I have been (sporadically) blogging since 2006! For the first time this summer, I had the opportunity to try blogging with my colleagues, which you can read more about here.
This past Fall, our Upper School (grades 6-8) Division Head decided to incorporate some Web 2.0 tools into her administrative repertoire. Rather than passing out the thick 3-ring binder with paperwork at our August division meeting, she created a series of Google Docs which she updates monthly. Before each Division Meeting she sends us an iGoogle tab with the Google Docs front and center, and features widgets on the tab that teachers might find useful and interesting (Spanish Word of the Day, This Day in History, NASA Image of the Day, etc.)
She has also been asking us to bring our laptops to each division meeting, where we have been taking the first 10-15 minutes of meeting time to leave comments on a blog she set up for the division, in part to address inevitable technical issues on the spot, and partly as a way to ensure that everyone contributes. Several colleagues immediately balked, asking “why are we taking valuable time away from our meetings to type our thoughts instead of talking face-to-face with the people here in the same room?!” She persisted.
This month she posted a series of questions on the blog ahead of time about some Fall professional development events we’ve participated in. She asked us to leave comments on the post PRIOR to our division meeting. Here’s a comment I just noticed this evening:
“I must confess that my initial reaction to the blog requirement was not especially favorable because I couldn’t quite see the advantages of pecking away at my keyboard instead of sharing oral comments in a face-to-face setting. Upon further reflection, however, I realized that this served a need for which I have long advocated: some sort of a public forum for colleagues to share their thoughts about guest speakers and large-scale meetings. For example, I was disappointed in certain features of J’s presentation (e.g. she rushed through the more nitty-gritty material in the second half of the talk and she passed out 22 pages of hard copy to each individual while espousing sustainability at all levels.) On the other hand, I am encouraged to hear through the blog that many of you felt inspired and well informed by what she shared (which has modified my own reaction to the presentation.)”
And here’s another:
“I think this is a great process (the blogging) because it frees up time for other things in meetings. I will defer to the teachers about what those things should be, but it seems like a good use of time to prethink and communicate with each other and not rehash all this in a meeting setting.”
Alas, yet another example of one of the most important personality traits an administrator ought to possess which I sorely lack…patience with the process.
(image source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/soulphoto/365740316/)