Wanted: Principals Blogging

My boss asked me to find powerful examples of blogs done by principals as a way not only to get announcements out to families, but also to provide a site for resources that families could use to assist their child, as well as ways to supplement the learning going on and build connections between home and school. What a wonderful use for the blog! How forward thinking and, dare I say LOGICAL. I was excited. That's an assignment that's right up my alley. I promised I'd find at least 5 good ones and report back to him on what made the blog so powerful and how it could be tweaked for our families.

My problem: I'm having a hard time finding what I'm looking for. HELP. If you have/know of an administrator that's doing a fabulous job of blogging for parents as their primary audience, please let me know. I found a lot of fabulous edtech blogs, but they're writing to other edtechs or other teachers. I'll keep looking, but here's some good ones that I found.

A GeekyMomma's Blog

by Lee Kolbert from Boca Raton, FL. Yes, she's a mom and a blogger and an educator as well as a techie. Not sure if she's an edtechie, but quite possibly. No, she's not an administrator, but I found her on the Support Blogging! wikispace under blogs on educational blogging and I liked the title. Note to SD - the title of your blog is very important.

  • great voice in her writing - easy to read, not too jargonish, humorous, pleasant
  • posts are interactive - a good way to bring audience in - "let's learn together" or "try this, and I will too, let's exchange mana'o"
  • clean design
  • intended readership is not the same
  • not an administrator
Birdʻs Eye View
Andrew Bird is the principal of Muritai School in Eastbourne in Wellington. The purpose of his blog is to help his readers keep up with daily events at school, some of their learning, some of his thoughts, his school achievements and key readings related to education.
  • He sticks to his mission for his blog
  • Easy to read
  • Technologies like TeacherTube are incorporated to share information in an interesting way
  • I would like to see more edtalk. Yes, too much turns parents off, but once a month shouldnʻt be too much
  • The posts are not updated enough (averages 2 a month)
  • The blogroll links should be more focused on useful sites for students and parents
The Principal and Interest
Dave Sherman moved his blog to Word Press so that he did not have to be attached to his schoolʻs website. This is not a site for parents. But Iʻm including this site because I think as a principal he has manaʻo on the kinds of things that other principals deal with. If you are feeling isolated as a principal and need to hear another principalʻs voice, this is the blog to try.

Almost Monday
Principal Glenn Malone's site is for his staff. Not quite what we're looking for, but I still think it's a good idea as a way to share links. Perhaps there could be several people posting to staff to make it easier: principal, vice principal, curriculum specialist, PTA reps, etc.

I didnʻt find the exact blog to fit my principal's needs, but I have no doubt that he can create one. What I did find after sorting through 25 blogs is this:
  • principals are really busy, so if they do find time to blog, they choose to talk to their colleagues rather than to parents (I think it depends on what the principals were before they were principals: curriculum specialists and technology teachers make the best bloggers)
  • if the principal blog is attached to the school web site, the most common use of the blog is as a way to post pictures of student outings and post announcements
  • many of the links I went to were either shut down or had not been updated in several years, which tells me that principals really need to be committed to blogging, because it's not easy to fit it in
The key to all new things is to just take baby steps. Everything doesn't have to be set up ahead of time in order to start. Just start and be willing to learn and take feedback. There will come a time when you feel like no one is reading you. Blog anyway, even if it's just a way to clarify your thoughts. There are silent readers and silent supporters out there (at least that's what I hope). See you in the blogosphere.


HICHA said…
Nice! Sherman's blog is definitely closer to what I'm looking for. Good work blogger!
ps...I have another task for you. Not as fun. :(

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