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Guest Thinkers

Principal blogging not allowed

On Monday I got an e-mail from an elementary principal:

Scott, it looks like I won’t be able to follow through with the [Principal Blogging Project]. Our

district technology person has decided not to open up access to blog sites,

therefore I cannot access the site from school (our filter blocks


In other words, the principal cannot set up a blog to communicate with his

school community because the district technology coordinator, who is in a

support position, won’t let him. Here was my reply:

This is disappointing. As Director of CASTLE, I work quite a bit with

principals, superintendents, and technology coordinators. I’m always sad to hear

when technological decisions are made that get in the way of enabling

administrators’ / teachers’ work. I think that technology should be about

enabling good educational practices, not gatekeeping or shutting them down

because of fear / safety concerns. There are many, many schools and districts

where principals, superintendents, teachers, and others are blogging to both

internal and external communities. Why can’t your district be one of those

places? How are you going to expose students, teachers, parents, and

administrators to the technological transformations that are revolutionizing

American and global societies if you shut it all down? If things change (or if

there’s any way I can help you maybe persuade someone to think differently about

this), let me know.

Here is the principal’s final e-mail to me:

I agree. I tried to work it through and was not successful. I loved the

blogging idea, it was nice and easy for me, and I knew that I would be able to

get staff on board. Unfortunately, not everyone is as forward


This tale’s been told before. Technology coordinators who are more concerned

with disabling than enabling. Technology personnel that we would hope would be

progressive, forward thinkers regarding digital technologies but instead are

regressive gatekeepers. Teachers and administrators that try to move into the 21st century but run into the brick wall of supervisors or support personnel. Superintendents that allow such situations to occur

rather than insisting that their district figure out how to make it work (like

other districts have). Educators that fail to understand that the world around them has

changed and that their relevance to that world is diminishing daily.

This tale’s been told before, but it’s still depressing.

P.S. See

my previous post