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Friday
Nov112005

Are you contributing to the general discussion?

A while back, Will Richardson on Webblogg-ed quoted Alan Levin as saying "So how much commenting are you doing [on others blogs]? If you feel you are not getting enough comments [on your blog], are you giving?"

I'm neither satisfied nor disatisfied with number of comments coming to the Blue Skunk (I enjoy the ones that come in, but don't worry about it when they don't). But I have been thinking about Levin's statement in relationship to a unique characteristic of blogging - that it can be more dialog than sermon.

Lately, I've been trying to hold up my end of the conversation by being more diligent about taking the time to comment and react to the ideas of other bloggers.

Should we all have sort of a mental ledger going with our own blog entries in one column and our external posting in another?

Thursday
Nov102005

Teachers behaving badly

In Tom Hoffman’s Ed-Tech Insider’s Best Practices blog, he writes:

A Little Tip
If you're a teacher and you want to keep your blogging identity anonymous, don't quote your school website, even if it seems like an innocuous snippet.
I replied
Hi Tom,
I'm looking for an example in which it would be professional/ethical (even necessary) for a teacher to blog anonymously. I can't think of a circumstance.

I can think of lots of circumstances in which anonymous blogging by a teacher would certainly be unprofessional or unethical.

By offering such a "tip," are you enabling unprofessional behaviors?

All the best,
Doug Johnson, MANKATO AREA PUBLIC SCHOOLS
...and who had never published anything anonymously in his life.
I admit that my imagination is limited (at least in some areas) and would welcome any readers of the Blue Skunk to also come up with circumstances under which anonymous blogging is professional or ethical. (I promise to share them with Tom, too, and eat my crow with relish.)

I am coming to the conclusion that any revision of my ethics book will need to contain scenarios of teachers, as well as kids,  behaving badly. Like it or not, my position’s job description, under "other duties as assigned")  includes “ethics and copyright police” – not a job I relish nor always feel very comfortable performing. Among the never-ending and seemingly fruitless practices I try to curb in my district are:
  • The use of copyrighted characters painted on walls.
  • The use of videos for entertainment/reward purposes without obtaining public performance rights.
  • The use of school e-mail accounts for conducting personal business (especially when obtaining a personal account is free and easy.)
Trust me, I don’t go out running around looking for these sorts of things. When I do see them, I am kind and try to explain, in writing, why the bad behaviors are indeed bad, and emphasize that setting a bad example for kids is even worse than being caught and fined. (I keep a copy of the message for what I call my “due diligence” files.)

So what bad teacher behavior bothers you – and how do you try to curb it?
______________
A side note… The LWW has a family in her school who have named their sons Hunter, Trapper and Fisher, which I think is pretty cute. I wonder if they named their daughter Shopper?

Wednesday
Nov092005

Quit reading this blog!

Quit reading this blog right now and go to John Peterson's K-12 education, learning and getting on the cluetrain right now.

John, you’ve made me realize I am old mindset educator trying to make yesterday’s rules fit a new model of learning. You’ve just expanded my mind. YOU could and should have given David Weinberger’s keynote at NECC!

And to think, you're a Minnesotan - sorta.