It’s that time of year again: the Shorty Award nominations have opened and the education category is ready and waiting to be flooded with enthusiastic, inspirational #EdTech tweeters! But with so many brilliant candidates to choose from, it’s not an easy decision to make.
What are the Shorty Awards?
As their name suggests, the awards focus specifically on the ‘short’ medium of Twitter (and other social media sites, though nominations and votes are exclusively conducted via tweet). Quite simply, the awards honour the most innovative, exciting and popular users of social media in a wide variety of categories, one of which is education. The six nominees with the most votes are put forward to the final judging panel, where the winner is selected based on the originality and quality of their content, their innovative use of social media, the impact they’ve made on the world, their engagement with fans and followers and the support they’ve received from the nominations.
Why do they matter?
The Shorty Awards have become highly respected as an indicator of the leading lights in various different social media categories. Since the advent of education technology, Twitter and other social media sites have become a huge focal point for individuals and PLNs to meet, share tips, resources and experiences towards the common goal of excellence and progress in education. The awards matter because they honour the leaders in the field, specifically focussing on those educators who use Twitter most successfully to promote excellent practice, to help other teachers or to innovate and change the conversation on topics from #BYOD to flipping the classroom.
How should you decide who to nominate?
Picking nominees is not an easy task, but the guidelines provided by the awards should help to point you in the right direction. Here are some ideas…
Sure, there are hundreds of brilliant #edtech tweeters, but how many of them are consistently providing fresh, original content and ideas? Tweeters like Edmodo and EdTech K-12 Magazine are great examples of educators who rise above the rest in this respect, as their thousands of followers will testify. But one of the great things about the Shorty Awards is that you can nominate anyone, no matter how popular or well-known they are, so think outside the box and consider honouring little known but brilliant original educators with a nomination too!
Here’s an opportunity to highlight the work of those great educators who don’t just use Twitter to chat and share resources but actually bring new and exciting methods of interacting and collaborating to the web. We love educators like Eric Sheninger, for example, who uses the innovative #cpchat hashtag to stay connected to other principals, or founders of the brilliant #Edchat, Tom Whitby and Shelly Terrell.
One of the most exciting things about the voter-led Shorty Awards is the fact that they encourage users to put forward their own opinions about who the most valuable social media users are and why. Nowhere is this range of opinion more fascinating than when considering the impact different tweeters have had on the world of education. Will you choose a user like Khan Academy, whose revolutionary online methods have changed the face of education around the world? Or an account like My Kid Can Code, which encourages great strides towards progress in a single, innovative area?
Struggling to decide? Here’s the best part: you can nominate as many different education heroes as you like!
Who will you vote for? Let us know using the comments box below!
Image courtesy of The Shorty Awards.