Monday, September 18, 2006

Teachers speak out of turn

Teachers speak out of turn. I encourage everybody to check out this article in today's USA Today. It features K-12 teachers who actively blog. Several history bloggers are included. In fact, the most prominently featured blogger is elementaryhistoryteacher of History is Elementary and American Presidents Blog fame. As she has a post featured in almost every History Carnival, she is probably familiar to many readers.

This article also reveals elementaryhistoryteacher's real identity. She is shown to be:

"Lisa Cooper, 44, a teacher in Atlanta who blogs under 'elementaryhistoryteacher,' says her blog helps her gather her thoughts and speak for herself."

Lisa is a a fourth-grade teacher at Villa Rica (Ga.) Elementary. My congratulations to Lisa for getting such excellent exposure. I hope it brings her lots of new readers who keep coming back.

Several other history teachers/bloggers are also covered. This includes an example of what not to do when blogging. Note this bad example:

"They may make good reading, but do blogs make schools better? The blogosphere split over that question last spring, when the anonymous teacher-blogger at Chicago's Fenger High posted a series of rambling, caustic narratives titled Fast Times at Regnef (Fenger spelled backward). He painted a picture of a dangerous, chaotic school where students showed up stoned, skipped class to sell drugs, trashed teachers' cars and had sex in the hallways. As it turned out, the blogger, who quit after students learned his identity, was a history teacher who had helped a group of students make it to the county finals of a mock trial competition."

It is always a bad idea to be negative about your employer in a blog. Using a pseudonym is always a good idea if you value your privacy and still want to blog. But eventually, every pseudonym gets revealed. I encourage all history bloggers to use common sense when blogging about work!

This is a great article and I hope it brings even more K-12 history bloggers into the history blogosphere. My thanks to Greg Toppo for writing it.


sumir said...

Hi Miland,

Congratulations to Lisa Cooper.

I have learnt about her blog from your references. I have learnt about her name earlier also. She really looks cute in her original self. She should display her real photograph on her site then the digital art which I suppose, is her own creative work.

By the way, what is your actual name? I just missed to join in when you received an invitation from Britannica. Actually I thought of making a comment on the use, purpose and direction of blogging as well as using Internet as a teaching tool and research tool. I was just held back because there was another post titled “What we need now is a Good Trolling Engine” on the Digital History Hacks which also referred to what I desire to comment upon. I wanted to incorporate the suggestion and the activity of Turkel in that write up. But it was intriguing to learn that Miland Brown is not your actual name. Secondly, Miland Brown is also active on some other site. I have gathered only this much that you have to do something with university of Wisconsin or Michigan.

I may be out of place here but it was just that two people whom I have come to know through Internet are in news.

Congratulations to you also for the invitation by Britannica. When are they allowing you to quote from their storehouse? Well in India, Britannica is still a standard of academic excellence. That is other thing, that after watching you people, I am using more of net than such conventional sources. I do not know how they will react after reading the last line.

Miland said...

"Congratulations to you also for the invitation by Britannica. When are they allowing you to quote from their storehouse?"

They are already allowing me to do this. I have one post on the history of Moldova that links to the Britannica and the whole text of the article is available to readers. I will link to Britannica when it is appropraite.

"By the way, what is your actual name?"

I would rather not post that here. However, if you leave me a comment with your e-mail address I will send it to you via e-mail. You are a long standing contributor to this blog and I do not mind sharing with you. (I will decline the comment so that your e-mail address does not get posted here online.)