In our Web 2.0 world, schools can communicate, connect, interact and engage like never before. As we leave 2013 behind and move into the 2014 school year it is time to think about how we will replace the one-way communication of the backpack note home with a truly interactive and connected experience for the school community. This quiz will help you take a look at where you are so you can think about where you want to go. Digital interaction helps us break down barriers, bring communities together, and develop and improve the critical relationships we want to cultivate within our school communities.
1) Website, blog, or wiki
Your school has an online space where the school community can come to get information.
We have an online space that is frequently updated, contains links to other social media sites, provides contact information for staff, and most staff have contributed updated information.
We have an online space that is updated periodically, indicates how staff can be contacted and some staff have contributed information.
We have an online space but it is not updated frequently, does not provide contact information for staff and few staff members have contributed updated information.
We do not have an online space.
School staff model career readiness and success with a professional LinkedIn profiles that students and families can view and use to get to know their teachers better.
Administration and most school staff have updated Linkedin profiles that are linked to from the school website.
Many staff members have Linkedin profiles. Most are updated. They are not linked to from the school website.
A few staff members have Linkedin profiles. Not all are updated. They are not linked to from the school website.
We are not aware of who has Linkedin profiles
3) Facebook, Edmodo, SchoologyYour school has a page or group where you can celebrate success, update the school community, share and coordinate events, and mobilize in times of need.
We have a page or group that is interactive, updated regularly, and used by much of the school community.
We have a page or group that is updated periodically and use by a small percentage of the school community.
We have a page or group but it is not updated frequently or used often.
We do not have a page or group
A Twitter account can provide the school community with a live news feed of what is taking place in the school.
We have a Twitter account that is updated regularly, used in email signatures or letterhead and parents can access it from our school website or via fast follow texting on their cell phones.
We have a moderately active Twitter account that parents can access in places other than Twitter i.e. website, phone.
We have a Twitter account but it is not updated often or very active. It is not connected to our website or Twitter fast follow.
We do not have a Twitter account.
5) EduClipper or Pinterest
Sites like Pinterest and EduClipper enable you to provide a beautiful visual display of that which is important to your school community.
We have a site like EduClipper or Pinterest that is updated regularly and accessed and interacted with by the school community.
We have a moderately active account.
We have a site like Educlipper or Pinterest but is not updated often or very active.
We do not have a site like EduClipper or Pinterest.
6) Livestreaming or video
When the school community can’t be at the school physically, they can watch what is going on live via streaming video or later via video..
We have a livestream or video presence that is updated frequently, visible on our website and the school community engages with it.
We have a livestream or video presence that is updated moderately with at least some engagement from the school community.
We have an account but it is not updated very often and there is little to no community engagement
We do not have a livestream or video account.
How’d you do?
14 - 18: Strong connection
You have a connected school. You inform, engage, interact, and are accessible to the school community.
9 - 13: Sufficient connection
Your school is connected. The school community knows where to go to get information. Next you’ll want to strengthen school community engagement and interaction.
5 - 8: Spotty connection
Your school has started on the path to developing an online presence. Your next step is to increase activity, interaction, and engagement.
Less than 5: Bad connection
Consider investigating ways to communicate, connect, engage, and interact with your school community. You may want to survey them to see if there is one idea they prefer and start with that.
Whether you are strongly connected or just beginning, it’s always good to think about at least one way you can become a more connected school. What is one thing you can do to better communicate, engage, and interact with your school community?
Lisa Nielsen writes for and speaks to audiences across the globe about learning innovatively and is frequently covered by local and national media for her views on “Passion (not data) Driven Learning,” "Thinking Outside the Ban" to harness the power of technology for learning, and using the power of social media to provide a voice to educators and students. Ms. Nielsen has worked for more than a decade in various capacities to support learning in real and innovative ways that will prepare students for success. In addition to her award-winning blog, The Innovative Educator, Ms. Nielsen’s writing is featured in places such as Huffington Post, Tech & Learning, ISTE Connects, ASCD Wholechild, MindShift, Leading & Learning, The Unplugged Mom, and is the author the book Teaching Generation Text.
Disclaimer: The information shared here is strictly that of the author and does not reflect the opinions or endorsement of her employer.