Introducing…The Nessie Awards!

Well, it’s that time of year again, awards season. And rather than write yet another screed against awards, you know, how a blogroll link, a comment, heck even just being read, are the blogosphere’s real rewards, (‘cos really, I mostly can’t stand them,) I thought – if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em.

So, without further ado, I bring to you this year’s winners of the first ever Nessie Awards, which comes with its very own gold plated statue of…me!:

(N.B. I am the only member of the Voting Academy for the Nessie Awards, named after my online pseudonym and favourite WKRP character. Don’t like it, sue me. Better yet, start your own awards! Everyone’s doing it 😉

The “Most Starred Items in My Google Reader” Award

This is a pretty easy one to guess, if only because of the sheer volume of posts he generates every year. But ‘starring’ an item is definitely one of the ways I note that a post was significant for me, and this (empirically verifiable) award easily goes to:

It would be hard to overstate the impact that Stephen has had as an individual in our field, let alone his impact for weaving together huge numbers of people in a large distributed network of learners and practitioners through OLDaily. We don’t always agree (though I think we disagree on far less than we agree on), but the fact that he has consistently been willing to engage in conversation about this, online, out in the open, is part of the reason I consider him one of my teachers.

The “Makes my Jaw Drop and Scratch my Head Most Often” Award One thing about the internet; if you follow the conversations, you start to realize what an insane number of really smart people there are out there. This award could easily have been won by any number of people who continually write things (both posts and code) that simply amaze me. But this year’s winner, with whom I was hugely fortunate to spend a few days this year in Logan Utah, is:

Tony could easily have won the next award too, because not only does he regularly blow my mind, he posts mind blowing material with such frequency I sometimes dare not open his feed. Indeed, I also award the “Blog Whose Feed I Dare Not Open” to – Ouseful! Tony’s claims that he’s just a “script kiddie” are entirely too modest, and yet in some ways, spot on. This is why he holds such a dear spot for me, because in small ways I aspire to this style is well – it’s not about showing off, it’s about showing what YOU TOO can do, and more importantly, what your learners CAN (or SHOULD BE ABLE TO) do with your learning content, your data, your systems, if you would only trust them.

The “Blog whose Posts remain ‘Keep Unread’ in my Reader longest (and not because they are boring!)” My Greader unread items is kind of like my inbox; I purposefully mark things unread in an effort to come back and give them more time, the time they deserve to digest them. If he was still posting at all, this award probably would have gone to Ulises Mejias, whose dense musings I could never simply skip yet they inevitably took me a month to get through. But I’ve seen hide nor hair of Ulises. so the award must go to:

Konrad’s insight into education is deep, and he is one of the few K-12-foccused bloggers who I follow simply because he forces me to think more deeply about the education process itself, not not just the institutional structures.

The “Blog which Posts Least Often and Yet whose Every Post I Anxiously Await” AwardAnother award winner who I feel incredibly fortunate to have finally met in person this year. He does not write short posts. He does not write posts very often. But every time I notice his feed has an item in it I go there immediately, knowing it will take a least a week, if not a month, to digest it, this year’s winner is:

Gardner is another one of my teachers (but to say that seems to imply that there are people who I read who are not, which just isn’t true), one I very much cherish as he comes at this from the perspective of master teacher, yet doesn’t flinch in the face of us arm flailing geeks, helps to translate and bridge these worlds, a role I too seek.It is hard to explain to people who see this as just a ‘job’ or even a ‘profession,’ but some of Gardner’s writing (and the speech I heard him give last year) have had profound existential effects on me, like only the best teaching can.

The “Makes me Laugh My Ass off Most Often” Award I hesitate in handing out the award named thusly, because it might imply that you shouldn’t take its receipient seriously. Far, far from it. You ignore him and his amusements at your peril. Yet the blogger who simply has me, as they say, ROTFLMAO with the amazingly funny ways he finds to communicate powerful ideas is:

For those of you who appreciate his sensibilities online, let me tell you, you don’t get half the effect until you’ve actually met the man (again, another luminary who I got to hang out again with this year; it has been a banner year I tell you). One minute Jim will be holding forth on D.C. punk bands, the next swinging into a description of Civil War-era literature, all the while making you implore him to stop, please stop, my sides hurt from laughing so hard. They don’t call him ‘The Rev’ for nothing.

The “Most Unsung EdTech Blogger” Award This is another one that could have gone to a huge number of people (indeed, if I could, I’d give one out to you all, but hey, these gold award statues of myself don’t come cheap!) This blogger acts as an exemplary blogging citizen, writing insightful posts, useful comments, linking, connecting, yet in my experience doesn’t get nearly the recognition he deserves as an original thinker (and original voice) in the blogosphere. The award for “Most Unsung EdTech Blogger” goes to:

Chris has taught me as much as anyone I read, and like many of my favourites, he codes it too. He is a Master Teacher as well as an educational technologist, and if you ever get a chance to attend a session with him face to face, do. But do you read him? Go, I urge you, check him out.

Congratulations to all of this year’s winners, your gold plated statue of me is in the mail! And hopefully the “real” awards organizers take this in the spirit it was intended. They are people whom I respect greatly. Just a bit of fun, eh? – SWL

5 thoughts on “Introducing…The Nessie Awards!”

  1. Scott Leslie,

    Did I ever tell you how much I love you? Now this is an award ceremony I can get behind, and I want by gold plated trophy of you, and it better be edible 🙂

  2. Thanks, Scott, for this humbling and moving award. What you say is deeply encouraging–as are all your work and care in this gloriously crazy arena.

    Meeting you was a great privilege. I hope we get the chance to spend time together again very soon.

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