2009 is the Year of the Blog.

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Who Doesn’t Love Fireworks?

Who Doesn’t Love Fireworks?

This is Part 2 (or the Deuce for my rather large 18-24 audience) of my series on administrators using more technology (or any… I will take what I can get at this point).

The first was An Open Letter to Superintendents and Principals: You Should Blog.

After writing the first one, I was overwhelmed by thousands of emails, comments, and letters (do people still write letters??).

Actually this isn’t true.

I didn’t get thousands, but I did receive several. The problem is they all came from people who recognize that technology is the future of education.

I already have their support. Now I need to broaden my base. I feel like a Democrat running for President.

Very few of the comments came from administrators. They are the ones I was hoping to shame into starting a blog. Or using email. Or simply just turning on their computer.

And by few, I mean 0 (that is a zero and not an O… in case you were confused).

I apologize if I insulted your intelligence, but I have often typed O when I mean 0. But enough about my dyslexia.

Administrators should blog. Or email. Or anything on the computer (just put down the pencil… it will be okay).

Why should you take this drastic step?

For one, it is 2009. Not 1979.

It is too easy to get stuck in our small part of the educational world. If we aren’t careful we will get bogged down by jammed copiers, hallway duty, locker room incidents, milk cartons that won’t open, and bathroom mysteries.

You can spend hours contemplating the minute details of your building and school district.

Before you know it, years will have flown by. Teachers will be organizing your retirement dinner (or roast… depends how good you were at handling those bathroom mysteries).

And just for the record, if retirement does call… answer the phone (don’t feel badly… you have earned it).

But before that happens, it is your obligation to keep up with the ever-changing times.

And these days that means technology. All technology, all the time. If you think it will go away, think again.

This isn’t something you can wait out. In education, we have been trained to do this with regulations, directives, and even testing. It won’t work with technology.

Our children and grandchildren are going to see to that.

As an administrator how many times have we all complained about the teacher who presents lessons in the same way he or she did 30 years ago?

Often times using the same lesson plans (just go to the filing cabinet and pull out the file folder for Chapter 1).

No innovation. No changes. No updates. No excitement. And no technology.

Yet, we seem to be okay doing things in the same way we always have.

As administrators we have built in excuses. We are too busy, we don’t have time to keep up with ever-changing computer stuff, and there is no point to blog because who will read it?

Sure we are busy, but so are teachers and students. If we have high expectations for them, we need to have the same for ourselves.

Everyone has the same 24 hours in a day. The question is how we choose to use those hours.

Surely, all of us have 30 minutes a week to focus on updating our technology skills.

Technology is like a raging river, so you can’t expect it to stop and wait on you. Your only choice is to walk up to the edge and jump in (or have an employee push you… don’t kid yourself, they have been dying to).

Every school has a teacher or tech person who will sit down beside you and help. All you have to do is ask.

And in many cases, they are just dying for you to ask (just be careful this isn’t the same employee who wants to push you in a river).

Once you get started, it is amazing how much you can learn in a short amount of time.

Make 2009 the year you become a better administrator through the use of technology.

You will be glad you did.

Your teachers and students deserve it.

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23 Responses to “2009 is the Year of the Blog.”


  1. Dave
    on Jan 4th, 2009
    @ 12:31 pm

    I find that technology just opens up so one has access to more resources and viewpoints. I use it so much more in my classes and have been promoting it as much as possible. And yes, I am an administrator as well!


  2. Alan Beam
    on Jan 4th, 2009
    @ 12:31 pm

    Enjoyed the blog. I too have issues with building administrators who talk the game but don’t actual play it. Over the years I’ve taken a number of steps to try to encourage others in my district and around the state to MODEL technology. Sharing my weekly and monthly newsletters (including my blog site). Leading a bi-monthly discussion at the league principals meeting related to technology. Presenting at various conferences, workshops, etc. I even had the opportunity to work with the state which allowed me to be a mentor to various administrators over a semester. Now that said I have to say my success is still very limited. Like teachers the administrators take small steps (but at least they are steps) and if they are not reinforced on a regular bases they seem to stop walking. I’m open to more discussion on this.


  3. Dean Mantz
    on Jan 4th, 2009
    @ 2:00 pm

    I am in absolute agreement with your post. As a Director of Technology I talked numerous times with administration in participating as well as taking an active “leadership” role when it came to implementing/integrating technology. Unfortunately, they viewed me much like teachers do technology, an individual piece, rather than an ingredient to complete the recipe. Now that I am in a new school district, I am finding these teachers very interested in learning to integrate. To be honest, the admin are very supportive too! Are these folks where they need to be…no. However, if there is a group of educators that want to take the next step and open doors for our students today and tomorrow these folks will do it. I wish you the best in spreading your word and will pass along your blog site.


  4. Jenny
    on Jan 4th, 2009
    @ 2:42 pm

    Thank you for your time and blogs. They always inspired me! I was so excited last week when Terry Freedman emailed me and wanted to join a wiki that I started for principals in my school system. I started it last summer and not a single principal has joined it yet. The Superintendent and Central Office Staff have joined but not ONE principal. I was so excited when Terry Freedman wanted to join that I sent another email to the them about my excitement (hoping they would join). I had one elementary principal that sent back and said, “I wish I had time to read a wiki.” I wanted to email her back and say, well if you will notice when I update the wiki and when you received this email, it was on my own time, not work time. I wonder, do they ever think of school other than the hours they are there? Thanks for letting me VENT! and Thank you for what you share with all of us in the blog world! BTW…http://jmoon.wikispaces.com is the addy of the wiki :)


  5. Jenny
    on Jan 4th, 2009
    @ 2:50 pm

    Thank you for your time and blogs. They always inspired me! I was so excited last week when Terry Freedman emailed me and wanted to join a wiki that I started for principals in my school system. I started it last summer and not a single principal has joined it yet. The Superintendent and Central Office Staff have joined but not ONE principal. I was so excited when Terry Freedman wanted to join that I sent another email to the them about my excitement (hoping they would join). I had one elementary principal that sent back and said, “I wish I had time to read a wiki.” I wanted to email her back and say, well if you will notice when I update the wiki and when you received this email, it was on my own time, not work time. I wonder, do they ever think of school other than the hours they are there? Thanks for letting me VENT! and Thank you for what you share with all of us in the blog world! BTW…http://jmoon.wikispaces.com is the addy of the wiki :)


  6. Ric Murry
    on Jan 4th, 2009
    @ 3:50 pm

    Principal,

    There is a reason Supers & Admins did not respond. The overwhelming majority do not know blogs exist, let alone know they can respond to them.

    “If you ignore it, it will go away” is the calling card of too many educational “leaders.” But this is not going away.

    Glad to have your voice in the crowd.

    Perhaps Supers & Admins will listen to someone at their level.

    Only the best to you in 2009.

    Ric


  7. Ed Allen
    on Jan 4th, 2009
    @ 4:14 pm

    I am an admin too. And I completely agree. But I have not yet blogged. I will be starting to blog soon. We can’t bring about curricular change and growth in the 21st century without the embedding of technology into our schools.


  8. Jackie Ballarini
    on Jan 4th, 2009
    @ 4:56 pm

    Due to the underwhelming response from your last post, perhaps you need to take this message directly to them? I’m sure there has to be some type of administrator conference at which you could present. Or perhaps a (paper) newsletter to which you could contribute?


  9. micsmith
    on Jan 4th, 2009
    @ 5:10 pm

    I’m game. Tell me when and where.

    Will there be free food????


  10. Greg Bicknell
    on Jan 4th, 2009
    @ 6:36 pm

    I am the principal of a small (450 student)elementary school. I have been blogging for the past 18 months. It has opened up my world to other view points. I seek out and read other blogs on topics that I find interesting.

    As an administrator… I have things to say… however… most of the time my blog is just my trivial droll on things that I find funny… (actually… my whole life is geared to making my wife laugh).

    I can say that I work in a school district that has embraced technology and we have a superintendent that encourages us.


  11. Alan Beam
    on Jan 4th, 2009
    @ 7:12 pm

    I’m a principal of a mid – size high school in Kansas. I’ve been blogging for sometime but my audience was limited to either my staff or community. I’m just now looking to expand outside my little world. For the most part only a few teachers actual responded back to my blogs and they seemed to do it through e-mail.I first blog using iWeb (http://www.holtonks.net:16080/abeam/Holton_High_School/Welcome.html) which only allowed me to post and one to comment.

    Then I switch to wordpress http://abeam.wordpress.holton.k12.ks.us/ I did go back to the classroom for one class this year to get my feet wet again. I’ve asked my students to blog once a month. http://wildcat.wordpress.holton.k12.ks.us/

    I think I felt my desire to write in my monthly newsletters when I wrote articles I called “Windshield TIme”. Those times when all those thoughts run through our heads.

    Something I’ve started to collect in writing are my past experiences as a building administrator. Maybe someday a book I want to call “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up”. I’m sure we all could write a book like that. : )


  12. Mark Stock
    on Jan 4th, 2009
    @ 8:28 pm

    The irony of all this technology talk for administraotrs is that those who already know the importance of connecting with the community using technology already do it.

    To reach the others I wrote a book called The School Administrator’s Guide to Blogging. (Go to http://drmarkstock.com for the links.

    Isn’t that ironic that to spread the word about technology we have to write books?

    Yet – this is how it works. We use the traditional methods to spread the word about the non-traditional methods of communicating.

    Mark


  13. Jeanette Westfall
    on Jan 4th, 2009
    @ 9:47 pm

    I’m a high school principal checking in. We’re out here; just making our way through the blog sphere finding each other! Check out my site:
    http://cardinalconnection.blogspot.com/

    I agree with Greg Bicknell — often my writings seem trivial or doll (or both), and my audience is typically my staff. I need to grow.

    I do have a venue, however, to do that of which I am very proud of my technology cohort and instructional coach for perpetuating. The professional growth of the participants is amazing. Check it out…
    http://virtualsouthside.ning.com/

    Looking forward to adding ThePrincipalsPage to my blogroll.


  14. eduguy101
    on Jan 5th, 2009
    @ 4:22 am

    I agree with you, administrators should blog, but they need to take care of a few things. Administrators need to make sure that if they blog about things in their school/district that they “couch” the information in a manner that will not be looked upon as offensive, or paint the district in the wrong way. We need to be careful of what is put out for reflection as others do look in the mirror as well.


  15. micsmith
    on Jan 5th, 2009
    @ 4:50 pm

    You have to write a book to get people to use the internet???

    Isn’t that like drawing a picture to convince someone to watch a movie???

    Anyways, good luck with the book. And don’t be shy about getting me the same kind of deal. :)


  16. UltimateTeacher
    on Jan 6th, 2009
    @ 10:33 am

    Well….my only two cents (if you still want them) is those administrators who are still aware of and are not afraid of technology should get there and blog. Change is such a hard thing to overcome, and I think everyone in the teaching field will eventually become more familiar with blogging.

    Or you could always just use the good old motto of “do as I say…not as I do”. I wonder how many teachers have heard that……???

    It’s a lot easier to follow someone who has proven experience than some guy on a soapbox.


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  23. Jim Daley
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    I just found your blog and I love it!

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