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What is Social Media for Schools and what is it that we do?

What is Social Media for Schools and what is it that we do?

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  • 1. What is Social Media for Schools?We are a new service designed to build a professional partnership hub forsenior management in schools and to enable schools to use Social Mediaeffectively and professionally using online and especially face to face trainingand projects.What is a “CIC” – what does it have to do with schools?We are a new type of company, a CIC, a Community Interest Company, asocial enterprise designed specifically to help change the educational landscapein the 21st Century by using modern networking technologies and informalprofessional networks to help you manage your school more efficiently andmore successfully.Although we are a commercial enterprise, we cannot issue shares and anyprofit we do make has to go right back into the company to help further theethos of using Social Media in Schools – unlike normal companies we have torenew our social purpose each year stating our role as social entrepreneurs toenable change in education.We cannot sell the company on and we, as directors, cannot personally profitfrom the company. We do not issue shares or make profit for ourselves asindividuals.We are a not-for-profit businessWe think it is important here to draw the distinction between us and anypurely commercial service or product.All our dealings will be totally transparent and you can follow our journey onthis the Social Media for Schools site and on Twitter, FaceBook and LinkedIn. There are no hidden agendas; we will be building tools for and by thecommunity we intend to serve.We believe in grass roots bottom-up management and connections.SOCIAL MEDIA FOR SCHOOLS CIC - Company No. 07659241
  • 2. Too many large procurement companies win European contracts based onstandardisation and then hiove off the expertise into closed silos. We havefound this doesnt suit schools where there is innovation, diversity and choice.We keep things local but open out and are transparent and share expertise inthe network.No “Quick Fix” products no-one usesUnlike some commercial firms who offer a quick fix “product” that no-one usesor becomes rapidly out of date, we would rather take our time and build a hubof expertise that co-opts pupils, parents, teachers and the wider community todemonstrate the strategic use social networking for the common good and toenable schools to be more efficient and better connected.The paradox is we believe that a lot of day-to-day face-to-faceorganisation is needed to do this. Social Media is only the glue to helppeople get better connected to do the job of educating our neighbourhoodsand communities.Headteachers do this superbly already – we aim to help thembuild parental engagement an community beyond the gates of the school.Rather than foist the use of Social Media on a school we believe schools shouldbe using Social Media to help augment what is already good practice and usingit, where appropriate, to celebrate and become more efficient in their dealingswith the wider world.We will not fight shy of sharing good practice that involves pupils using SocialMedia. We see the process as wholistic with contributions coming fromeveryone and not being purely top down.Our VisionOur vision is to collate and build the expertise needed to bring schoolcommunities into the 21st Century in as an authentic and highly professionalway as possible; to help connect schools back to their surroundingcommunities and with more genuine formal and informal learning through themedium of Social Media where appropriate.Taking out the Fear FactorWe intend to take the fear factor and social panic out of using Social Media byputting up exemplars of how headteachers, senior managers, pupils andparents use Web 2.0 and networking to their schools’ advantage.But more than that we want to partner at scale with those organisations whoshare our vision to enable social change in this way. We are set up to record,broadcast and amplify good practice and we want that to permeate throughthe education system for the common good. Where we find we share it in ourreal life and online “smart” networks.SOCIAL MEDIA FOR SCHOOLS CIC - Company No. 07659241
  • 3. How we work?We are all about working in partnership, innovatively with other organisationsin modular ways. We are not about competition or traditional models ofbusiness. We feel business can be used to generate wealth in community andeducational terms but not as a means to exploit passing trends or fads. We arein this for the long haul.We are about building and shoring up and making secure communities andusing the company to make things happen that couldn’t otherwise on a muchlarger, but equally highly local, scale.We are quite prepared to work with anyone provided it gives added value tothe communities involved. We don’t believe in quick fixes when it comes toparental engagement and good governance – so you won’t find us peddling“products” and “services” that have nothing to do with your community.We are set up as a business to help you use Social Media effectively in yourlearning communities and to help build a network of expertise to help you dothe job efficiently and well with the added bonus of increased parentalengagement and involvement.We want effective partnersWe will be funding and partnering with much bigger organisations to build anetwork of expertise that doesn’t yet exist (or only exists in pockets) – wehope you’ll join along on this adventure and watch the story unfold with us. Webelieve in being highly innovative in business dealings – in fact we think themore open and transparent we are about how we do business, the moreeffective our business will be. Our idea of “Partnership Plugins” where multi-agency organisations work together to achieve what one business and schoolcould not do alone is a forward thinking model.We will be using academic partners to do research around the networksactivities and will be sharing that with the wider educational community.After all we’re here to help reconnect communities with learning and not sell“stuff”. We are about ideas, aspiration, ‘can do’ and how to put that intopractice for the benefit of everyone.Please sign up for further detailsPlease do sign up for details of the hub and toolkit which will be coming out in2012. At present we are conducting short surveys of target groups to see whattheir reactions are to the use of social media in schools as well as filmingpractitioners up and down the country who are making the difference. We arestarting this enterprise with our own money and seeking financial aid fromphilanthropists who want a stake in a positive and realistic sustained future ineducation.SOCIAL MEDIA FOR SCHOOLS CIC - Company No. 07659241
  • 4. Who are we?Leon CychLeon taught in inner London schools for over 23 years. He has been anindependent ICT consultant in the field of innovation for the last nine years. Hehas been very involved with the TeachMeet movement and films anddisseminates local TeachMeets and other events where he can. But in the lastfew years he has decided to help schools develop the use of 21st Centurysocial networks for the greater good. In having numerous discussions withparents, teachers, headteachers and senior managers he felt it was timesomeone helped to build an informal network of expertise to help schoolsmanage the challenge of working and learning in the 21st Century.Rosie SlosekRosie handles research and administration. She holds a post-graduate researchmethods degree from the University of Nottingham and has 15 years ofexperience of academic, clinical and market research from a user perspective.Please go to : see our short film here: MEDIA FOR SCHOOLS CIC - Company No. 07659241