The New York Times has a interesting article in today’s paper and online called Erasing Divide, College Leaders Take to Blogging. It illustrates the pros and cons of College Presidents starting their own blogs. There are a few successful examples and a several rocky ones.
Sadly when a campus leader shares their point of view about education, even if its lock step with policy, there are always critics. But you see that is ok. I repeat criticism is ok. It is the beginning of helpful dialog. We must ‘battle it out’ in the comment section to find out what we share in common and where our differences lie. Then we can figure out how to mend them.
Universities should encourage direct communication among the members of its community. Transparency and openness is essential to educating young people in preparation for living in a democracy. Sure its going to be rocky. Yes some may use what you write as ammunition against you. But at the end of the day educating kids is what’s important.
We must have courageous College and University leaders take on this challenge. You can blog smartly. Just don’t write the first thing that comes to mind. Make several drafts. Share them with others. Have a marketing department or trusted colleague look at it. Mix in fun wittings with the serious ones. Think long and hard about how you’ll moderate comments BEFORE you start a blog.
I feel very confident that if the communication gap in the 21st Century that exists between students and their teachers isn’t made smaller we are doomed to see history repeat itself over and over. Isn’t that the antithesis of education’s purpose?
I extend a helping hand to any Teacher, Professor, Administrator, President, or Provost who would like to blog. Just contact me and I’ll help you start. Gratis.