Social Media for Administrators

As I have done a lot of work with school administrators on why they should be using social media and some practical ways to use it within their schools, I wanted to compile some articles together that will help schools/organizations move forward.  They will be listed under two categories; the why and the how.  The articles are listed below:

The Why

The Need for Courageous Leadership – If new ideas are going to happen and we are going to encourage risks, we need to take risks as well.  Here is an example of a principal trying something new and tapping into the best resource in his school; his students.

What Digital Accelerates – Many of the fundamentals that were important 50 years ago are still important today.  Technology though, gives us the opportunity to really enhance and accelerate those qualities.  In this post, I focus on the opportunity to accelerate innovation, flattening your organization, and empowering voice. “Digital” allows us to do this in ways that are much more powerful than we could have ever imagined.

Humanizing Our Organizations Through Social Media – In this post, I share what many organizations are doing around the world and how it is important that in education, we get through our culture of fear and do what we can to connect with those that we serve.  Technology can empower us to connect in ways that we had never thought about before.

Everyone’s a Teacher, Everyone’s a Learner – The role of “teacher” is changing dramatically in our world as we see that everyone has something that they can share to make us better.  Here are some very relevant examples of teaching and learning in our world that are pretty inspirational.

An Open Letter to School Administrators – As I become more familiar with social media and how it could be used to improve our schools, this post was written to give administrators some ideas of how they could get started with some tools, who they could follow, as well as some inspiring quotes.

This is not optional anymore – This post discusses the importance of educational administrators to start using social media and learn openly with their schools.  Here is a quote from the post:

There can no longer be an “opt out” clause when dealing with technology in our schools, especially from our administrators. We need to prepare our kids to live in this world now and in the future. Change may feel hard, but it is part of learning.  We expect it from our kids, we need to expect it from ourselves.

Why Social Media Can and is Changing Education – This post discusses the power of social media across education and makes some points on some of the trends that are happening with schools around the world.

…and this is why teachers should have blogs – I saw a great example of a teacher starting blogging to openly share her learning with her students and their parents and needed to blog it to the world.  This is a great example of what teachers can do with blogs that goes past simply posting homework or assignments.

The Power to Kill Innovation – I was disheartened to see a Facebook Page created by a Kindergarten teacher in the states being shut down due to insufficient knowledge on the use of it in the classroom and with the learning community.  This article really shows what can happen to a teacher that will dishearten them if we as administrators are not comfortable with emerging trends and technologies.

#Twitteracy – If we are unable to understand what a hashtag or a mention is on Twitter, are we becoming illiterate?  The short video at the end of this post really shows the power 140 characters can have.

The Power of Twitter – This was one of my first experiences with the power of the network and how Twitter was an amazing resource that could be used to connect with passionate educators all around the world.

140 Characters of Kindness – This is a video of me speaking at #140Cuse sharing a personal story of how Twitter and connections I have made over the Internet helped me through a difficult time in my life.

The How

4 Guiding Questions for Your IT Department – If we are going to truly serve our students in a time where technology is more than just an aside in our schools, the  traditional IT Department mentality will need to change.  These questions are meant to spark a conversation between educators and instructional technology departments, with the main focus on “what is best for kids.”

Is your school’s “digital citizenship” practice a pass or fail? – In this post, I share a story about a school’s social media account and the linkage it had to a student account that displayed some pretty inappropriate tweets.  Instead of being reactive, how are schools being proactive?  I share a rubrics that may help schools assess where they are currently, and hopefully they can eventually get a passing grade in how they empower their students.

More Mindset than Skill Set – Carol Dweck’s work has been influential in my own thought process in how we learn, and so I shared this post on the importance of focusing on keeping consistent to improve our learning.  This post may help others think about their own commitment to learning through the process of technology integration.

Organizing School/Division Hashtags (Part 1) In this post, I share some of the thinking of how you can successfully share and organize information through the use of Twitter hashtags within a school division (district).  This post should help those that either have a Twitter presence or are looking to develop one.

Twitter Hashtags in the Classroom – Hashtags can be used very effectively to help educators organize their classrooms and create an open learning environment.  This post gives reasons why you should hashtags with students that tweet in your class, as well as ways that you can set it up.

What Should A Networked Educational Leader Tweet About? – Many administrators have no idea what to tweet about when starting Twitter so this post on the “do and do nots” of tweeting should help those that are reluctant to begin.

Tweeting for Schools – Many schools are now starting to have organizational twitter accounts and this tutorial offers ideas of what you can tweet out as an organization.  The focus is slightly different from a personal Twitter account but the connections are still extremely valuable.

Figuring Out Facebook – Many schools are using Facebook to connect with students but I think it is important to provide caution on “friending” students as this can cause some major issues.  This post also provides a link to “Facebook for Educators” which may help many schools get started.

The Blended PLC – As we started our “Learning Leader Project” this year in Parkland School Division, we decided to open our learning up to the world, and share our learning virtually as it happens.  This post provides the rationale and the reasons on why this could be done.

Brand You – “Branding” is something that many educators are looking at not only as schools, but as individuals as well.  Educators need to understand that we have a digital footprint whether we help create it or not so it is important to try and put our work out there.  This is not only to make ourselves marketable, but also to help our fellow educators.  Sharing is something that we teach even before kindergarten and social media helps us continue this practice easily as adults.

Branding the Learning Organization –  Branding is known more for what it does for organizations than what it does for individuals, but as schools, how do we want to be branded.  This post talks about the importance of showing yourself as a learning organization and bringing in the voices that really matter.

21st Century PLN’s for School Leaders – This is meant to be a short “how to” for administrators to get involved in social media for learning and connecting.  Three easy ideas to get people started with resources available.

I am hoping that you some of these articles that I have written will help you or your organization on your journey to become networked educators.  I will continue to add as articles I write that are applicable to this work.

15 Comments

  1. Tony Sinanis

    George,
    Thank you for this incredible compilation of some of your most important work!! I have been sifting through all the posts mentioned for almost an hour. I cannot wait to share this one with our colleagues in my district. Bravo!

    Tony @Cantiague_Lead

  2. JUDY WILSON

    George,
    I felt my web page was static. I created a facebook page for my school. Parents have grown to love it. Kids also love seeing themselves and the work they do as learners every day. I feature class trips, contest winners, plays, events, philanthropic endeavors and more. I am the principal of the school and the administrator of the page. I take the pictures, I post them I answer the comments. I love the personal connections it has fostered in my community.

  3. Dianne Holmes

    George,
    Our school division is just creating a social media policy. Thanks for all these great resources that I can share with central office to help us all move forward.

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