Finding the time for administrators to blog

Over at Ideas and Thoughts from an EdTech, Dean mentions that he's "going to be talking to senior administrators tomorrow about beginning to blog. I know that they'll ask when they're supposed to find time to blog."


When I pitched blogging to my kids' principal, I asked her to imagine being able to send an e-mail to every parent in the community, an e-mail that took five minutes to type, an e-mail in which she could highlight something nifty happening in the school or in a classroom, something that ordinarily parents wouldn't see but would love to know about. That was a big hook for her, particularly when I also stressed that blog posting was literally as easy as sending an e-mail, that past posts were easy to find (unlike, say, an e-mail listserv), and that she could turn comments off or on as desired (she was worried about having the time to monitor comments to her posts).

That two-minute conversation was enough for her to try it out. I'm pleased to say that she's finding her blogging voice and also has found much encouragement from parents telling her that they eagerly look forward to her next post. She's already thinking of other ways to use the blog beside simply pushing out newsletter-type items and likely will pilot a post with comments soon. And thus a principal blogger is born...

As I try to get 100 new principals blogging in 100 days, I have been struck by how many principals have jumped at the chance simply because someone offered it to them. I've also seen this in my kids' school, where I'm setting up some teacher blogs too. It's as if there's this large untapped blogging reservoir waiting for someone to jam in the pipe and open the spigot. How many more teacher / administrator bloggers might we have if we simply asked them if they wanted a blog (and could articulate in two minutes some tangible benefits and how blogging can fit in with their already-busy lives)?

Dean, if you'd like, I'd be happy to set up blogs for any administrators in your organization that want them. Best of luck with the conversation.

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Scientists study tattooed corpses, find pigment in lymph nodes

It turns out, that tattoo ink can travel throughout your body and settle in lymph nodes.

17th August 1973: An American tattoo artist working on a client's shoulder. (Photo by F. Roy Kemp/BIPs/Getty Images)
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In the slightly macabre experiment to find out where tattoo ink travels to in the body, French and German researchers recently used synchrotron X-ray fluorescence in four "inked" human cadavers — as well as one without. The results of their 2017 study? Some of the tattoo ink apparently settled in lymph nodes.


Image from the study.

As the authors explain in the study — they hail from Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich, the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, and the German Federal Institute for Risk Assessment — it would have been unethical to test this on live animals since those creatures would not be able to give permission to be tattooed.

Because of the prevalence of tattoos these days, the researchers wanted to find out if the ink could be harmful in some way.

"The increasing prevalence of tattoos provoked safety concerns with respect to particle distribution and effects inside the human body," they write.

It works like this: Since lymph nodes filter lymph, which is the fluid that carries white blood cells throughout the body in an effort to fight infections that are encountered, that is where some of the ink particles collect.

Image by authors of the study.

Titanium dioxide appears to be the thing that travels. It's a white tattoo ink pigment that's mixed with other colors all the time to control shades.

The study's authors will keep working on this in the meantime.

“In future experiments we will also look into the pigment and heavy metal burden of other, more distant internal organs and tissues in order to track any possible bio-distribution of tattoo ink ingredients throughout the body. The outcome of these investigations not only will be helpful in the assessment of the health risks associated with tattooing but also in the judgment of other exposures such as, e.g., the entrance of TiO2 nanoparticles present in cosmetics at the site of damaged skin."

Photo by Alina Grubnyak on Unsplash
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