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Educators are now incorporating 21st century tools in their classrooms to reach and engage students, yet school leaders may not always explore the full potential of these tools in communicating with those outside of the classroom. Why Social Media Matters: School Communication in the Digital Age ushers school leaders into the age of social media. Authors Kitty Porterfield and Meg Carnes demonstrate how social media can be a powerful tool for meaningful communication between school leaders and their stakeholders¿including staff, parents, community members, and the media. Porterfield and Carnes call upon current research, contemporary online tools, and real-world examples to explain both why and how school leaders should use social media. They accomplish three goals: 1. They explore why social media is so powerful and how school leaders can get the most out of it. They examine the communication landscape by addressing the following questions: How did we get here? Why has social media become so important? Who is part of our network? Why is it critical that schools get with the program? What happens if they don¿t? 2. They explore the process of how school leaders can plan their social media debut and create an online platform. They present step-by-step instructions on the basic mechanics of three popular tools of social media: Twitter, Facebook, and blogs. They describe how to send a Tweet, create a Facebook page for a school or district, and how to develop a blog. These chapters introduce these social media tools to the novice and also provide examples of how these platforms can work to support teaching and learning. 3. They explore how to communicate with social media by examining how school leaders can get the right message out in the right way, including the mechanics of how to write for social media, potential pitfalls and dangers, and how to create guidelines for social media use within a school or district. Why Social Media Matters contains how-to instructions, best practices, practical suggestions, and some cautionary tales. Its goal is to help school leaders create a meaningful framework for using social media to improve communication with stakeholders with an emphasis on what will work for each leader in his or her unique situation. It provides a fresh look at nurturing relationships, building trust, and garnering support.
Table of Contents
About the Authors
Hold Tight or Let Go?
A Connected World
Getting and Using News
Who Uses New Tools?
Who Are Our Stakeholders?
New Tools for the New Generations
The New Challenge
Ten Realities of Social Media
A Hyperconnected Community
Where Are Our Stakeholders?
Who Else is There?
Leading the Change
Wide Networks, Great Conversations
Linking School and Community
Choking on Facts
Soft Selling in a Hard Market
Five Ways to Reconnect With Stakeholders in the 21st Century
Creating Change in the Trenches
Strategies With Solid Results
Planning Your Debut and Creating an Online Platform
Checking Your Culture
Remembering Your Goals
Your Online Platform
Tracking Your Users and Getting Feedback
Profiles Versus Pages
Terms to Know
Taking Charge of Your Facebook Community
Managing Privacy Settings
Maintaining Strong, Active Leadership
The Benefits of Brevity and Speed
What's in It for Me?
Tweets or Emails?
Intersecting With a Wide Audience
Shaping Your Story in Other Media
Bad Tweets and Better Tweets
Ten Twitter Dos and Don'ts
Educators Who Tweet
Connecting the Community to the School
Revealing the Human Side
Providing "Thought Leadership"
Crafting Social Media Guidelines
What Are We Afraid Of?
Balancing Risks Versus Benefits
An Ounce of Prevention
Where to Start
Guidelines for Your Community
Guidelines for Critical Moments
What We Say and How We Say It Matter
Making Things Sticky
Getting Straight to the Point
The Language of Social Media
Write Like You Speak
Write to Connect
Write With Passion
Focus on the Verbs
Write to Figure Out What You Are Thinking
Create a Structure
Point to Additional Sources
Triage for Your Readers
Listening to Social Media
Sharpening Your Listening Skills
Develop Goals: What Are You Trying to Accomplish?
Specify Time: How Often Will You Listen?
Designate Personnel: Who Will Listen?
Develop a Collection Tool: How Will You Record Your Observations?
Decide What to Do Next: How Will You Use What You've Heard?
Search Engines Make Listening Easy
Creating a Listening Post
Crisis Management and Social Media
Timing is Everything
Building and Maintaining Trust
Act Fast, and Act Early
A Dance of Opposites
Making Meaning in a Crisis
Evaluating Results Over Time
The New World: It's Just the Beginning
It's Not About the Toys
There Are No Right Answers
Social Media is an Attitude
References and Resources
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