03 Sep 2011

As more than a few people have expressed to me, having an unedited and unfiltered comment flow is not particularly helpful for generating or organizing conversation.  (Think of the commenters that use it as an isolated bully pulpit or have no problem ‘flaming’ and dismissing other participants’ points of view).  On the other hand, the intention of this forum is to encourage voice, opinion and conversation that can be controversial, pointed or not completely formed.

I’ll do my best to help get this balance right.  I will serve as the initial filter for the commentary that emerges on this website, only in the instances of comments being inappropriate or without proper attribution (more on that below).  I will not filter comments, however, on opinions that may be controversial.  In that regard, opinions expressed on this website may not (and should not) necessarily represent my own.

The following are some guidelines of participation for this website.

Attribution and Identification

It’s challenging to have an opinion that is public.  For ongoing conversation, it’s also important to know who you’re talking to.  When you comment, please include the following at the top of your comment:  your first name and the school where you currently teach or your general affiliation if you are not a teacher.  Besides this, your personal information (including your email address) will not be revealed.

How to Agree, Disagree or Otherwise Respond to Existing Comments

You can respond to both original posts and other readers’ comments.  When responding to a post or other comments, please refer to that comment or the author directly as you begin your point.  It makes the conversation easier to follow.  A ‘nesting’ function of this website, where responses to a specific post or comment is indented, will also help keep the narrative thread easier to follow.

Consideration and Courtesies

We’ve all heard the aphorism that it’s possible to disagree without being disagreeable.  Remember that as a public forum, this is also an opportunity to demonstrate who we are as professionals.  General information about good ‘netiquette’ and how to participate successfully in a forum can be found here.

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