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Fish where the fish are

When your school harnesses social media effectively, it’s all about levelling the platform between education and the outside world.

Here’s an equation:

education + real world = belief & engagement

Belief to me is acceptance by either a learner or a teacher that what they’re experiencing is authentic, valid, proven & valuable.

Engagement to me is a sustained and voluntary interest in a topic because its intrinsic value is understood at a deep enough level to matter and press the ‘what’s in it for me button’.

 

Following years of watching and working with schools trying to engage parents and the local community through websites, VLE’s, learning platforms, change has been overdue.

“Fish where the fish are!” 

Some schools have made a success of their websites by making them part of a learning platform (umbrella term for all systems that support learning & teaching online – broadly).  However a good many haven’t.  Why?

  1. it’s not in parent’s ‘workflow’. Change is a big deal.  People are creatures of habit. Parents coming through primary schools in particular now are more online than they’ve ever been – particularly through Facebook. Techno parents may also do Twitter though it’s a trap to think ‘they’re all at it’ – they’re not.  Twitter is a great tool for professional development and creating interesting curriculum connection but parents are seldom the prime audience.
  2. The most beautiful school website in the world will struggle to draw parents in just to download the term dates or read the Head’s welcome. Parental needs are often too diverse to meet in any depth in this way
  3. Most school sites are only ‘Web 1.0’.  Conversation is king in business and companies are striving to meet customer needs at every point of contact on their journey including through social media.  Some are better than others. What is the parent and community journey like? Great sympathy goes out to school secretaries/ door-openers / PA’s /dinner-money collectors / sick children managers / parent visitor managers / phone call takers. Removing barriers & increasing inclusivity are what schools all strive for but still find difficult to do.

This is a forever changing landscape in which the ecology is constantly evolving.

education + real world = belief & engagement

Is your school ready to register for the Social School Award?

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