What do you imagine the benefits and ramifications would be if a school embraced social media?
Over the past few years, I’ve watched city government and schools wrestle with what it would mean to meet community members online in a social atmosphere where anything goes.
Many School Districts are Hesitant
Some school districts I’ve talked to are hesitant. Many are spending hours discussing the topic and worrying about unknowns. Some schools have consulted legal personnel or turned to their school policy for guidance. As a result, many school policies and handbooks have been updated to address the use of social media. In a lot of cases, it has been easiest to simply outlaw social media sites on school property and ignore the notion of the school district creating a presence on Facebook, Twitter, and/or the Blogosphere.
What is your school’s stance on Facebook? Do you know?
A Bold Step in the Right Direction
There’s one school in central Minnesota who is boldly going where few have gone before, and I think you’re going to want to check this out!
I’ve had the pleasure of connecting with Delano Public Schools, an extraordinary school district, who is embracing social networking tools in a Remark!able way. I’m excited to share their story with you, as they are blazing a path for other schools starting to dabble with the idea of taking the leap themselves.
It all started with their Superintendent starting to blog. Shortly after he started posting relevant news and insight onto his blog, the District’s Communications Coordinator attended one of my Facebook for Business training classes. Within minutes I could tell this school was going places. They had already researched and reached out to other schools around Minnesota in an effort to discuss proactive use of Facebook and were in the midst of learning the tool and forging ahead.
A short time later they embarked on their Facebook journey. It’s been fun to follow their progress. Their Facebook Fan Page, Delano Public Schools, is active, and their website proudly invites people to find them on Facebook (see image above).
According to Traci Lawman, the District’s Communications Coordinator, “Delano Public Schools decided to create a presence of Facebook to create two-way communication with our parents and community members. Most of our communication tools are one-way such as e-newsletters, emails, mailings, school reach , etc. We want our customers (parents and community members) to become more involved in what is going on at Delano Public Schools, so we felt Facebook was the best social media for our school district at this time. It is where everyone is, including the students!”
Delano Public Schools is an inspiration. They’re figuring out how to embrace social media and meeting challenges head on. If you know of another school district officially using social media, please share it here. Delano Public Schools could use a community of users to ask questions and bounce ideas. I’d love to connect you.