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Using Social Media to Build Community Support for School Initiatives


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This is one of the handouts prepped for the "Using Social Media to Build Community Support for School Initiatives" roundtable discussion during the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) conference held in Austin in March 2009. Props to Kristen Plemon who found the district examples listed here.

  • The explanation is clear and easy to understand.

    Darren Mack
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  • Hiya Greg - Thanks for the kind words, and good to know of another district that's jumped on the social media bandwagon. I look forward to hearing more about your successes! ~Charlene
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  • Great presentation, Charlene. I've shared it with my colleagues here at NYC public schools. We use Facebook, Twitter, and we blog. Lots of success so far. --Greg
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  • Very interesting ppt. The research indicated PPT only contains 30% of information; therefore the 70% valuable information comes from the presenter himself/herself. provides you a chance to record your voice with your PowerPoint presentation and upload to the website. It can share with more readers and also promote your presentation more effectively on
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  • Hello Angela. The presentation was part of a discussion forum at the Consortium for School Networking (CoSN) annual meeting held in Austin, Texas, from March 10-12, 2009. The theme of the conference was 'Leadership, Policy & Innovation in a Collaborative World' . Feedback from participants was very positive, both that day and in follow up correspondence. Thanks much for your interest!
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Using Social Media to Build Community Support for School Initiatives

  1. 1. Using Social Media to Build Community Support for School Initiatives
  2. 2. <ul><li>Is Your School District Social Media Savvy? </li></ul>
  3. 3. Social Media Today <ul><li>Internet = information hub where people increasingly spend their time learning, socializing, and entertaining </li></ul><ul><li>Stats </li></ul><ul><ul><li>684 million visitors to Wikipedia last year </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>100 million videos viewed on YouTube per day </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>175 million Facebook users; fastest growing demographic is 30 years and older </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>11% of online Americans; median age of Twitter user is 31 </li></ul></ul>
  4. 4. Social Media Today <ul><li>Technorati State of the Blogosphere 2008 </li></ul><ul><ul><li>50% of Internet users in U.S. read blogs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>12% of Internet users in U.S. have a blog </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>900,000 blog posts/24 hours </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. It’s Safe to Say… <ul><li>School stakeholders are already communicating online through various Web 2.0 tools </li></ul><ul><li>Your district and its faculty and staff are being mentioned in online conversations </li></ul>
  6. 6. Why Should Your District Pay Attention to Social Media? <ul><li>Changing media landscape </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Print publications are disappearing and news staff shrinking </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Movement to online publications; increased e-mail newsletters and RSS feeds </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>95% of top U.S. newspapers have reporter blogs </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Economic Downturn </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Need community support now more than ever as budgets shrink </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Why Should Your District Pay Attention to Social Media? <ul><li>Engage your audiences where they live, work, play </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Businesses, government official and political leaders, 30 yrs.+ affluent adults using social media </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Credibility and trust </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Social media allows for more authentic, two-way communications; opportunity to be open and transparent </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Building Community Support <ul><li>Establish communications/PR goals for your district and initiative </li></ul><ul><li>Define target audiences, determine the communication channels to reach each audience and with which messages/news </li></ul><ul><li>Devise plan that includes tactics/activities to accomplish goals, timeline, and measures of success </li></ul><ul><li>Social media strategy and tools should be a part of the overall communications mix </li></ul>
  9. 9. Social Media Plan in Action <ul><li>Listen and learn </li></ul><ul><li>Participate </li></ul><ul><li>Engage </li></ul>
  10. 10. Step 1: Listen and Learn <ul><li>Listen to online conversations to learn about your audiences </li></ul><ul><li>Monitor what is being said about your district and staff to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Learn about the community’s view of the district, its leaders and more to reinforce positive messages and correct misperceptions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Inform decisions about policies and programs </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Monitor Online Conversations <ul><li>Search for important district terms </li></ul><ul><ul><li>District name </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Key personnel such as superintendent and principals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Initiative name </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hot topics or trends </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Tools You Can Use to Monitor <ul><li>Google Alerts </li></ul><ul><li>Technorati </li></ul><ul><li>Filtrbox </li></ul><ul><li>Bloglines </li></ul><ul><li>Blinkx </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter Search </li></ul>
  13. 13. Measure Online Conversations <ul><li>Quantify conversations; record </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Number of mentions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Positive, neutral, negative tone </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Type of medium (blog, microblog, online news site) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Audience reach (e.g., no. of blog visitors/subscribers) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Track results over time </li></ul><ul><li>Analyze </li></ul>
  14. 14. Step 2: Participate <ul><li>Read others’ blogs and post thoughtful, respectful comments </li></ul><ul><li>Share district photos, videos, and events on sites such as TeacherTube, YouTube, Flickr, and Zevents </li></ul><ul><li>Join online social networks such as Classroom 2.0, PBS Teachers Connect (client) </li></ul><ul><li>Provide a dynamic online newsroom with multimedia </li></ul>
  15. 15. Multimedia News Release <ul><li>Online newsrooms are increasingly used by the media as well as the public </li></ul><ul><li>Incorporate keywords in news announcements to boost search engine visibility ( Google Keyword Tool ) </li></ul><ul><li>News releases should contain more than just text </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Audio </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Video </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Links to supporting info such as documents, presentations, research, and reports </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Downloadable photos and graphics </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sample: </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Step 3: Engage <ul><li>Establish ways to lead online discussions about your district and initiative and key education topics </li></ul><ul><li>Involve community members, parents and others by asking for their feedback, advice and ideas </li></ul>
  17. 17. Examples <ul><li>Build an online social network (e.g., Ning, EdWeb) or create an organizational profile on popular services like Facebook </li></ul><ul><li>Share news and updates on Twitter </li></ul><ul><li>Carefully plan and start a district blog </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Author(s) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Frequency </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Topic(s) covered </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Intended audience(s) </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. Rules of Engagement <ul><li>Conduct yourself online as you would in real-life social situations with your peers, employer, etc. </li></ul><ul><li>Once you post something, it lives online forever - even if you delete it </li></ul><ul><li>Online conversations should have “human,” authentic voice; avoid sounding like a robot </li></ul><ul><li>Post regularly and respond in a timely manner </li></ul><ul><li>Moderate - take down inappropriate comments on blog, network, etc. and guide discussion to stay on-topic </li></ul>
  19. 19. Tools You Can Use to Create Content and Engage Audiences <ul><li>Blogs </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Microblogs </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Online social networks </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. Tools You Can Use Cont’d <ul><li>Video Sharing/Streaming Sites </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Social bookmarking sites </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Events </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. Tools You Can Use Cont’d <ul><li>Wikis and online collaboration tools </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Virtual Worlds </li></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. Districts Using Social Media <ul><li>Podcasts/Videocasts - Williamson County Schools, Nashville, Tenn. </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter - Broward County Public Schools, Broward County, Fla. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Started March 2 and already has 223 followers </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. Districts Using Social Media <ul><li>Plainfield Public Schools blog </li></ul>
  24. 24. Districts Using Social Media <ul><li>Weld County District 6, Greeley, Colo . </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Special panel brings together all stakeholders to address ways to improve schools </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Online videos on TeacherTube </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Special Web page and blog devoted to initiative </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. Districts Using Social Media <ul><li>Saline Area Schools </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Several blogs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>District Ning (148 members so far) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Monthly poll on Web site (e.g., How do you feel about the amount homework your child has weekly?) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dynamic Web site with audio and video; regular updates; options to e-mail, print news </li></ul></ul>
  26. 26. Social Media Wheel
  27. 27. Be Social Media Savvy <ul><li>Learn and understand the uses of social media tools </li></ul><ul><li>Find out what tools your audiences use and what are they communicating online </li></ul><ul><li>Develop a social media strategy that aligns with district goals </li></ul><ul><li>Get started! </li></ul>
  28. 28. For More Information <ul><li>C. Blohm & Associates </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Charlene Blohm, President </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Phone: 608-839-9800 </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>E-mail: [email_address] </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Twitter: @CharleneBlohm </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>LinkedIn: cblohm </li></ul></ul></ul>