The Wawascene was created by Dr. Mark Stock, former Superintendent of the Wawasee Community School Corporation. Due to its local popularity, Dr. Stock has left the blog site to future Wawasee administrators.

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Friday, October 28, 2005

Participating in our democracy: Do you ever feel out of the loop?

There is a new link added to the side bar on this page today.

It says "The Education Wonks." Please click on this link. It will take you to one of the national blog sites that links to many educational bloggers in America. Every Wednesday they run "The Carnival of Education" which summarizes all the major educational bloggers, most of which are teachers by the way. This "one-stop-shopping" will help you keep up with various topics going on nationally in the trenches.

I would suggest that a typical way of staying informed about issues is to do the following every day:

1. Fire up the computer and click on The Wawascene. In 30 seconds you can tell if there is something locally being communicated.
2. Click on The Super's Blog in order to link to Indiana newspapers. A quick click on one or more papers will tell you what is being reported in Indiana. This is especially important now that the legislative session is starting up.
3. Click on The Education Wonks. A quick scan on Wednesday morning or any morning, will tell you what national bloggers in education are talking about that week. You can then follow those links if you desire.

I have just followed the routine described and it took 8 minutes, including skim reading the headlines and clicking on at least one site at every stop.

Done on a daily and weekly basis, you will be informed on a local, state and national level of the things that impact our lives. Now granted, there are many days where finding 8 minutes is tough to do. But...if it becomes a morning routine or an evening "last task" you will find yourself in touch with issues that affect our lives.

By bookmarking one site, The Wawascene, at school and at home, you can follow these links and keep informed. Please try this now, or at least this week sometime. How long does it take you? It probably depends on how many links you follow or read.

Make it a daily or at least weekly, habit.

This will help us to connect to our political leaders that make decisions that affect our daily lives.

Our legislative session is about to start here in Indiana and there will be many bills that will affect public education. Just learning to use the web logs and their links like I have described is one of the most time efficient ways to stay in the loop that I know of.

Here is the big reason... :-)

This is a little "experiment" I am conducting to determine if teachers and community members will respond through technology. I believe we are on the cusp of a major technological movement in America that may provide an opportunity for community people to participate in their democracy at much higher levels than ever before. All through the technology provided by these linkages.

Please try the routine above and see how efficient you can get at moving through the sites. There are stat counters on these sites and the site operators will be able to tell if the number of clicks has gone up.

Please try it.

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