have a go at an Aussie version or my own personal Top 10 – then you can have a good laugh at my ideas.

  2. Hi Graham,

    Interesting. It’s possible that as a Canadian I’ve been living near the elephant for too long… but I think that you are missing something if you think that internet law in the US is not going to affect the rest of the world. Half of the internet usage (and the companies) are US based (dave makes up likely statistic). If, as in the case of DOPA, their market dries up, or, as in the case of net neutrality (senator stevens) they charge people for bandwidth, it will have a massive effect on worldwide internet usage and therefore edtech usage. How many open source projects depend on US bandwidth being free and how many educational products depend on Americans using them.

    The first thing, for instance, that Terry Freedman (UK) asked me on skype yesterday was “what’s up with DOPA” There are a bunch of other folks (from outside the US) who drop me the occasional line to ask about the status of DOPA and Net Neutrality.

    It may not be an issue that people from around the world are completely informed about… but, in my view at least, it’s a huge deal to all of us.

  3. Thanks for the clarification – I think I was having an anti-US-centric day when I commented and I thought that you being a Canadian would be more open to international sensibilities. Your list would have not raised any eyebrows in the States because well, they all know what you’re talking about. Maybe, whinging Aussies like me would have been satisfied with some recognition of similar issues in our various parts of the world i.e. DOPA and its worldwide flow on impact and the fact there are dopey politicians globally in decision making roles who are completely clueless as to this “internet thing.” I’m just being nitpicky because if international bloggers don’t point out US-centric commentary, then US bloggers are hardly likely to notice! Your unique position near the elephant as you put it, allow you to observe things and identify the international implications. Your response to me here gives me the information I need to know why those events were important in 2006.

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