Saturday, February 9, 2008

School Administrators Blog Away


College president across the country are joining the blogsphere. Here in Connecticut, President Michael Hogan of the University of Connecticut and President Michael Roth of Wesleyan University started blogging this past fall, keeping in touch with students who post comments. One of first college presidents to start a blog, Pat Mc Guire of Trinity Washington University in Washington, D.C., observed: “Prior to having genuine technological tools, the only way to be able to communicate was a public forum with everyone coming to one place, or to print a letter or put out a statement…What is more satisfying about working in a blog is that everybody has a chance to say something, sometimes in a forum that can be difficult because some people tend to dominate."

Of course some of the presidents’ blogs are monitored. The Courant reporter on the story qualifies that although the blogs encourage reader response, “the responses are typically screened and are rarely, if ever, posted live, to avoid scurrilous comments and debates that whirl out of control.”

To learn more about how college presidents are using blogs, visit the Courant article at:

http://www.courant.com/news/education/hc-musicfine0201.artfeb01,0,7183925.story/

Please let us know your thoughts on college presidents and other school administrators using blogs to stay in touch with their respective public audiences. Post a comment.

4 comments:

Alicia H said...

The idea that school administrators, especially superintendants, would maintain a blog is impressive to me. I am not yet teaching in a school system, but I remember back to the days of being in school and I only saw the superintendant a handful of times when I was in high school because his office was in the school. I was used to seeing the principal as he/she was more visible in school, but I knew them by name and that was all. I was especially intimidated of the principal in elementary school!
Now with this changing technology and a demand by parents for schools to be more 'in touch,' I beleive that school admin blogging is a good idea. That it is being done at the level of higher education is great; it is important that your president stay in touch with the academic community that has chosen to attend that school. High school and middle school pricinpals also are wise to blog: this helps maintain the community environment and concern that a principal/superintendent should have. It is important to remember that this is current technology, but some families do not have computers at home and do not have the time to go to the library and use them there. These people will not have the chance to access a blog on a regular basis.
I also wonder after reading this if the president or principal really writes for the blog or someone else does. I am sure the post is reviewed before being added, but how much p.r., if any, is done to it?
Blogging for these school admins can also be a tool to maintain an open forum and make the school population feel more connected to him/her. The feature of writing in questions is great, as is the understanding that not all material will be responded to.
Blogging by these admins is a natural step in this current technological world and should be utilized more often.

gayle said...

My first thoughts, Hartford's Superintendent needs a blog!!! He is changing the district immensely and parents and teachers need an opportunity to express their thoughts. It would be an excellent way for him to communicate with the public. I would certainly love to read what everyone has to say about his proposed changes for the district.
I think it is a wonderful idea for any administrator and superintendent to have a blog. It would be a great way for the public to stay connected with the happenings of the school district. Face to face conversations with someone in power is a little intimidating. Blogging may give people who may be less apt to expressing their feelings the opportunity to do so.

Debbie said...

Before I went to interview for the job I am starting in a week and a half, I checked out the school's website and found that the principal had started a blog. One of the things I am particularly interested in concerning education today is the need for classrooms to come into the twenty-first century and use some great technology in the classroom that most students have grown up with outside of the classroom. It may sound trite - the whole coming into the twenty-first century thing - but I am continually amazed at how technologically out-of-touch many schools are. Needless to say, I was impressed to find that this principal was blogging and quite honestly said that it was a way to keep up with his son. Check out the new thread on blackboard under Bloggers Anyone? called Exemplary Blogs K-12 to read more about this and please comment as I would like to find out what other school districts are doing.

Margaret Heath said...

The more and more I think about administrators using a blog the more I like it. I know the administrators at the school that I teach at need to work on communication. I know we have a large school with many faculty members but there are many times when I feel like I don’t know what is happening in the building. Having the administrators use a blog might be able to help with this problem. The trick is to have them keep up with their posts. This will also allow the faculty members the opportunity to respond and share their thoughts. Since this can be done anonymously more faculty members might feel like they can truly share their thoughts.

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