Updated December 4, 2011. In the time since I published this post last year I contributed to a book on this topic. What School Leaders Need to Know About Digital Technologies and Social Media was edited by Chris Lehmann and Scott McLeod who inspired this post.
Earlier this week Scott McLeod asked When will schools begin using social media? Who’s doing it well right now? Scott’s point is that schools are still using a communication model of broadcasting instead of conversing with parents, students, and other stake-holders. In the comments on Scott’s post there are some examples of schools using social media. Unfortunately, those examples are still the exception to the rule.
One of the reasons why more schools are not using social media is because their leaders don’t understand social media. Too many of them think that social media tools are just about sharing what you had for breakfast (BTW, I had oatmeal) or sharing pictures from parties. Sure, social media can be used for that, but it can also be used for growing bigger ears and listening to your constituents so that you can get a pulse of the community and respond to your community’s needs.
To help school leaders understand some productive uses of social media, here are some resources to check out.
Chris Brogan is one of the leading experts on the use of social media for organizations. His book Trust Agentspresents a great case and examples for individuals and organizations. You should also check out his blog.
Social Media in Plain English is a Common Craft video explaining the basic concepts of social media.
Social Media and the Work Place is a brand new video from Common Craft that explains why and how organizations use social media.
And of course, if you haven’t seen the following videos or passed them along to the people that need to see them, I encourage you to do that.
Social Media Explained Visually.
Social Media Revolution 2011.