Saturday, May 10, 2008

The Creative Workaround and A Googley Idea for Professional Email Signatures

At a recent staff meeting my Director asked if staff members felt their creativity was being stifled? About half the hands in the room went up. I was torn in my answer because I couldn’t recall much of anything being stifled in my current position other than being asked to remove my blog url from my NYC DOE email signature. Aside from that I’ve been fortunate to delve into extremely exciting waters creating and delivering innovative classes to educators throughout the city. Those who I’ve touched have experienced my passion and excitement for this work and one of the things I love is how our classes enable participants to get in touch with their creativity and discover new ways to engage students. So…I haltingly put my hand up…half way. Then quickly back down. I mean the reality is, I’ve been asked to take down my blog url. Yes this is something I disagree with, but heck, over the years I’ve overcome bigger obstacles to get around bureaucracy to do the right thing. So, Mr. Fischer, I’d like to retract my answer. I’m an innovative educator in the Office of Instructional Technology and you’ve taught me that we are the leaders in pushing thinking. We are known for coming up with great work arounds on the fly. These are some of the things in which my Director, and many educational technologists, take pride.

My hand is back down. My creativity has not been halted. I’ve thought about this and I think that not only have I come up with a creative workaround, but perhaps even a new trend in professional email signatures. As one of my favorite mentors Alan November (Will Richardson, Marco Torres, Lucy Calkins, Penelope Trunk, and my Director are others) so eloquently taught during my first encounter with him a few years back…there are ways to get to the top of the results’ list in Google for free. (See question 13.)


If you’ve been following my posts here and my Tweets at InnovativeEdu you may know that as a new entrant to the edublogosphere I’ve been fascinated with a couple things as of late.1 - Egosurfing in the name of my blog (just how do people Google it???) 2 - Sharing Ideas for Making a Purposeful and Professional Digital Footprint.

You also may have noticed I’m a Google Certified Educator where among other things I learned the importance of being Googley. This got me thinking…if I couldn’t model best practices by sharing my blog url in my professional email signature, I could do so by including my Googlability. In fact maybe this is something all educators can start doing. Google me at…which in true innovatively educating and leading style starts the conversation that The Innovative Parent explains is about having an active digital footprint (side note: she started the wikipedia entry on this!).

Edubloggers and Google Certified Teachers, this is my call out to you. What is your digital footprint? Who have you told Google that you are? Include it in your signature along with your blog url (if your employer will let you) and take a moment to add it to your blog listing at SupportBlogging.com.
Innovative Educators why not start teaching a Google Me at... class where students learn the intricacies to create an active digital footprint and learn how to get to the top of the results list in Google. I've set up a wikispace for those interested in collaborating on the Google Me at... class.

Follow the Classroom 2.0 conversation on this topic here.
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