Over the past decade, social media has transformed communication. Pictures, videos, and comments can be easily posted and sent to followers instantly. For schools and educators, social media gives them another opportunity to share activities, programs, and student learning with the community.
However, schools continue to lag behind the rest of industry in this area. It is important that we write our own story before someone else writes it for us.
Here are 5 reasons to start utilizing social media in schools.
- Share all the wonderful things going on at your site
Teachers spend their entire day working with students. They engage them in thoughtful, exciting, and innovative projects, conversations, and ideas. As a parent, I would love to see and hear more of these interactions. However, working parents who do not have the flexibility to volunteer on a regular basis in their child classroom, miss out on experiencing day to day interactions. This will give them a window into that world from anywhere in the world.
- Professional development
Over the past year, I have discovered a tremendous amount of professional development outlets via Twitter. I regularly participate in different educational chats with educators from around the country and the world. I follow hashtags relevant to my areas of interest including #edchat, #edtech, #blendlearning, #whatisschool, edtechchat, and #1to1. Give yourself a half hour to go exploring. Trust me, you’ll be hooked.
- Student voice
Having students on social media can strike fear into even the most progressive educator. However, we all know that many students are already engaging in social media. It is vital that we teach them to be responsible while they are online and with what they post. We need to help students develop their voice, while at the same time ensuring that the do not leave a digital footprint that will haunt them for years to come.
- School branding
I have been interested in the notion of school branding for some time now. With parents having more options in their child’s education now more than ever, I believe that schools need to do a better job in “selling” the mission and vision of the school to the public and sharing in celebrations of student learning.
It is important for schools to share the day-to-day happenings on campus to parents. Sharing pictures, videos, and comments, help bridge the knowledge gap for parents. As parents become more and more informed, they will be more inclined to step forward to volunteer more and to become more active on vital school committees such as School Site Council, PTA, and ELAC.
Dr. David Franklin is an experienced school administrator, education professor, curriculum designer, and presenter. Dr. Franklin has presented at national and international education conferences as is available for school and district professional development sessions.