“Jose Vilson blogs, you know.”
Right then, I realized that, around the corner, where ed-techies and Twitterholics never venture, infrequent visitors of the web and unintentional saboteurs congregate to discuss ways of discouraging people from using the Internet. I’ve heard (and understand) many of the arguments against the power of said Internet:
“It’s too many people.”
“1s and 0s scare me.”
“Google can’t be that simple, can it?”
“When did people start booking faces?”
“Where does all my personal data go?” (Frankly, this is the only one that’s valid here.)
And time and again, I revert to my computer science degree in hopes of trying to translate the language of those of us who eat, sleep, and Facebook to those who still have a hard time finding the little button with the circle and line on it that makes the fans in the metal box go woosh. I’ve converted a few of those people into addicts that play Bejeweled in their free time, a grimy territory in its own right, but I still get the ornery feedback about that there Interwebs.
Today, I came to the realization that people may actually care and respect me, but can’t stand it when I do something that they don’t have complete control over yet, so instead of trying to understand it, they try to tarnish my name with something that’s going to lend more credibility to the next generation of workers in any field.
In this case, blogging.
If you shook when I mentioned the word, then yes, I’m talking about you. </ carlysimon>
Therefore, rather than actually show people how to constructively and honestly manage one’s Internet personality as a teacher, I’ll take a page from Wendy Day of the world-renowned Rap Coalition, who wrote a Swiftian guide to how a record executive can swindle their rap artists in lieu of developing more resources for burgeoning artists looking to make it in the industry. Here’s a 10 point plan for jerking over a teacher from becoming more technologically advanced.
10) Tell the teacher the Internet barely works in the building. Even when it does. That way, they can’t ever feel like it’s reliable even when it was upgraded a few months prior to fives times the previous speed.
9) Force them to use their district’s e-mail, knowing that the district can check their e-mail as the district sees fit.
8) Send the teacher huge files every time you e-mail them so their inboxes freeze if they don’t delete your message within the next hour. Add a cute e-mail signature that’s contrary to everything we know about you for good measure. (Extra points for sparkles and lavendar.)
7) Only suggest closed-source resources for any development of web pages, blogs, etc. Or for that matter, get grants from companies who do exactly that. And try to sway the more advanced teachers that, while the functionalities don’t quite fit your necessities, the backgrounds are bright and cute so get over it.
6) Ask them how one opens up Word. Just one. More. Time.
5) Keep whispering stories to them about how you heard on the Faux News that some older teacher found a younger student on Facebook and did all sorts of disgusting things to them in the back staircases, documenting all their activities through that new social media site you don’t quite understand. While the stories are sparse and just get repeated time and again, it’s important to keep repeating them because the bigger the lie, the easier it is to believe.
4) Limit the amount of time one teacher can use the lab while the substitute who has nothing to do abuses the lab all throughout. For extra points, hold no one accountable when the equipment gets damaged and the once useful lab becomes a hallow shell of itself.
3) Have every slightly controversial site blocked by the Internet filter from the district, monitor the other sites that people regularly visit, and filter those, too. Especially if it’s a personal site because G-d forbid the teacher may be infected with a little knowledge.
2) Inspire fear of the Internet by telling your boss that this teacher goes home and writes about him and the school. If that doesn’t work, say he’s writing about the kids and posting pictures of them in questionable poses.
Look at that little boy smiling in front of his work. That’s a sign of sure trouble.
See? We should have never hired that thug. Look at the signs he’s throwing up with one of our kids. So what if it’s a peace sign? Only disorder can soon follow.
One of his students’ got her hand on her hip. How can we allow that in our school?
Then continue to repeat the meme at informal meetings and lunch periods to draw some negative curiosity from teachers. One might even find a picture of him on Facebook from before his teacher days actually dancing and drinking. (gasp)
1) When that last one fails, here’s what you do: make it personal.
Tell everyone that the teacher’s writing about you and you feel an allergic reaction whenever you read all the nasty things he or she has to say about you. Tell all the assistant principals all the nasty vitriol spit at you, warranted or not, and tell them you’re thinking about taking things way out of hand instead of addressing it right to the teacher. Make sure you continue to perpetuate the culture of spy games in which the one with the most secrets has the most power, and trying to knock the flashy teacher down a peg with your little not-so-secret secret.
Then again, if the teacher isn’t deterred by any of these things, it’s probably because
1) he or she has already told the whole world about their blogging habits (or hasn’t told anyone at all).
2) he or she is easily Google-able (or doesn’t show up on any search engine at all)
3) he or she has set guidelines for their Internet usage and actually says upfront what they’re about (or has none but uses a completely indiscernible pseudonym)
4) he or she has already created spaces by which anyone can access the person at his or her convenience.
and 5) already bought their independence from your ridiculousness (check their address bar for good measure).
Otherwise, if you’re someone who wants to frustrate up and coming teachers with a knack for getting the next generation of students into this new world, then follow these steps. Then again, I only have 10 steps. I think the other people who know about this not-so-secret blog have something to add right below.
Mr. Vilson, who should be on everybody’s list. Why not this one? ;-)