I’ve written previously about my new position as an instructional coach at our school. The roles and responsibilities of this job are pretty much what you would expect: meeting with teachers, observing teachers, modeling lessons, etc. But I’m taking on a little extra as a side project in addition to all that…I want to be my school’s social media ambassador as well.
What’s a social media ambassador? Glad you asked. It’s the person who tries to engage the school community in new ways, especially parents and families, via social media. In short, I want families to be able to use social media as a sort of window into the school, allowing them to have more insight and information about what’s happening with their children while they’re here. Thanks to social media and snazzy gadgets like smart phones and tablets, though, it can be a window that they can peer through from anywhere at anytime.
Ask any educator if they wished their parent community was more involved and engaged? I’m pretty sure 99 percent of the answers would involve the word “yes” and several exclamation points. What I’m going to try to find out is whether or not social media can make this happen.
Let me outline some of the things I’m trying and then I’ve got some questions for you, faithful reader…
This will be the centerpiece of our social media empire. I’ll do most of the posting, but hopefully the principal and other teachers will get involved, too. I imagine the blog as a way of providing short, yet in-depth explanations and narratives about what (and how) students are learning.
I foresee this as the best way to get parents talking to and interacting with each other. Most of them are on Facebook already, so hopefully we can make this happen once they start clicking that “Like” button.
Not as commonly used, but still valuable, is our new school Twitter account. Great for announcements and sharing photos quickly and easily. (All families are asked to sign forms granting us permission to use their child’s image [sans last name] on the web, by the way.)
Not too sure if this one will catch on, but people love it. So I’ll be pinning educational and parenting articles and videos, among other things.
I know zip about FourSquare, but it seems intriguing. We’ll see.
So, my first question is this: What’s the best way to get a previously non-connected community connected? It’s been a slow go here in the early days. I think we have but one Facebook “like” and no blog subscribers. Two thoughts come to mind: relentless promotion and quality content.
I’m going all out promoting our social media hubs. Signs are up in the lobby. A guide to subscribing to the blog and our other sites is going home with every child next week. I’m having teachers promote it in their own newsletters. And, this idea might be my best one, whenever a student or class is featured on the blog or Twitter or Facebook, I’m sending home a little slip that says “I’ve been spotted…” with a web link. If I can get kids encouraging their parents to look at the sites, they’ll get hooked for sure.
I’m also trying to make sure my early posts on each of these outlets is good stuff that I think parents will find valuable. Once I get them visiting and subscribing, I want them to know they’re going to get good content and that they really will feel connected to their child’s school.
So, am I on the right track? Is your school doing anything along these lines? If so, what tips can you offer? What am I forgetting? I’d love to hear your ideas, thoughts, or questions.
I’ll keep you updated on how things are going, so make sure to subscribe to our blog and follow us on twitter (and Facebook…and Pinterest!). And please be sure to join the conversation by leaving a comment.