David has a feature in EDTECH magazine that addresses the different types of teacher-bloggers that districts may be dealing with these days, and by and large, I think it gives some effective guidelines for school administrators and policy makers who may not yet understand the technology. I realize that the article is focused on the common sense “rules” that are meant to frame the practice, but I’m niggled (if that’s a word) back into the whole blogging as a verb discussion again by the way it gets framed. For instance, this piece:
Professional teacher bloggers are writing as teachers in your schools, with the intent of helping their students learn. Dr. Tim Tyson, principal of Mabry Middle School in Cobb County, Ga., says that his blogging teachers â€œwelcome parents into their classrooms by facilitating active at-home participation in the childâ€™s educational experiences at school.â€ Tysonâ€™s teachers write about class activities, homework assignments, study guides, project and assessment reminders, and review and extension activities. They also publish exemplary student work, such as videos, podcasts, presentation slides and reports.
Blogging is a powerful communication tool, and communication is an important issue for your school or district. So how do you ensure that the professional teacher blogger is working for the good of the school and does not inadvertently damage efforts to achieve the organizationâ€™s mission?
Ok, so here’s my beef, again. Blogs are powerful communication tools. Blogs are powerful publishing tools. But blogging (the verb) is still much more than that to me. Blogging, as in reading and thinking and reflecting and then writing, is connecting and learning, neither of which are discussed in the article. (And maybe they weren’t meant to be, I know) I’m not knocking what Tim or his teachers are doing, I think it’s great. But I’m just asking the question: how are his teachers modeling the use of blogs to learn not just to teach?
I know, I know. I’ve been over this countless times. And hey, I really did let it go for a good while, you have to admit. But I can’t help it. As a recent commenter said about another subject, I expect more…