Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Blogs are scary

I think I might have scared others today. I was working with a group of teachers who were kind enough to want to learn about some tools to use in presentation. Then I hit them with the blogging part and they stopped making eye contact.

When I set up this blog, I invited the others on my team to help with the blog. Dave did a post on collaboration, and Judy keeps both a professional site and a professional blog with Jenn. But for all us, blogging remains more than a more little scary. Here is an eloquently worded one of my colleagues concerns:
Blogging is scary because you are putting your thoughts for all to see - cemented for as long as the Internet is out there. It feels as if you can't retract, and it is set stone.
The others concerns are just as real. Blogging could cause you to loose control of what is up "out there", or others could say something you don't want. You might upset people. Blogging is a commitment, and once you start you need to continue.

I have observed an interesting related phenomenon. Very few of the people who know me and read this blog post to it. Teachers are lurkers as a group. They often send me emails about something I blogged (I got three emails yesterday), but a public conversations is just a little too. . . you know. . .

Yup, that's the issue alright. Because even in an learning institution like a school division, too many public statements are probably not a good thing.

I have enjoyed seeing the offerings of other groups of consultants throughout the province, and think it is great to see which subjects they cover, and how they are responding to new curricula or what they value based on what they blog. But there are all those problems of public commitments when things may change, being perceived as the public voice of the division when you are an individual who is learning - it is all just so


What do you think? (Yes, I am aware of the irony of asking).

P. S. I just started reading my RSS feeds and come up with an interview with a consummate teacher blogger - tangential, but interesting.


  1. I'm always paranoid of saying things I'll regret online. It's a delicate balancing act that requires just the right mixture of care and thick skin. I can't even imagine the pressure for a professional blogger, such as a teacher, who could potentially lose her job over a posting.

    As a side note, there are tons of anonymous blogs out there, some of which have actually attracted a worthy following. (e.g. cops, sex blogs.) But an anonymous blog feels so... wussy. Besides, how on earth can you attract a following without a gimmick? (e.g. cop, sex blog.)


  2. Thanks for sharing, Gus.

    You raise a few serious concerns there. For teachers, job loss (or at least censure) looms when we think about our technological skills -- or perceived lack there-of. And there is nothing reassuring coming from the high end of the food chain to make teachers feel safe "sharing".

  3. argh argh argh. I just posted a long comment here which disappeared when I tried to switch to my WP account. I tried!

  4. I am a lurker - and I feel guilty saying so. I do want to blog and have done so off and on over the past few years. My problem is that I think slowly and by the time I have pondered what I want to say, ironed out the contradictions in my thinking and written and revised the first 10 sentences so much time has passed that what I have to say is no longer relevant. My best blog posts are written in my head during a drive between North Battleford and Saskatoon - but they never reach the keyboard!

  5. There was a news story on CBC (20 May 2010) about a person who commented quite negatively about the story from Assinniboia (student with prosthetic leg bullied on the bus) and later retracted the comment after hearing another side of the story. He had commented anonymously, so he didn't feel any inhibitions. That's something that should be taught to students - etiquette when commenting and how one's credibility is reduced when they hide behind anonymity.