One of the first things I hear from educators as a reason why they shouldn’t jump into the social media stream is because they don’t have families/staff on Twitter.
Social media can be very dividing. Justin Tarte and I were just discussing how there is still such a mentality of “block it & lock” it…as if we were to stick our heads in the sand, *maybe* these crazy tools will go away. I don’t think that is going to happen but I can tell you my rationale’s for moving forward with twitter as a communication tool between the home and our campus.
I LOVE that when I get onto twitter, facebook or instagram, I get updates on my daughter’s school. It is SO much easier for me to read an update on Facebook than it is for me to get home after a 12 hour day, get her purple folder out, get through her graded work, and find any announcements her campus has sent home.
Now, the flip side of that is that my anti technology hubs? ONLY gets info that is in that purple folder. He doesn’t visit the website and *gasp* has no online presence.
I’m not suggesting that schools stop sending paper items home, I’m merely pointing out the opportunity we have to reach even more parents.
When we send home information at the beginning of the year, we send home something asking if parents want to get school information through text messages. (Regular rates apply.) It walks them through sending a text, “Follow Watson_Wildcats” to 40404. Once they have done that, every tweet we send, that parent gets as a text. It doesn’t require a twitter account. You don’t have to have the “scary social media” talk.
98% of all text messages are opened, and 90% are opened within the first three minutes.
The point isn’t getting on Twitter, or blocking social media, or adding to your plate. The point is connecting with as many parents as you can in order to do what is best for our students.