In the days leading up to Thanksgiving last year, Principal Rob Ackerman challenged students at Lt. Job Lane Elementary School in Bedford, Massachusetts, to bring in 1,000 books for needy children in the area. If students met the goal, Ackerman promised to give a very special performance in front of the student body.
So it was... when students met the goal, Ackerman was a man of his word. He even shared news and a video of his command performance in Mr. Ackerman’s Blog:
“We had our annual Holiday Concert yesterday. The kids were great!! As promised, I wore a tutu to thank the kids for bringing in 1,100 new books for needy children. Below is a snapshot video of the staff singing ‘12 Days of Christmas.’ I think you will agree that I could use a few more ballet lessons. I blame it on tight hamstrings.”Ackerman’s blog is just one tool he uses to keep the wider school community in touch with what’s going on at Lane Elementary. The brief blog snippets paint a picture of a school where students are engaged and having fun. And the entries and occasional pictures and video illustrate how communicating via a blog need not be a big challenge or a big time eater.
See video clips in Ackerman’s ‘I’m a Man of My Word’ blog entry, dated December 22, 2010.
Ackerman decided to create a blog for two reasons. “One reason is that I don't like having to sit down each month to write a traditional -- boring -- newsletter that most parents don’t even read,” he told Education World. “The second reason is that we have so many easy-to-use tools for blogging that it just makes sense that principals use those tools to communicate.”
Schools often lag behind ‘the times’ when it comes to using the technology that the community is using, Ackerman added. “At some point I anticipate schools will develop their own ‘smartphone’ apps to enhance communication that much more.”
Ackerman says the feedback about his blog has been entirely positive. “More principals should get rid of the antiquated monthly newsletter and give parents updates that are more timely. If something happens in school that day that you want to share, why wait til the end of the month to point it out? Showcase it that day!”
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In the second of a 3-part series on essential tools, IT expert Miguel Guhlin explores blogging. Of all the tools available, this one tool has the potential to bring about the most change in a principal’s learning and leading situation.
This page contains resources related to K-12 blogging, including good sample blogs. Click the sidebar link of interest (e.g., Principal/School Blogs).