Educational leaders may be using social media for their own reasons, but many of them need guidance and tips on effectively using social media platforms for professional practice.
Here are few of them we have extracted from our network of educators who are active on social media.
Staying connected with someone you might have met in an educational conference or workshop via social media platform can help you get new opportunities. Social media helps education leaders to grow relationship with leaders of other schools in the same community, district or worldwide. They can easily interact with them, share and discuss their perspective. And also, being a regular user of social media will tell you that age is no bar, you can get in touch with like-minded people of different age groups and learn a lot. Stay Abreast of latest in the industry!
Participate in Discussion threads or Chats
Taking part in discussion threads and chats on social media is the best way to improve your thoughts, get different perspective of people talking about the your topics of interest in the field of education. As a result you can improve your conversation skills and at the same time gain recognition; as these chats are interactive and are being read by educational leaders globally.
Finding Useful Resources and Promoting Projects
Social media platforms are the best way to dig out useful resources easily and at the same time promote your own. Though not every social media platform offers equal opportunity, each tool has its own benefits. For instance - Twitter is great tool for making quick announcements or updates, to ask short question, etc. But if you have to tell about a long term product or a long term event to the community in detail then Facebook is a good option.
In the 21st century, social media marketing has changed the way educators reach and teach students. Nowadays almost every educational organization is using social media marketing strategy in order to improve their reach to students. Social media platform is the best place to endorse your school. Education leaders can talk about their school using Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, G+ and many other platforms. Many schools are also sharing pictures and videos of their school practices using Instagram or YouTube to brand their school.
Keeping an eye on cool practices will always help.
Technology creates amazing opportunities for students to do meaningful work. Educational leaders need to learn to leverage technology to help produce products that have value outside institutions, receive feedback on their work, and experience the rewards of publication or exhibition. Social media can provide a widespread audience for students' work; it links students to the world, provide new reasons to write, and offer new sources of feedback on ideas.
Blogging and sharing is one of the most effective way to talk about your school in the social media space. You can have your blog dedicated to your school. Keep writing about the daily happenings in your school and keep parents and the community updated through these social media platforms.
Control over the Content
The huge amount of content posted over the social media can be overwhelming. Not all content posted is worth noticing but there are some useful resources as well. Yes I am writing about using social media for professional purpose on an educational technology blog, but that does not mean using it is limited to learning about the use technology in education; the number of communities and niche groups out there are many more than we can think of and are growing as we finish reading this. Social media is being used to curate lists, create groups, discuss, collaborate, engage, and share different types of content.
In an insightful article I read this morning, Silvia Tolisano says "There is a difference between Social Media IN schools and Social Media FOR schools. While social media in schools deals primarily with policies around how to use (or not use) social media in the classroom with students, social media for schools is about storytelling and getting their stakeholders (teachers, students, administrators, parents, community) to spread these stories."
I think both the angles "IN" and "FOR" should be clear to every educational leader in this digital age. But the key thing to be kept in mind is that working on social media effectively requires a strategy (strategies to be precise) and a daily effort.
To sum it up, here are those quick strategies (Taking an example of Twitter) that can help you create ideal social media platforms.
- For Twitter always keep a track of trending and relevant hashtag.
- Publish blog weekly and share it twice using your own handle.
- Tweet five to six or even ten tweets every day.
- Make room for discussion and feedback.
- Follow great education leaders and participate in chats organised by them.
- With content also use images and graphics for sharing.
- Keep your contacts public.
- Do not stick on the social media platform all the day ;) You may use tools to support your strategy.
What are your strategies? Any special tip for the educational leaders reading this?