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Cast Your Vote! End of Year Awards in EdTech

Chances are if you are reading this post you are no stranger to online resources and include them in your professional development and coursework.

More and more eLearning professionals are sharing their expertise and practical advice through a range of media, helping us to do what we do. How can you thank those who influence your work and learning?

Fortunately, there are several programs that recognize those who make a difference, from individual educators to specific technology tools and companies, all based on our input. Take a look at three ways you can share your appreciation, all happening now through January 2013:

  • EduBlog Awards: Voting is now open, but the timeline for this program is quick, so cast your votes by December 9th and watch for the winners to be announced on December 12th. The mission of the Edublog Awards is to "promote and demonstrate the educational values of social media." Select your choices for best EdTech Blog, Free Web Tool, Educational Wiki, and Twitter Hashtag, and 16 other categories featuring short lists of finalists developed from a recent open nominations process. You can also explore the list of 2011 awardees (with links) and follow the event hashtag: #eddies12.
  • 20 to Watch: "Do you know educators who are passionate about using technology to transform teaching and learning; who can inspire their colleagues to embrace new tools; and who are curious by nature and always looking for how the next innovation can be applied to education?" The National School Board Association and TechSmith have been celebrating leaders in educational technology through this program since 2006. Submit your nominations by responding to three open-ended questions by December 10th.
  • The Crunchies: This is the sixth year for this award program from TechCrunch, which recognizes "the most compelling startups, internet, and technology innovations of the year." Nominations recently closed, but finalists will be posted in January for voting in 20 categories such as Best Technology Achievement, Best Mobile Application, Best Education Startup, and Biggest Social Impact. The 2011's winners list includes these popular tools for education: Dropbox, Evernote, Twitter, and Pinterest.

These awards programs have taken place for a number of years now, yielding annual lists of winners that are all available online. The crowdsourced nature of the nomination and selection process means that these resources are, in a way, curated by you and others like you. Use these resources to inspire your next project and a new list of educators to follow via blog reader, Twitter, etc.

Emerging Influencers in EdTech

From Twitter to Classroom2.0, I often include my personal recommendations for elearning tools, websites, and communities in the posts I write here on the Inside Online Learning blog. But this is a great opportunity to introduce a few of my latest discoveries. Take a look and consider adding these to your list in the coming year:

  • Triberr: I was recently invited to join a "tribe" in this blogging community and have been thrilled to find a diverse group focused on support and ecouragement. Who would you add to your tribe?
  • Institute for the Future: Via the Future Now blog, this non-profit research group covers a wide range of topics that address design, technology, and policy in "a world undergoing rapid change."
  • Hybrid Pedagogy: This "digital journal of teaching and technology" fosters conversation not only through articles, but also via Twitter (#digped). Check out the upcoming MOOC MOOC sponsored by this group.
  • Google+: The number of educators on this platform seems to be growing, and with the Communities feature just announced this week, there are even more ways to connect.

Move into the new year with an eye out for new sources both for inspiration and collaboration. Plan to nominate your favorites in the edtech award programs listed above, and take part in other recognition opportunities at your institution and in your local area. Are you sharing your expertise? Who knows, you may even be a nominee in 2013!

Image credit: Tojosan, Flickr, CC:BY-NC-SA