Monday, April 17, 2006

Blogging at my institution

Christopher Sessums has this post in which he gives initial results of his survey of edubloggers. Now, I had thought about answering the questionnaire but didn't. But - better late than never - I want to consider his questions here.

My institution does nothing to support or hinder my blogging either as a professional educator or, as of this year, with my students. We do not presently use any technology that would affect my blogging in any way. We began to use Moodle this year, but we have not set up its wiki capability yet. I don't think the institution has an opinion about blogs or wikis; I don't think that, as an institution, we are even really aware that they exist.

I plan to include my blog in my list of publications for my performance evaluation this year, but I have no fantasy that it will be viewed as professional writing or professional development of any kind. Since my institution does not offer tenure and evaluations don't really count for anything, I am in a position to do this to make a point -- even though few will "get it".

I feel very strongly that I connect to a community outside my institution through blogging. It is an informal community, but it is very real. This community, as I have often said, is the source of most of my professional conversation and, as a result, most of my professional learning. We don't have these kinds of conversations about teaching and learning at my institution.

But let me hasten to say that individuals in my institution have been extremely supportive of my blogging. Without their encouragement, I might have given up trying to blog with my students long before now. So I can't complain at all. The fact is that, by the very nature of my institution, we are not cutting edge in terms of technology. But we are moving forward, and there is a surprising level of acceptance.

I somehow think that my experience is not all that unusual. Maybe I am wrong. Please let me know if I am!

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