I am continuing to comment on this really interesting series by Josh Work on Edutopia. The posts read like a social media 101 for administrators! We all should be able to measure our progress in social media using the SAMR model. Josh is looking at specific areas that we have responsibility for and he relates each area to the SAMR model.
How do you measure up in key areas like staff presentations, community interaction, file management, classroom evaluations and staff input (Technology SAMR Model for Administrators).
The second post focuses on community interaction which to me is a key responsibility for all administrators.
It is no longer acceptable to accept the notion that parents will just naturally show up at your school. Parents are much more discerning now, they check out your web page, your Facebook Page (do you have one?) and any other social media tools you are using. It may a while, but your school will establish an online presence that will attract parents to your school. I really believe that this is a key factor now that parents consider when choosing a school.
I have read lots of posts from administrators who work hard to make the learning visible to all parents in the community. My model is Eric Sheninger, the author of Digital Leadership: Changing Paradigms for Changing Times. There is so much to recommend in this book – I think all administrators need to read this book if they want to stay relevant in a time of rapid change. One thing I have learned from Sheninger and other authors is that we need to make learning visible to our parent community. We need to use Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Flickr and any other tool that allows parents to see what is happening daily in the school.
Using these tools has an interesting impact on students, teachers and parents. Everyone talks about the learning that goes on in the school. Parents in our community really like Remind 101 and Facebook, the kids love Instagram. Our role as administrators is to publish using a variety of tools so that our community can access more information on what is happening every day.
I like how Josh Work has applied the SAMR model to community outreach. I really think we all need to be way past the substitution stage at this point. Writing a conventional newsletter then e-mailing it out is simply not good enough. In Canada, with the Federal CASL legislation, it is now actually illegal to send out unsolicited e-mails.
My September plan at my new school will also include setting up a new Edublog for the parent community along with another for staff. I will continue to use Facebook and Twitter along with a brand new Google Site as our school web site – thanks to our school board – AMAZING! I will also continue to use Flickr to store all our school photos and of course Instagram to send daily photos to the school community. I will not produce a monthly newsletter – this is simply not worth the time when there are so many just in time communication tools available.
As an administrator, what communication tools will you be using this year? Where would you put yourself on the SAMR model? Where do you want to be by the end of the year?
Looking forward to Part III.