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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Advocate for Public School Social Media Access

Disclaimer: These opinions in no way reflect those of my employer nor of anyone else. They are personal, informed by my 17 years of experience as an educator and by my fervent desire to see potential come into line with reality. Feel free to copy any of this and adapt the message to your own location. 

Our school system here in Nashville is no more stringent about restricting in-school access to social media than are the vast majority of public school systems throughout the country. I understand the reasons that social media were blocked in public schools when they were first developing. I also realize that the decision is largely a matter of policy in concert with that of the State of Tennessee.

Now, comma, it is time to bring policy into the 21st century. MNPS has already begun the process, with its own social media feeds, maintaining a Facebook presence and a Twitter feed; but if history is any indication it will be a good long while before students, teachers, administrators, parents, staff, and other community members find themselves able to access and nurture whatever online communities they belong to, within the workplace they share.

Let's accelerate that process. Right now, take a minute to call, email, or write the Metropolitan Nashville School Board to advocate for access to Facebook, Twitter, and other social media within the walls of the school buildings for the MNPS community. Charge them with the responsibility they have as a Board to facilitate this important change at the State level. Be nice: These people navigate rough waters these days, all in the name of doing the right thing by our students. They need to know that we want this; and if enough voices are heard, change will be implemented.

Board Office 
Phone: (615)259-8487

Snailmail:   2601 Bransford Ave. Nashville, TN 37204

Want some further motivation to do so? Read this: After you read, ask yourself this question: "Why cannot our own teachers and administrators in Nashville, Tennessee use the tools at hand to innovate in the right directions the way that Chris Lehmann and his supercharged faculty at Philadelphia's Science Leadership Academy have?"

Chris Lehmann flanked by two of his social media savvy students

A couple more links with more information for the effort:



Straight from the DOE: Dispelling Myths About Blocked Sites

Just sayin'...

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Yearlings

The yearlings are insolent,
Prancing through our well-kempt lawns
Like ballerinas, their stark white tails
Giving us the thumbs-up
"See you later"
On the way

...written one morning last week while walking the dog. I have to thank MacGuyver for so faithfully carrying out his daily task of getting me off my devices, into my running shoes, and outside into the neighborhood where I can see and muse about the "real world."

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Virtual's Cool!

The above logo from says it all. We're cool. We're a school. Whatever else happens in the State of Tennessee, now a wild west wide open experimental ground for profit-seeking distance learning vendors who can corral a local school district into turning over the reins of its development to their commercial entity, Metro Nashville Public Schools has created the first virtual high school in Tennessee's history. Here's our small but dedicated team's picture with the Mayor to prove it!

            Kelly Brown, Barbra Thoeming, Mayor Karl Dean, Scott Merrick, Michael Terry, and Sherry Hill at the Mayor's 1st Day Celebration 2011-12

Rally on! More updates as we announce changes and improvements. For now, visit for everything we know!


Gus by Scott Gardner Merrick  I wear these navy slacks I found behind O'Shaugnessy's, in the dumpster there. And they'r...