Opinion
Education Opinion

A Stage for Schools: How Will We Embrace It?

By LeaderTalk Contributor — August 28, 2010 1 min read

The social media phenomenon continues to bring interactivity to the mainstream and lead more and more people into a connected world.

A clear example of this is the Emmy Awards where NBS is rolling out social media on the red carpet:

Official Twitter Stream: Follow all the news as it comes through on the Emmy's Official Twitter page Tweet About Presenter to Jimmy Fallon: "Tweet something about the presenter and Jimmy may use your tweet as part of his introduction for those presenters during the show" Backstage Ustream: 8 Camera webcast of various events backstage taking place live Red Carpet Live UStream: Watch all the chaos and fun live on the Red Carpet YFrog: Using #Emmys, the Emmy Awards are aggregating photos and videos taken by fans and celebrities. Ol' School but Still Valuable: Discussion board, Interactive Ballot, and I'm sure official Live Blogging (didn't see this though)

These different ways to engage with the event highlight how social media has become part of everyday life, and the reason why companies are going to great lengths to ensure social media is embedded into their events and practices.

What about Schools?

This leads me right to schools. What are we doing with social media? Put aside the formal learning and teaching for just a moment and focus on the school as a whole. How are schools understanding the social media phenemenon in order to leverage it for events, activities, and athletics? How are we allowing the community to better connect, engage, experience, and support the great work we do?

At no other time that I can recall, we have an opportunity to take ownership of our “brand” within media. For some, opening these doors means perhaps losing control, which has never been there. Through social media, you may not have control BUT you can take ownership. You don’t have to wait for the newspaper or radio to write the story, cover an event, or share news. The power is in our hands to promote and engage with others about our message.

The question is how will we help our schools embrace and leverage social media for the school’s academics, activities, athletics, celebrations, community, and events? How will our schools cultivate a social network both digitally and physically not just push information? How will we take ownership of our brand, a brand that sees the mainstream media shredding administrators, schools, and teachers on what seems to be a daily basis?

Remove the line that we are standing behind that provides a false sense of security, a false sense of insulation, and a false sense of control.

It is time for schools to rise up, tell their story, and amplify it. Social media provides that stage!

Ryan Bretag
Glenbrook North High School
Coordinator of Instructional Technology
Blog: Metanoia
Twitter: ryanbretag

Image

cc licensed flickr photo by Ryan Bretag: http://flickr.com/photos/educationaltechnologist/4934065929/

The opinions expressed in LeaderTalk are strictly those of the author(s) and do not reflect the opinions or endorsement of Editorial Projects in Education, or any of its publications.