Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Advocacy and Emerging Technology

Principals and other school leaders are advocates. They are always advocating for their schools and ways to improve the educational experience of their students. Advocacy can be an effective way to press for change. It is also an important part of our democratic system and allows ordinary people to shape and influence policy at all levels.

Technology has changed the way we advocate, the way we share information about our schools. A recent story in the NY Times discussed how parents increasingly crave timely information about their children's schools. While traditional media will remain part of any advocacy plan, emerging technology is increasingly used by schools to communicate with parents. Many schools have created Facebook pages and Twitter accounts as a tool to quickly share information with families and others about their school and its successes.

Here are some things you might want to consider as you assess your use of technology to advocate for your school.
  • How often is your school website updated? Is the information current and easily accessible to families?
  • Does your website include information about your vision for your school?
  • Does the website provide information that families can use to become involved in the education of their children?
  • Does your school have a presence on social networking sites (Twitter, Facebook)?
  • If so, what sort of messages and information do you share? Doe you use it regularly to communicate?
  • Do families and community know your school has a presence on these sites?
As I work with my friend Howard Johnston to finish our book on social media we are looking for examples of principals using emerging technology to advocate for their school. We'd enjoy hearing from you about your successes and your challenges.

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