5 Reasons for Social Media Communication In Education

People often ask me why they or their school district should engage in the use of social media. Often it is asked in a manner that would verify their concerns or desire to not engage.  As I have provided answers, five reasons come to mind and none of them have to do with not engaging.

 

1. Improve Communication

The first and most important reason to integrate social media into the educational world is to improve communication with your stakeholders. Social Media apps and resources have provided educators a plethora of options when communicating with their stakeholders. The vast majority of them are free. Our schools and school districts have many events and activities that can be communicated to the community that make Social Media communication valuable. Yes, we have websites but they require stakeholders to go to them. Social Media sends the information to the person. Thus, improving communication by having that direct connection sent to the stakeholder.

 

2. Real Time Information

It allows you the ability to communicate real time information within seconds. There are many reasons why we may need to provide real time information to our school community. Social Media provides this opportunity. The ability to get vital information out in a moment’s notice is a powerful reason to engage in the use of Social Media in the educational world.

 

3. Positive Promotion

Aside from informing the community about events and providing immediate information in times of need there is also the benefit of being able to positively promote your school or district. Educators need to keep the stakeholders informed and let our communities know of the great things happening in the schools. Unfortunately, this information is not the focus of traditional paper press and so Social Media fills this void. We need to recognize success, achievement, effort and participation by our students, teachers and schools.

 

4. Efficient Messaging

Using Social Media as a communication tool makes you more efficient at getting your message out. Setting a schedule and list of what can and can not be sent out (I’ll discuss developing a Social Media Policy in another post) will focus your messages and make it efficient, which leads to my final point.

 

5. NOT a Burden

If you focus on the above four items then using Social Media for communication in schools should not be a burden. This is the primary complaint that I hear:  it will take away the precious little time available by educators to do other things. In reality, the opposite should occur. Using social media will save time, focus your message and promote your school or district. Once you get a handle on the app and establish a routine you should not see it consuming more time. Rather it should save you time.

 

Using Social Media in the education world is growing but many are still hesitant because they do not see the value or feel they have the time. What are your thoughts? Are there other benefits? Leave a comment and let me know.

 

Image Credit: flickr.com

Scott Rocco

Scott Rocco

Superintendent of Schools at Spotswood Public Schools

Scott Rocco is Superintendent of Schools in Spotswood, New Jersey, adjunct professor at The College of New Jersey, instructor in the NJEXCEL program, and co-founder/co-moderator of #Satchat on Twitter; a weekly global educational conversation. He is also a founding member of EdCampNJ. Scott has given keynote, conference and group presentations on the use of social media for educators, school safety, marketing yourself, digital citizenship, and various leadership topics. His blog site is evolvingeducators.wordpress.com which discusses how the integration of technology is resulting in the evolution of our educational system. Scott is dedicated to positively and productively engaging educators in a dialogue that improves student learning, enhances instruction, and creates effective learning environments for all who attend and work in schools. Follow Scott on Twitter @ScottRRocco and LinkedIn at: www.linkedin.com/in/scottrocco or contact him at ScottRocco@gmail.com.

http://evolvingeducators.wordpress.com

  • http://twitter.com/DavidFifeVP David Fife

    Thanks for a great article Scott. The one that resonates with me the most is Positive Promotion. I love keeping my school community informed of all the great things happening in the classroom. I try to send at least 2 or 3 tweets per day from the school twitter account with pictures and short descriptions of what’s happening in our classrooms.

  • Michael Grant PHS

    Excellent concise article highlighting the main uses for social media. Communication is so important and social media allows administrators, teachers, coaches, etc to get information to stakeholders in a simple concise format. On the flip side teachers, admins, and coaches may use social media (like twitter) for professional development or to search for lesson ideas or make connections. That’s how I first started using twitter although it has evolved for me in a few short months. So many great uses for social media in education. The possibilities are endless. Thanks for sharing your post!

  • Michele Garabedian Stork

    Let’s face it – the media is going to write about your school/district. Using social media gives YOU the opportunity to decide which information is important to share. Plus, you’re reaching your stakeholders where they already are. Social media is a must as one of the multiple communication channels required in school/district PR.

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  • Leslielou

    So, how do you specifically target your stakeholders beyond the “please like us” phase?

  • Sr. John Marie

    Great article, Scott. It comes right to the point on issues that are still challenging persons who are not ready to say yes to this. You did a great job of clearing up some of those issues.