The Evolution of the Modern Day REVERE Awards: Media Neutrality and Age Divisions

In part three of our series looking at the evolution of the REVERE Awards, we look at the impact of new technology on the program and how we have updated age divisions to ensure meaningful competition. 

It’s important to remember that the REVERE Awards is a competition program. While the program certainly shares characteristics with recognition programs and product review sites, the fact of the matter is that we’re searching for overall excellence and honor only a select number of products each year as winners.

Ensuring that the program and its winner designations stay meaningful is a nuanced and uncertain process. Nonetheless, we never want the program to lose its prestige. Winning a REVERE Award—even being recognized as a finalist—is never the obvious result of entering.

Prior to 2011, however, the Awards were classified not only by subject or content area, but also by media and/or age divisions. This resulted in triple digit numbers of winners alone. Handing out so many awards dulled the perceived achievement of winning, with winners having to qualify their success. To safeguard the program’s prestige, age divisions (outside of Magazines) and media categories were eliminated, immediately making it that much tougher (numerically and philosophically) to win a REVERE Award. 

Rather than beginning with age and audience, both of these aspects are integrated throughout the evaluation process, which is now based on fair, practical, and neutral review. Our belief is that truly excellent products will stand out in how they successfully meet the needs of their target and how their chosen media enhance effective teaching and learning. The subsequent years have confirmed this, with impressive and deserving winners in all media and for all age groups.

In addition, we also used to separate out winners according to their media of publication from print to CD to web-based. In this age of blended programs, where many resources have both a digital and print component and when the focus should be on the quality of the content, we decided to remove the media subcategories. We want our judges to evaluate resources based on their impact on teaching and learning and not on the delivery method.

It may seem harder to win a REVERE Award now than in the past because it is. It’s been gratifying to watch entries rise to this challenge year after year, and it’s been a particular pleasure to view the progress made in the space of exciting and effective digital resources.

Learn more about the REVERE Awards. The regular entry deadline is December 18.