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


(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.


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 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)

Tagged with the five things meme

Wow. A whole month of not blogging… and called out by one of my favorite people, Nancy White, and, in a sense, asked for five things that people may not know about me. It’s left me thinking about who I might be in the sea of changes that have happened to me and been inflicted by me over the last couple of years. A good time of year to consider these changes i suppose…

lobster trap 1. I was brought up as a lobster fisherman (among other things). Through the different lives I’ve had the pleasure of living there’s been this thread, both the real and the imagined, of the crack of an outboard motor at 5 o’clock in the morning, the feeling of a crab trying to clamp down on my wet, plastic gloved fingers and the fingernail sunrise. I miss the life I’ll never have on the water… probably far more than I would have enjoyed the real life that could have been.
My parents still fish lobster every spring. And one of the highlights of my year is heading back to my hometown and getting my hands all slimey and scratched dragging lobster traps in. It may or may not be ‘in my blood’ but there’s something about the smell of the beach that reminds me of beer.


2. I like to grow things. This is the first tomato I ever grew. It survived all of about ten seconds after this shot was taken. The foregrounding was there for compensation.
3. I get obsessed with statistics. This is something about myself that surprises me… my research methods are almost entirely qualitative, and i have an inherent distrust of all things that are measured by numbers. My fascination, I guess, is in the idea that counting is actually a profoundly spiritual activity. In order to count something, we are making very precise decisions about things that are ephemeral. It’s always an epistemic journey for me, and, I guess, not very quantitative at all.

4. I’m committed to buying a bottle of scotch for the folks at Mystery Science Theatre 3000 someday. No single group of folks that i’ve never met are responsible for giving me such enjoyment.

5. I’ve always been terribly attached to the idea of acquiring a nickname. Never gotten one, and, in the endless scenarios that play out in my whirley twirley excuse for a brain, I’ve worked out any number of reasons as for why that is. None of which i can currently remember. Due to my other problem. Can’t remember anything! 🙂

Now… upon whom shall i impose the meme… My first choice is my long time partner in crime, Mr. Jeff Lebow, who, everytime he talks about his past comes out with another dinger. I’ll also tag mr. jarche, um… some new people here… mmm… Mark Leggott my new boss, Jen Maddrell and um… Just for the ultimate challenge… bon.

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