As I reflect on the last couple of years I have been participating in education conversations through social media, it does seem that there has been a significant increase in the online presence and social media participation of schools and school boards/districts and education organizations. There seems to be the interest in being IN the conversations, as well as to use social media to learn, communicate and promote good work. The potential and opportunity for 2-way parent communication and community engagement continues to grow as well. If some districts are not yet doing so, there are many resources and blogs to help learn how (and why it is a good idea). I wonder how close it is to a point where talking about social media outreach and communication is no longer necessary and it is becoming just a part of what schools and districts are doing. I wonder if it is getting similar to the statement made in this post about social media becoming boring and just another tool….but that it is a good thing.
As classroom teachers, school administrators, and school boards increase their online presence and communicate with parents through social media, I think there are a couple of considerations that will continue to be important to think about and reassess regularly. In addition to surveying parents themselves if communication strategies to reach them are being effective, I think it may also be good to reflect on questions like this:
- As the invitation goes out to parents to connect, engage, receive information through blogs, Facebook, Twitter, etc., is the message also conveying, “You are still welcome to visit or chat in person at the school”?
- Does online presence and social media sharing of positive stories still include the message that it is okay for a parent to bring forward a concern about their child?
- Do social media communication strategies still allow for the voices of dissent to be heard in the appropriate place and time?
This post about practices for “resilient communication” also made me think. How does social media use serve to support “resilient” communication that can be needed in education?
Exciting times in commmunication, but always new things to consider.