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Miguel Guhlin

Reggie, my response to your blog post appears here:

http://www.mguhlin.net/archives/2008/07/entry_7611.htm

A district administrator,

Miguel Guhlin
Around the Corner-MGuhlin.net
http://mguhlin.net
and
http://itls.saisd.net/blog

Addie Gaines

I started a blog for our school district at the end of the last school year. The idea came from a community committee that suggested that our online resources would be better if there was a way for feedback. The original thought was having a form on our web site, but then I thought maybe a blog would be more flexible. It is mostly updates and news, but hopefully it will grow more interactive with our community and be a way for parents or grandparents who do not live in our area to keep up with the happenings in the school district. It doesn't take me too much time to upload an entry or a photo or two. I haven't gotten a lot of feedback on it, but it really hasn't been promoted adequately. After I started it, school was almost out, so it was only promoted during summer school. Here is a link to it: http://kirbyviller6school.blogspot.com/
but, be warned that it hasn't been updated since summer school ended. I do plan to update it soon with info about the beginning of school. I liked the suggestion in the previous comment to always end with a question. I would think that would make people more likely to comment.

Dave Meister

In response to your questions...

1. I am very glad I started blogging. It allows me to clarify my thoughts, communicate with staff and community as well as network with fellow educators.

2. Depends on the topic. My staff will sometimes chime in on a subject. Parents like to comment from time to time. A site meter allows me to track visitors that do not comment....they are in the majority!

3. I spend a couple hours a week writing my blog. I mostly do my blogging from home on my time.

4. I use a free service.

5. I would advise you to do it. If you have a large staff and don't get the time to talk to all of them, blogging can help you connect. It has caused me to engage in a lot of self reflection and evaluation. It has affirmed my beliefs and goals as an educator.

Greg Farr

Reggie:
I posted a response at:
http://farbucks.typepad.com/farbucks/
Greg

Dave Sherman

Blogging has been one of the best things I have done, professionally. It has introduced me to so very smart educators. Also, I believe blogging is a great tool for teachers and their students, and I was one of the first in our school to start one. I did that as a way to model the use of blogs in school. I now have two blogs. One is for me to share my educational ideas, beliefs, thoughts, and feelings. The other is for the community in which I work. I share a lot with parents via the blog, and the response from them has been great. I use the blog much more than a monthly newsletter. I usually write blog posts at night when the house is quiet, although sometimes I will post on the blog for parents from school during the day.

The best way for people to find and read your blog, is for you to read and leave comments on other blogs. I recommend getting a ClustrMap to chart the hits you get. That is very motivating.

I use a free blog service that our school district provides (It is Alan November's blog software). There are a lot of great free ones out there.

Go for it - it's time!

Reggie Engebritson

Thank you to all of you who have responded so far to my questions. What a treat to come from work today and find all of these great comments and good advice. I'm fired up to start my own blog!

Tim Fausnaught

1. I have a blog and it is posted on my school’s website and my email. I love doing it and have mastered the “2 minute” blog post. I found that if you post a picture of something that is going on at school and write about it, people love it! Also, once a month I try and do a video summing up what has happened at school that month.

2. I have learned that although people are not going to leave a lot of comments on my blog, they are read it a ton. In fact, my blog is the #1 hit site in our school district, by far. People will often comment on how much they appreciate reading what is going on in my school, my life, and the lives of those around me. It helps people see that I am a real person and our school is a great place.

3. I don’t spend any more than 20 minutes a week. I usually blog at the very end of my day. It is a perfect time to reflect and seek positive things out from our day. Blogging has become part of my job. If I don’t blog for a couple of days I actually get emails from people asking me why I haven’t posted.

4. No… I use blogspot

5. Take the 5 minutes a day and get started. Don’t make excuses that you don’t have enough time or it is not that important. Having a blog is crucial in communicating with kids and their families, and even your staff. Blogging is fun, keeps you positive, and is a perfect way to share all the positive things that are going on at your school.

Check out my blog and be a regular reader!
http://mrfausnaught.blogspot.com/


Dr. Frank Buck

1. I started two blogs as a principal (one written for my teachers and one written for parents). When I moved to the central office, I started two (one written for teachers across the school system and one written for the community). Starting these blogs is one of the best things we have done in terms of public relations and ease of getting the word out to people. It's not additional work; instead, it's a huge time-saver.

2. A little of both. Sometimes because nobody is saying anything, you feel like nobody is reading. When you start getting thoughtful comments from people on the streets, you realize that what is being written matters to a wide audience.

3. On the average, maybe 10 minutes a day.

4. I use Blogger, so it's free.

5. Get started! You can have your blog up and running in a few minutes. The few minutes you spend setting up an account and learning to post will save you hours upon hours in questions you are NOT answering over the phone and memos you are NOT printing and Xeroxing. I am going to do a quick post on my own personal blog with some examples of principal and central office blogs if you would like to visit:
http://FrankBuck.blogspot.com Scroll to the post for July 30, 2008

Reggie Engebritson

Thank you, Tim and Frank, for more great suggestions and your links that I have checked out. I appreciate the encouragement.

Justin B.

Great question Reggie! You are not in an Ed.D. program by chance, are you? Because you have just stumbled on a great dissertation question(s) if you are. Throw those babies in a survey and presto ... dissertation data.

Anyway, thanks for the responses all. I am sure I will reference this post and comments in future publications.

dcowart

I am not going to repeat what has already been written, I would answer the questions with similar responses. I am new to blogging and so far I like it. There are times I feel like I am talking to myself. Sometimes I write a great post but I do not get comments other times I write a short simple post and people seem to connect and comment. The best part is it gets me out of my school, my district and state. Blogging opens the window to national conversations. I like knowing that people are sharing my same concerns and are trying some of the same ideas. I also like commenting on other blogs because it gives me a chance to react to new ideas.

Clix

Don't forget that in addition to the time you spend writing, you will probably also spend a fair amount of time reading other blogs! It can be a huge time sink - though not necessarily a waste :)

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