What Is Holding Educators Back from Blogging?


I taught a Web 2.0 workshop to about 25 Illinois educators today.  Most of the people in the room were school administrators, along with a few teachers.  I used a wiki that I had created to teach such concepts as Blogging, Wikis, RSS, 21st Century Skills, Internet-based Surveys, Personal Learning Networks, and Screencasting.

Overall, I was quite pleased with how the day went, and I had so much fun working with this terrific group of educators.  I hope that the participants took some good information home with them, and I really hope they will use the tools in their professional and personal lives.  At the end of the day, I asked for some constructive feedback regarding the workshop, and what I read on their evaluations will definitely help me as I plan for the next time I teach this workshop in February.

Throughout the day, I was asked questions about the logistics of using Web 2.0 technology with parents and families.  The participants of this workshop raised some very good points regarding the roadblocks they may face as they attempt to move to a digital form of communication with their school communities.  I had trouble answering a number of their questions, and I have a lot to think about in the coming weeks and months.

I am posting this poll to see what people consider as the main roadblock educators encounter when attempting to use blogs, wikis, and other internet tools with students and parents.  Please take a moment to answer the poll.

Thanks!

P.S. If you check “Other” please leave a comment to share what you are thinking about.

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8 thoughts on “What Is Holding Educators Back from Blogging?

  1. Dave,

    I can’t participate in your survey because I don’t see hindrances to blogging with my school community. I see only opportunity to influence thinking and access one part of our community–the on-line segment–while maintaining traditional methods of communication too.

    I can’t have the same conversation over and over again that’s necessary to explain a situation or to notify the public of a change. The blog allows me to do that with a wide audience of all at once. Our Randolph Facebook page allows me to reach another audience.

    What administrator who wants to lead and to transform a district can afford to miss those opportunities?

    Not me!
    Kimberly Moritz

  2. Kim,
    You are preaching to the choir here. I agree that blogging is an excellent tool for communicating, and it is my main way of sharing with my parent community. However, there are many communities that are not as lucky as we are. They have families without computers or where they can’t read English. In these cases, a blog is not a good communication tool. Those unable to access the blog are at a disadvantage because they can’t participate in the debate/discussion that makes blogging so valuable.

    As I work with principals in neighboring districts, teaching them about Web 2.0 tools, I am asked how I would deal with these families who are unable to access the blogs. I am struggling with the answers. Sure, it is easy to say “Too bad for them, because we must move forward so we don’t miss the opportunities that you write about.” However, isn’t that an insensitive answer? Doesn’t that disenfranchise a segment of the community? I suggested using Google Translate, but I was told that this program does not work well.

    Do you have any suggestions? Don’t you think those who only get the traditional method of communication are at a disadvantage and that is unfair? I am struggling with these questions.
    Thanks for the comment!
    Dave

  3. Dave,
    Really enjoyed your insights about possible barriers principals face in blogging. Do you think there are unspoken barriers relating to fear of change, lack of comfort using the technology and/or fear of opening the floodgates of two-way communication? Wonder what helped you and Kim (earlier post) get around these barriers?
    Meg

  4. Great post. I think that many administrators are afraid to take the risk to change. We also have to be willing to spend the time to learn these new technologies. I have been “preaching” it to my colleagues! I would love to see you wiki if you do not mind sharing.

  5. Love to have you contribute on the wiki. We are a small group who are puzzling through the issues of Web 2.0 and schools. Is there a way I can get your email address?
    Meg

  6. Dave,

    I am new here to this blogging stuff. However, I agree with your above response. As a school administrator I think the only thing holding administrator’s back from using technology is their lack of comfort with technology. The hinderances listed above are simply excuses. Think about how most schools currently communicate with parents – papers (letter, notes, school newspapers, etc) sent home with students. The reality of all parents successfully receiving these papers is slim. Using a blog or wiki is just another avenue to reach more parents. It is a shame that this avenue of communication is not used more frequently. It is my goal to create some form of technological communication with my parents in the near future.

    Mary

  7. I agree, Mary. The technology does seems daunting. Yet, it soon becomes second nature, much like e-mail, which initially left many of us scratching our heads.

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