100 principal blogs - Update 3
Scott McLeod, J.D., Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Educational Leadership at the University of Kentucky. He also is the Founding Director of the UCEA Center for the Advanced Study of Technology Leadership in Education (CASTLE), the nation’s only academic center dedicated to the technology needs of school administrators, and was a co-creator of the wildly popular video series, Did You Know? (Shift Happens). He has received numerous national awards for his technology leadership work, including recognitions from the cable industry, Phi Delta Kappa, and the National School Boards Association. In Spring 2011 he was a Visiting Canterbury Fellow at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand. Dr. McLeod blogs regularly about technology leadership issues at Dangerously Irrelevant and Mind Dump, and occasionally at The Huffington Post. He can be reached at scottmcleod.net.
Last October I announced a bold new CASTLE initiative. Because of what was clearly a lack of presence by school principals in the blogosphere, we set an ambitious goal for ourselves of getting 100 principals up and blogging in 100 days. Dean Shareski at Ideas and Thoughts from an EdTech expressed skepticism that we'd reach our goal. It's now the 100-day mark - how are we doing?
Obviously we're not doing as well as we had hoped. As the chart above shows, we've had 54 principals request a new blog. We've set up all those blogs, 5 in just the past few days. Of the other 49 principals, 25 are actively blogging (if sometimes infrequently) and 24 have never posted. I said in my comments to Dean's post that I anticipated this project would be interesting. Here are a few thoughts on what has occurred so far with this initiative:
- Reaching principals has been a challenge. Most principals are not active readers in the blogosphere and we have neither easy access to nor the budget for advertisements in the print publications that they do read. Nor do we have easy access to principals' e-mail addresses for electronic communications. We thus are dependent on others to help us spread the word about this project. To date we have seen clear 'bumps' in the number of requests that we get after each online update and/or conference presentation that we've done.
So has this project been a success? No and yes. No if we judge it by our initial ambitious goal of getting 100 new active principal blogs within 100 days. Yes if we recognize that we've already doubled the number of known principals in the blogosphere.
Here are our next steps:
- I'm going to track our requests for another 50 days and report out on how we're doing. After that the project web site and our offer to create free blogs for principals will remain open but I'll quit reporting on our progress. Why the additional 50 days? I still am hopeful that we'll get some more folks to sign up because...
We're open to suggestions, comments, or other feedback that anyone has for us. We are extremely thankful for all of the support and publicity folks have given us to date. I am confident that eventually we will reach our goal of creating 100 new, active principal blogs. It just may take us longer than we had hoped.