Saturday, November 14, 2009

Technologies for Your District

idea came from Stephen Abram's Stephen's Lighthouse blog.
It is time to make use of the new Web 2.0 technologies in promoting and communicating within a School District.  Here are ten things that anyone can do to facilitate both internal and external efforts.  They are all free!

1) Start a blog.  Make your blog interesting--invite guest posters who cover different aspects of your organization. You can even bring in guest bloggers who are external to your organization. Blogs can impart information, creating a dynamic conversation that can include different types of media.

2) Start a Twitter feed. Its amazing how easy it is to keep your public updated with 140 characters or less.

3) Share your best practices on a Wiki. Wikis seem to be fading in popularity.  However, the ease of publishing and collaborating can not be topped.

4) Start an organizational discussion board. This is a great tool for internal decision making.  Opening school sites to public forums can pose legal issues however.  So, be careful.

5) Start a Facebook organizational page. Your parents and students are probably in Facebook - put together a page for your schools.

6) Start a YouTube or Vimeo channel. Video of meetings, school events and educational tools are very powerful.

7) Scrap that old print newsletter. A multimedia newsletter will allow for use of media that is used in other places, i.e., YouTube, Vimeo, etc. This will also make the newsletter a bit flashier and eye-appealing. Just remember that not all of your families may be "online".

8) Incorporate social software into your organization. We need to be modeling the correct use of these tools for the students we are preparing.

9) Create a Flickr account to share organizational photos.

10) Begin or maintain an organizational culture that is free and open--one which encourages experimentation, documentation, assessment and rewards innovation. This is the most important technology, as it allows and budgets time for exploration into new techniques, technologies, ideas, and innovations. Which, in turn, allows for progress toward the fulfillment of the organizational mission. This culture must come from the administration of the organization and must be supported with time and resources.  (true for educational institutions as well as for business).

Why do schools seem to be some of the last to "jump into new technologies" as institutions? 

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