Monday, February 27, 2006

Having a Conversation

This is from Robert Scoble, who is a prolific blogger at Microsoft (he's kind of their official blogger). He is blogging in response to another blog by Guy Kawasaki talking about companies that are in the middle of a "bozo explosion" - which is defined as sinking into mediocrity. While the posts are interesting in and of themselves, this quote leapt out at me (emphasis added by me):
If your team blogs, even when it has no customers, or worse, is derided by the community, you’re on your way off of the bozo explosion. Something interesting happens when you have a conversation with people about what they want. It focuses meetings and gets things going.

The sentence in italics is what got my attention. I think this is a key part of what we're trying to do. It's not just the blogging we are doing with students (although that is part of it), but it's having the conversation with them about what they want (and need). While I've never bought into the philosophy that schools could be "fixed" by running them more like a business, that doesn't mean that we can't learn a lot from the world of business. And one of the things I think we need to learn - in a hurry - is to pay attention to the customer. While we have a variety of "customers," ultimately the student is our customer - and we need to pay more attention to them.


  1. I completely agree. Blogging has changed how I think about my students, and it has given them a new forum to show how deeply they really can think when they decide to do it. In a way, I think that blogging came along at just the right time for me on my philospohical journey as a teacher. It has made me more optimistic.

  2. I agree also, the blogging has been a big step forward. And, I can say, it's always nice when teachers stop once in a while to talk to us about how things are going. I'm quite the fan of this constructivism movement.

  3. What I have always wanted was a way to connect more academically with our recent grads. What do they feel really prepared them, what seemed a waste, what do they feel weak at still, etc. We hear from a few of our close students, but it would be helpful to hear from more of a majority to see what they needed in high school.