Creating School Information Network Channels

What tools and platforms are available to better assist schools in better communicate and market themselves to parents and a community at large?

How about creating School Information Network Channels by using diverse media platforms to:

  • stay in touch
  • solicit feedback
  • share upcoming and current events
  • share different media (audio, images & video)
  • share students’ voices

The ideas is to streamline school information through different channels to make it as easy as possible for parents and other interested stakeholders to get informed and stay in touch.

There is much more to consider though:

Channel Selection & Creation

  • What Social Network channels and other communication channels make sense to create and maintain in school’s name? Nings, blogs, Flickr, Vimeo, Slidehare, Facebook, Twitter, wikis, social bookmarking, E-mail/newsletter subscriptions, phone trees, etc.
  • Creation of school’s universal username
  • Establish digital footprint/branding for school

Update Responsibility

  • Who will have the responsibility to update the channels regularly. One individual or a team?
  • What kind of content should the update include?

Channel Integration

  • How can we update in one place and it will automatically update on other channels?
  • Flickr sets streaming images to main school sites and Facebook
  • Updates posted to Facebook and Twitter simultaneously
  • Twitter widgets on blogs,
  • Cell phone images postings going to Flickr, Twitter, Ning or Facebook (with provided email address to be shared among Social Networking team)

Teachers

  • How do we train teachers and their students to be content providers? Images, videos, news updates, etc.
  • Train teachers to regularly post and update their classroom blogs
  • How do you create understanding regarding blog usage as communication tool? As collaboration tool? As global communication center? As learning community hub?
  • Address parent/teacher communication expectations regarding different platforms:e-mail vs. blog vs. phone calls vs. face to face meetings and etiquette.

Parents

  • How do you help parents make the transition of moving from paper, flyers and “Friday” folders to virtual communication on blogs, wikis, Facebook, Twitter and Flickr?
  • How do you address and discuss communications etiquette and expectations on these new platforms?

The following is a screenshot of the school’s main website’s sidebar. The links includes:

  • Option for e-mail subscription to school site’s updates
  • School’s Twitter account
  • School’s Facebook page
  • School’s Alumni Facebook page
  • Classroom & resource, other school blogs
  • Images on Flickr
  • iTunes Podcast
  • Video Channel on Vimeo

At MJGDS, we have created a Social Network Channel Committee comprised of the Head of School, Director of Marketing & Communication, Librarian, Tech Director & 21st Century Learning and myself. We are working out who is responsible to update what? How can we work as a team? How can we streamline, integrate and minimize having to update on multiple channels by maximizing embedding and feed options.

Lately I have been working with iThoughts HD app on my iPad to create flowcharts as I am taking notes of a conversation, lecture or reading a book. It allows me to email the chart as an image or pdf file in addition to emailing a text outline. See below the notes from our first committee meeting.

  • Mjgds Social Network Channels
    • Website
      • Hub
        • Updates via
          • RSS
          • Email notification
          • Site visit
          • Flickr Slideshow
    • Twitter
      • School
      • Teachers
      • Classrooms
      • Updates via
        • Web
        • Twitter Client
          • TweetDeck
        • Cell phone
        • SMS
        • Twitpic
    • Facebook
      • School
      • Alumni
      • Updates via
        • Web
        • Phone
        • TweetDeck
    • Flickr
      • Images
      • Sets & Collections
      • Embedded slideshows
    • Vimeo
      • Videos
      • Links
      • Embed code
    • Slideshare
      • PowerPoint presentations
      • Embed code
      • Links
    • iTunes
      • Audio/video
      • Subscription based
      • Updates via
        • RSS
        • iPod/touch/iPhone/

What is your school doing in organizing and streamlining communication on a variety of platforms. What are some of the organizational successes and pitfalls you have worked through? Please add links to your school’s site and different channels in the comments. I am especially looking forward to hearing about the integration between the platforms to make updating more more organized and time efficient.