Scotsman newspaper: Education has whole-heartedly embraced blogging
Learning and Teaching Scotland, East Lothian Council and some bloke called McIntosh feature in a story in today's Scotsman newspaper, Employers Bring Blogs In From The Dark [free registration required to read].
It's great to see some national press coverage of what has been developing in Scotland's social media landscape. It's even better that the pivotal role the education sector has taken in pushing this new way of thinking and working is brought to the fore:
The education sector appears to have whole-heartedly embraced blogging. Ewan McIntosh, a teacher and new technologies specialist for East Lothian Council and Learning and Teaching Scotland (LTS), describes part of his job as getting employees in the Scottish education sector blogging.
"When I arrived, there were maybe 20 employees at East Lothian blogging about their working day, but now they've got more than 350 staff doing it," he says. "Some of them blog in their free time but most of them will also be doing it in little snatched moments during the day."
LTS spends a lot of effort trying to raise the profile of these teachers who are blogging about what they feel about the Scottish education system because, according to McIntosh, their blogs provide a great means of communication.
"A year ago bloggers were seen as pesky individuals whose opinions maybe didn't matter, but nowadays there is a realisation that one blogger has an audience and whatever they are saying is being amplified, so it's worthwhile for the public sector not just to listen to the conversations but to take part in them. It's a way of seeing what the office chatter is because often it's the chatter over coffee that the genius idea comes from."
It's still quite strange for things to happen this way round when, in most countries, business has taken the lead with education running to keep up. This was exactly my point in Shel Israel's recent SAP Global Survey of social media - Scottish teachers are truly innovating in this field, ahead of many businesses.
What's even better is that in both Learning and Teaching Scotland's plans for the next few months, particularly surrounding some of the coolest online coverage of the Scottish Learning Festival you'll ever see, and in eduBuzz/East Lothian Council's coming year, the innovations will not stop coming.
Both plans come with some really nice tools to help those who don't know one end of a blog from another understand this increasingly vibrant, if yet sometimes confusing, world of sharing innovating educators.