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Tuesday, November 22, 2005 

Fear of Blogging?

"A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle."
( Father James Keller )

I've been following with interest the conversations between Darren, Miguel and Bud the Teacher in regards to the question of ethics as it applies to opening up blogging to all students and school systems. I especially enjoyed Bud's podcast of Nov.11 on the subject.
Regardless of anyone's position on the topic, I am especially enthused by the mere fact that teachers all over the continent and beyond are looking at this issue with all its complexities and possibilities. I am excited about the passion that I see daily from teachers seeking new ways to expand our students' awareness and knowledge. I see their efforts translate into passionate students, students who feel a connection with their teacher(s) and to each other. Where there is passion, there is hope! Is not our function as teachers to provide opportunity and guidance in the same way that a judicious parent would want? Do we, as parents, not take it upon ourselves to encourage opportunity and the searh for personal excellence in our kids? Do we not teach our children how to be" safe" by teaching them how to be discriminant users and observers? If our function is to prepare our students for the future, why would we insist on teaching them in the same way that we were taught 20, 30, 40 years ago? Blocks and filters don't keep our students safe (actually, they are more for our own benefit, that we are allowed to feel safer.... most of these can be circumvented anyway). I find the position just a bit short-sighted. MSN chat lines and text messaging, quite honestly, are of greater concern to me, both as a parent and a school administrator.
Good teachers find a way to teach and to reach each student. Great teachers are also able to see what lies ahead and to lead those students (and sometimes their colleagues) in that direction, replacing fear and apprehension with passion, curiosity and confidence. Can we accept anything less? We are blessed with visionary teachers at DMCI. May they continue to dream and to share their light!

This is some really powerful writing! You've really nailed the issues and hit them head on. Another blogger is born.

Welcome to the conversation.

Maybe you were just born to blog. ;-)

My sentiments exactly. DMCI is indeed blessed with a group of passionate educators who make their primary concern preparing students for the "real world". This of course involves informing them of what lies ahead in their future and teaching them how to best cope with the challenges. I agree both as a parent and an administrator that isolating students from what we perceive as possible dangers is not the answer, specifically as it relates to technology and the internet. We must instead teach them how to use it judiciously and wisely so that they can become active members of a global world.

Just wanted to say that it is nice to see an administrator blogging. I am definely going to track of your blog.

Quentin D'Souza
Academic Information and Communication Technology Team
TCDSB
Toronto, Canada

Mr. Beaumont,
Great post. Your community is fortunate to have such a forward looking individual in a top administrative position. You ask an insightful question: "If our function is to prepare our students for the future, why would we insist on teaching them in the same way that we were taught 20, 30, 40 years ago?" The ONLY acceptable answer to your question is "Because traditional teaching will prepare them for the future as we can best see it." Well, I doubt that's true, so, if we really want to prepare our students, it looks like it's time to change.
Mike Hetherington

PS: I am a 6th grade teacher in the U.S. My student's have a class podcast that you can listen to at http://room613talk05.edublogs.org

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