To begin with, I'm pleased with the interaction that has taken place and the ideas expressed in the comments and elsewhere with respect to the series of etiquette posts that I recently published. I am very much appreciative of any contribution to the discussion.
Nevertheless, in watching the conversations unfold, I've become increasingly aware that an attempt to identify the norm in such a matter is particularly difficult, given that most online behaviors are subject to personal interpretation and that the blogosphere has been formed on the foundation of (often-chaotic) personal expression. That said, as one that teaches teachers how and why to blog, a list of such etiquette do's and don'ts would sure be helpful.
Surprisingly, the number one issue that anyone appears to have taken with respect to this series has nothing to do with the questions I’ve asked or the examples I’ve cited. Rather, some seem to feel that educational bloggers are fundamentally bound by the same rules of etiquette that have been unofficially set forth by the global blogging community in general.
Honestly, it is that very mindset of mediocrity (the mindset that educators are free to slack because others slack) that has contributed so forcefully to the detriment of public education during recent decades past. Would our profession not be better respected – both in attitude and in finance – if we teachers hadn’t lost the confidence and trust of our patrons somewhere along the way? To think that educators shouldn’t be governed by a much higher standard, in my opinion, is to do the entire system a tremendous disservice.
Please correct me if I’m wrong:
- When a teacher fails to, for example, adequately cite sources in a blog post, is a message not sent to all students watching that such behavior is acceptable?
- Will not such attitudes, as they have been so effectively taught through example, then be promulgated by an entire generation of learners?
- Ours is the responsibility, as teachers in this global classroom, to set an example so clear that any possibility of misinterpretation of what is (and what is not) acceptable behavior diminishes entirely.
Image Source: Flickr user SantaRosa OLD SKOOL
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