We’ve been talking to more people this week who ask what the social school logo is about on Facebook pages we’ve created and the answer is very simple. A Social School is one that takes to heart the philosophy of parental engagement by reaching out using social media. Simple as that.
“How do you know if you’re ready to be a social school?” is often the next question. We answer simply in the style of the late Steve Jobs who, when asked how he’d know when submitted iPhone apps ‘crossed the line’ and not get approved to go on the App store, he pretty much said “We’ll just know.”
It’s the same for you. It’s a gut thing that we find people, particularly Heads, just have. The list of ‘why they can’t’ shrinks to be replaced with a list of ‘why we should’.
Here’s some interesting stats about UK Facebook users. We were a bit surprised about the gender split and maybe there’s more to this than meets the eye. Our experience seems to indicate that it’s the ladies who engage more with our schools’ Facebook pages than the men.
To add to the mix, this report from All Facebook (2010) aims to shed some light on the differences between how men and women use Facebook. Are they right?
men do news
ladies do social & family
Do look at the report and maybe, cautiously, extrapolate the findings in the context of a school Facebook page. It’d be good to reach more Dads, right?
If you’re lucky enough to be able to get down to BETT this year then we’d love to see you on stand B100 thanks to our friends at Acer .
We’ll be around on Thursday afternoon from @2.30 pm for chats and Friday morning for a couple of talks to larger groups about Facebook and ‘fishing where the parents are‘. John Bidder will be the person to look out for; he will answer any questions on parental engagement with Facebook for schools. Have a great week if you’re at BETT (& even if you don’t get there have a super week too!)
Also, we just came across this issue of photos in Facebook and interestingly it’s one issue we seem to have cracked by collaborating with schools so if you want to see how come have a chat at BETT.
It’s been a great year of learning and collaboration for us as SocialSchoolMedia and I’d like to say thank you to all the local authority & CLC colleagues we’ve met over the last few months.
With more schools launching in the new year its going to be busy and very exciting see how each one harnesses social media for good in their communities, building parental engagement with Facebook for schools.
Also happening in the new year will be emerging research from Salford University with whom we’re working to evidence the impact of our joint work using social media for all the good reasons you know already. As an aside I came across this great article from the US which adds more to why successful leaders use social media – recommended.
“Bringing down invisible walls is so satisfying.”
Sounds like something Marcel Marceau would have said, or more likely mimed, but if you’re the kind of person who’s constantly striving to bring your school community in closer you’ll get where I’m coming from.
If you’re looking for a party trick this Christmas then here’s how to mime a wall as shown by an expert! Very best wishes for the festive season & New Year.
Get Logged In (SocialSchoolMedia) is now collaborating with colleagues at Salford Business School, Salford University, on a number of research themes focusing on social media interaction within a school community.
It’s great to have academic rigour interwoven even more deeply with SocialSchoolMedia and as the research evolves we’ll continue to work with Salford to share the findings with you.
More to follow. Visit Salford Business School below.
Today we thought we were going to get shouted at a bit by Head Teacher Rachel Tomlinson when we Facebook chatted to her mid-staff meeting tonight. Thankfully not. The timing was great and being a teacher she says it was a great learning point as today the team there went live with their Facebook Parent & Business Community via Blippit Social.
Split up by summer this seemed to take forever to go live but now they’re flying along with 50 likes by early evening. Year 6 teacher Amy Birkett and Rachel Tomlinson have got their foot down!
Separating personal and professional Facebook activity can be overblown as an issue and the team at Barrowford have professional branded accounts for school quite separate to their own personal lives. They’re actually better at this updating lark than we are truth be told and we can’t wait to see how the strategy behind it all comes to fruition.
Here’s their landing page behind which there’s a heap of school improvement messaging, engagement and generally exciting things for people to get to grips with. Our concern is that the school may enjoy itself too much engaging with the community and start to feel guilty for not feeling like it’s “just one more job”!
We thought this short video might help you help your governors and other colleagues understand where we see things going and also to give you answers to questions you might have. Hope it helps see the value of parental engagement with Facebook for schools.
A quick update on how we’re getting on, not in our words, but from new parents at our first UK fully Facebook-driven parent and business community primary school.
“We’ve already added the school’s Facebook page to keep up to date ahead of our daughter starting at the school in September (my wife thinks it’s a great way to keep parents informed too!)
When parents who have a child coming to the school in September feel able to tune in to the school even before they’ve bought the uniform that has to be a good thing. Our approach is very different. We know that visiting the school website can often feel just like standing outside the school wall with no real chance to step inside and sample the school ethos.
Contact us if your school would like to be getting this kind of response from your prospective intake’s parents.
Really pleased with the way our first UK school got underway last night at their parent’s evening. With the Head handing out supporting literature to parents on arrival and taking questions as she went we’re sure that the outlook is positive!
As with most social media based activity there’s a take-off time but with a ready community on the school playground at the start and end of each day it should be a bit quicker than normal and not take millions of pounds of marketing!
If you’d like more information on this launch or about parental engagement and Facebook for schools then please just pop your email in the ‘More Please’ box to your right and we’ll get in touch.