How much are you willing to expose yourself?

ImageOn my recent trip to New York I happened to see the Naked Cowboy in action. He seemed very comfortable in only his hat, underwear and boots and he was putting on quite a show. He’s obviously quite the extrovert and performer and I could not help but think about how comfortable he was exposing himself to thousands of strangers. It got me thinking about how much I’m willing to expose about myself online with blogging and social networking tools. While I may have been timid in the past, I actually find myself becoming more comfortable exposing myself online. My thinking is that it will offer a wider audience some insight into my thinking and personal life.
Let me test out a few scenarios for comment.
1. Friending Colleagues on Facebook – I still remember reading in First Break All the Rules by Buckingham and Coffman that questions #5 is “Does my supervisor, or someone at work, seem to care about me as a person?” As a principal what do you think about friending others from your school on Facebook? Do you see it as a way to learn more about your co-workers and a way to let them into your life? Or, do you see it as a risk?
2. Sharing The Work of Your School on a Blog – Doug Johnson’s guidelines for blogging have always seemed reasonable to me. He suggests that you…
  • Write assuming your boss is reading.
  • Gripe globally; praise locally.
  • Write for edited publications.
  • Write out of goodness.
How much are you willing to share about the work that is going on at your school? Are you only willing to share the positives while you keep the negative issues and conflicts internal?
3. Posting Photos and Media Online for the World to See – This Thursday we’re offering a parent workshop on digital footprints and we’re talking quite a bit about what types of photos and videos we will post online. I recently traveled with a student group to do community service and I was anxious to share photos online via Flickr or some other tool. How do you view the sharing of school related media online?
4. Sharing Your Personal Life Online – If you’re on Facebook how much of your personal life are you willing to share? Does your stance on this have anything to do with your school community? For example, will you post photos of you with alcohol? Are you careful about the language that you use?
Going through the process of determining how much you want to expose yourself can be exciting and scary at the same time. The important thing to remember is that you’re not alone in trying to figure out the right level of exposure. I for one don’t plan on parading around in my underwear online but I may be seen in my swimsuit at the beach.

The Historic NYC Library and The Future

From Flickr by melanzane1013

On my recent trip to New York City I had the opportunity to visit the main New York City Public Library. As someone who truly appreciates history I was in awe of the building. It truly is a magnificent place. Work on the building started in 1902 and the library opened in 1911. The initial building contained 75 miles of shelving and it had one of the most sophisticated book delivery systems of the day. The first patron waited 6 minutes for N. I. Grot’s Nravstvennye idealy nashego vremeni (Ethical Ideas of Our Time). To learn more about the history you can visit the NYPL site.

When thinking about schools of the future, today we have to consider how libraries will change and adapt. By just looking around and then checking out their website is appears that the library is working hard to move ahead into the future. In fact, I think that school libraries can learn a thing or two.

Start with the cool looking banner showing “Discover”, “Connect”, and “Get Inspired” on the website . There is a link that shows you how to connect to the library through a variety of social networking sites (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, iTunes and Flickr). Patrons can also subscribe to their blogs and check out their audio/video and digital projects. The library uses VoiceThread for people to contribute comments and to highlight the NYPL Picture library.

One of the highlights of the library is the main reading room which is very impressive. I couldn’t resist taking this picture of the dictionary on the stand and all of the illuminated laptop screens. I have to wonder how often the dictionary and thousands of beautiful books in the room are used. Users can go online to reserve a library laptop to use within the library.

It is refreshing to see the contrast between the historical surroundings and the new technology. Hey, they even had a Wii in the children’s library for kids to play. I hope that places like this will keep pace with today’s digital world so that we can continue to learn from the past.

Modeling the Use of Social Networking Tools: Where do you stand?

Cross posted on LeaderTalk

I would love to hear more about how school leaders are using today’s tools as modelers in a digital-age learning culture.

As a school leader, where do you stand on the following?

On Blogging

  • Are you blogging on your school’s website?
  • If so, who is your audience and what types of topics do you cover?
  • Do you allow for comments?
  • Any interesting stories regarding problems or issues that you faced that you care to share?
  • Are you blogging for personal or professional growth?
  • If so, do you have certain rules or guidelines that you follow?
  • Any interesting stories regarding problems or issues that you faced that you care to share?

Other Social Networking Tools (e.g. Facebook, MySpace, Twitter)

  • Do you use other social networking tools?
  • If so, do you have specific purposes for the different tools? (e.g. I use Facebook for friends and Twitter for professional learning)
  • What is your stance on connecting with or befriending students?
  • Any interesting stories regarding problems or issues that you faced that you care to share?

Can’t wait to hear the different viewpoints.