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Neil Rochelle

I couldn't agree more. First, communication is one of the most critical aspects of a superintendent's job. Anyway we can find to get out our message to as many people should be tapped into. I blog because blogging is part of life now. Politicians set up blogs almost immediately after announcing their candidacy. Many of the new media subscriptions we subscribe to given our need to keep abreast of the news in the most convenient way such as CNN is nothing more than a blog. I blog to communicate with my community regarding school events, milestones and board meetings (icscommunityupdate.learnerblogs.org) as well as my thoughts on reforming schools and the use of web 2.0 technologies.
Another reason I blog is because I truly believe that our students and teachers need to make use of blogs, wikis, social bookmarking and on-line collaboration to be literate. My blogging serves as a role model for teachers and students and to show them the value of such technology.
Finally, another reason I blog has to do with the very forum this blog has created. A place to gain and share information. I have learned so much regarding education as well as technology since I ventured into the blogsphere. I read constantly to further my learning as well as part of my job. Since I learned to blog and set up RSS feeds, I have read more interesting and useful information than I can begin to relay. I develop resources and have access to them wherever I am using 'Pageflakes' and 'Del.icio.us' amd cam share those resources with colleagues simultaneously. What an incredible opportunity for us all.
So, is blogging overblown? I don't think so. It is a powerful tool and as educators I feel we would be remiss if we did not take advantage of such learning and sharing.
Thanks for the post!

Marion Ginopolis

Six words sum up the value of blogging by school administrators as a method of communicating with their constituents: "From my lips to your ears."

Blogging is an excellent way to ensure that accurate information gets out to the public from your voice and is not twisted by others.
Outstanding post, Mark.

Barbara Barreda

First, I have to say I feel behind already. The discussions seem to be off and running and I'll have to backtrack and scan previous posts later.

Whether you are a superintendent or a site administrtaor, we encounter the same fears. Up until now my blogging has been for personal learning and connections. It has also been an opportunity to learn by doing and to make my learning transparent for my staff. The next step will be to have another blog for our school community. (Right now we have a website where I post) At the recent CUE conference in Palm Springs, Ca I attended a session that addressed the issue of multiple avenues of communication. The point was made that in these times where so many are addicted to "time shifted" viewing and listening blogs and podcasts are an important tools for communication with our communities. In particular they called podcasts the "Tivo" of communications.

Jan Borelli

I am an avid blogger and have been for a few years now. I mostly use my blogging to serve as grist for professional articles that I write for ASCD, AASA, NAESP. Blogging is dangerous if you use your real name and position and have anything to say but positive things.

I invite you to go to AASA's web site and go to May of 2006 edition of their journal. Clayton Wilcox was a blogging superintendent (Two entries from my own blog were published in that journal); and I happened to go back to his blog a few months ago. There had been some controversy on the blog when anonymous folks wrote terrible things. I just did a search on his name and found the blog revamped with several bloggers participating and not much from him anymore. However, the article in AASA revealed your thoughts. I wonder if he would give us different advice now...

I followed your own blog at the national convention this year. I worry that you wrote about few superintendents attending the morning sessions (and your embarrassment of this). I worry because negatives seem to be quickly seized upon; and I would hate to see superintendents being banned from going to professional association meetings because "they will just laze around anyway". Collegial groups (whether in formal meetings or informal get togethers) are the so critical to the practice of the loneliest job in education.

Your writing is elegant and informed; I look forward to watching the progression of this discussion and progression of your career.

Scott McLeod

Hey, don't blame the messenger. If superintendents weren't at the sessions, either AASA's speakers weren't as relevant as it thought, the program didn't meet attendees' scheduling or professional learning needs, maybe the conference is too long or needs its configuration changed, or something. Whatever the cause, there's clearly a misalignment between the program and the attendance. Kudos to Mark for at least calling attention to it. We educational leadership professors have the same problem the last morning of the UCEA conference.

You are welcome to invite me to speak to AASA (or anywhere else) at their featured speaker rates. At the level of those speaker fees, I don't care how empty the room is! =)

Jan Borelli

lol

Sean Martinson

Mark, awesome. You comment that, "what if the risks of NOT blogging begin to exceed the risks OF blogging?". I believe and hope that we are on our way there. I also appreciate how you talk about not hearing the positive, but they are out there. During your writing I couldn't help think back to Scott's posting on the 1% doctrine. My guess is that much the same holds true for the negatives of blogging, or should I say the perceived negatives of blogging. I have run across few credible or worth while blogs that have been over run by the negative.... I think it's much as you say about a "sense of community awareness and even sympathy from others". We're communicating in a whole new world, and guess what, we're catching on pretty quick.

:-)

Sincerely,
Sean M.

Scott McLeod

FYI, this is the blog post Sean refers to:

http://snipurl.com/1cf2a

Mark Stock

Jan

Clayton and I presented together at the conference and I got to spend some time with him there. He was approached by the St. Petersburg Times about using a blog. He called it the "Wild Wild West days." Because his district is so large it doesn't take too many negative people to feel like an avalanche of negativity.

My perception is that his blogging experience is not going to be typical because he is in the 23rd largest school district in the nation. (110,000 students)

Blogging will work on broad topics of discussion there, but he will be unable to interact personally with people which is often a very positive aspect of blogging.

They have made some more modifications and I believe they are going to try again. He hasn't been posting much there as you noticed.

And...thank you for the kind comments.

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