Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Teacher Blogger's Reflections

This morning as I was doing my morning routine of checking my emails I got a message, Jason Falls said...

I have a friend who is a teacher. She is part of a group of friends I recently built a blog for, but she heard the word "blog" and insisted I remove all pictures, references to her, her husband, her children, etc. She said because of her work, she could get fired for being associated with the blog.What advice would you give a teacher in her situation. The blog is intended for a group of high school friends, now in their 30s to keep track of one another, their kids, etc. There might be pictures posted (privately) on our Flickr account that has images of us with beers in our hands, etc., but nothing inappropriate or indecent.

I think she is massively overreacting because of her misunderstanding of what a blog is or can be and what her school districts policies (or lack thereof) might be.


Last April 8, 2006, I blogged about The Washington Post's article on Blackboard Blogging " The teachers' lounge -- that secretive place where, students imagine, teachers sip coffee, smoke and gossip about them -- has gone global."

Even before I started blogging I've read and heard of horror stories of people who's been terminated from work for blogging. For reference, here's a list of fired bloggers from The Papal Bull.

But people don't get fired because of blogging, it is their offensive writing and inappropriate content that make them lose their jobs. So the warning from Weblogg-ed "Teachers...Think Before You Blog" because, as what was said in the entry, "I cannot completely disassociate myself from my employer as I carry my school’s name and my job title with me when I blogvangelize in person and in print. My words here, even though they may be my own and in no way reflect the thinking of others at this institution, nevertheless represent the face of that institution whether I like it or not. "

So why am I still blogging boldly and squarely unanonymously? I share the belief of Bud the Teacher when she wrote " I teach in a public school. I am accountable to the public. That's fine -- but I want this society to have as much information as possible when thinking about and evaluating schools. My classroom door is usually open; so, too, is this blog."

Thanks goodness, David Warlick, for recommending that schools and districts should establish committees to develop policies that promote blogs as effective learning and communication tools. Some guidelines were proposed in this article of EdTech Focus K-12.

If we are really ready to take the risk, we also have to listen to what we always tell our students, we just have to do the right thing so we won't get in trouble.

2 comments:

Jason Falls said...

Thanks for the response ... glad I could provide some pertient content fodder.

We have elected to respect the teacher's privacy and not include her in the group blog. I have also encouraged her to read the blog, comment if she likes, and warm up to the idea. I'll also send her to this site for further thought.

Maybe she'll decide to join us, maybe not, but in the end, we respect her decision to not blog for now.

Thanks for the perspective.

ms.angala said...

Anytime, jason! You know where to find me...

Promethean Planet

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