As I travel across this great country (yes, one trip to Miami counts as traveling), I get asked two questions.
The first being “Can you work me into one of your blog posts?”
Let me think.
That was kind of harsh. Please let me apologize.
I really should take some time to reconsider.
On second thought. No.
The only chance of getting mentioned is if your name is Buddy the Dog.
He gets special treatment because he gets over the top excited, runs in circles, and whines ever so slightly when I return home from work. Or when I come in from the garage. Or from getting the mail. Or walk out of the bathroom.
It’s the exact same reaction whether he hasn’t seen me for 2 weeks or 2 seconds (I love dogs… and don’t forget to visit his Live Webcam).
Lucky for me, Buddy the Dog doesn’t have an agent (conceivably that could cut into my profit margin).
Of course, if you do something funny or interesting (and love me unconditionally), I could change my mind.
The second question is “How am I allowed to write this blog.” Fair enough.
I always assume this question refers to a superintendent writing a blog and not based on the actual quality of my entries (in other words, what I write stinks).
Either way, it’s an excellent question.
After more than 300 blogs, it almost seems normal to sit down and quickly type my thoughts into a blog.
Let’s be honest, there is nothing normal about spending this much time on a blog (or anything else).
Say it out loud… Superintendent writes a blog. It just seems weird.
Lucky for me it’s not that difficult.
My only concern is presenting my views, experiences, or embarrassing moments without insulting someone else.
By someone else I mean teachers, other administrators, students, or with anyone I come into contact.
I have to be careful that blogging doesn’t affect my day job (the last time I glanced at our checking account… I really need my day job).
But so far, so good.
The longer I do this (blog at slightly below average level) it becomes more and more apparent to me this will be commonplace in the next few years.
I not only think most school administrators will use social media (blogs, Twitter, Plurk, Posterous… and things they haven’t invented yet), but I think it will become the norm.
Communities and school districts will have an expectation that school administrators use social media.
And use it a lot.
It will be as normal as sending out a parent letter or writing up the highlights of a school board meeting (highlights… lowlights… whatever).
Hopefully, administrators of the future (bigger, stronger, faster) will figure out more productive ways to use social media than me.
They will likely spend more time on topics related to improving education and less on their hate of soccer (I’m sorry, but the use of your hands is required if you want to call it a sport).
It’s going to take someone smarter than me (easy enough) to figure out how social media can benefit students and schools 2, 3, or 5 years down the road.
It will become an ally to schools, not the enemy.
Instead of fighting it, administrators need to figure out ways to use it that are beneficial to students and staff.
Presently, we are fighting a war to hold off the use of Twitter, YouTube, blogging, etc. and we are losing.
The sad part is most administrators have only a limited knowledge of social media. Because they don’t fully understand it, they assume it’s silly and a waste of time (my blog is not a good example of something that isn’t silly).
We’ve fought this battle before.
It was against cell phones.
If you haven’t heard, we lost.
How did we lose? Students are carrying little computers around in their pockets and we get upset if they take them out and use them.
I would hate to see the same result from the use… or non-use of social media.
Just thinking (typing) out loud, but if you are a school administrator maybe you should start a blog, or open a Twitter account (or use any of the 1,000 other types of social media).
If you blog, then you could write about yourself.
And I wouldn’t have to.
Unless of course you do something really funny… then send it my way.
Because Buddy is starting to get “demanding”… which means I may be out of material soon.