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Just last night on our evening news, it was shared that 540 million people are accessing Facebook each MONTH. According to Twitter, 460,000 new sign-ups occur each DAY. Both of these social media tools continue to grow at an incredibly fast rate across all age groups. You can’t watch television or see a billboard without seeing a hashtag embedded or hearing “Like us on Facebook.”
For most schools however, Facebook and Twitter are hardly being used to their outreach and partnership potential, if at all. Policy stands in the way of using Facebook in many schools around the world (including mine). How many of your school parents are currently on Facebook? How many would prefer to receive communications, event invitations and the latest news on their newsfeed as opposed to an email sent from school, a flyer that never makes it out of the backpack or relying on them reading the school newsletter?
We continue to dismiss the potential due to “fear.” It’s time to solicit feedback from stakeholders and respond accordingly because “it’s best for kids” when home and school are in constant sync with one another. If it were up to me, we’d use a Facebook page as our default eCommunication website. The possibilities for supporting our school’s vision of a community of learners are endless. My school parents tell me this all the time. “We wish we could have a Facebook page. So many of our families are on there already. We could share digital citizenship resources for parents.” – to share a few recent comments.
Help Make Change
In an effort to highlight the efforts and successes of school social media trailblazers around the world, linked below is a shared Google Doc of those using Facebook and/or Twitter to offer two-way communication between Home & School. Simply add your school link to the appropriate elementary, middle or high school column. After you contribute to the gDoc, please don’t forget to RT/pass along to others you know are using these tools in schools. Use this document to share exemplars, get ideas for making your own account or lessen the fear of decision-makers currently serving as roadblocks to opening up your school’s eCommunication offerings.
Don’t Miss! Steven Anderson’s How to Create Social Media Guidelines for Your School