Multiple panel sessions at the MASC conference on this topic as schools become increasingly engaged in reaching out to their communities in evolving ways. After attending “How to Blog/How to Tweet” (featuring @MAStewartMA, @TracyNovick, @Dr_Rodriguez21 and @MASC_Mike), “Social Media: How to Manage it Without it Managing You” (with Andrew Waugh, Esq. and James Toomey, Esq.) and “Media and Working with the Media” (featuring Chris Horan, President of Horan Communications), it’s clear that meeting people in cities and towns where they are is especially important – and with busy schedules it’s often on social media.
Here are some key tips:
* Schools and School Committees need to do a better job telling communities what is going on in schools and how their tax dollars are being spent.
* There needs to be clear understanding about what constitutes responsible digital citizenship for all stakeholders so that we are acting appropriately and within our roles.
* All forms of communication (blogs, tweets, Facebook, etc.) and the writing contained therein must be purposeful and clear, and posts should be often enough but not too often.
* School districts need clear policies around digital citizenship and social media.
* Most case law pre-dates new technologies and apps so much is uncharted ground, but knowing some of the key pitfalls is helpful.
* Carefully consider who is responsible for communicating what (district vs. teachers vs. School Committee, etc.).
* Always be conscious of the need for student and/or staff confidentiality - in many cases involving the media, the district can't discuss issues by virtue of the law.
Feedback welcome, readers! You can comment on this blog, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org (or email@example.com for School Committee related issues), or find me on Twitter at @MargaretDrisc.