Showing posts with label school announcements. Show all posts
Showing posts with label school announcements. Show all posts

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Pros and Cons of Using Social Media for School Announcements

Today at the Practical Ed Tech Summer Camp I was asked for my opinion about using Facebook as the primary tool for posting information for the parents of your students. Answering that question reminded me of an article that I wrote a few years ago on the same topic. An updated version of that article appears below.

When used correctly social media can be a fantastic aid in spreading the good word about your school. As I wrote in my post about socializing school events with social media, social media can be very helpful in building a positive feeling of community around your school too. On the other hand, social media isn't always the best way to share news about your school. Let's take a look at the pros and cons of using social media for school announcements.

The social media networks you might use:
In an effort to be concise this post will deal only with Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Unless otherwise specified the pros and cons here will deal with all four networks as category rather than breaking out the pros and cons of each network individually.

Pros of using social media for school announcements:
  1. The likelihood of students checking their favorite social networks frequently is much higher than that of them checking email frequently. 
  2. You can quickly post concise messages with visuals that grab the attention of students and their parents. (I've been testing using large images into my Tweets lately. Each time I do I get more favorites and reTweets than I do with the same message that lacks a visual). 
  3. It is easy for students and or parents to share the announcement through a reTweet, tag or share on Facebook, or a tag/mention on Instagram. 
  4. It is easy for students and parents to reply to announcements. 
  5. A small archive of recent announcements is automatically created for you. 
Cons of using social media for school announcements:


  1. You must convince students and parents to follow or like your school's social media account. 
  2. Students and parents who follow a lot of social media accounts can easily overlook yours. This is especially true on Facebook because Facebook tends to hide posts from people/pages that haven't been interacted with on a frequent basis. (In other words, if you click on a lot of "cuddly kitten/ puppy" stories on Facebook you're more likely to see more of those than you are stories from sources that you don't click frequently). 
  3. You, your school administrator, or some committee within the school needs to decide who will be the "official" social media voice of the school. In other words, decide who gets to post on the school account. 
  4. Someone has to monitor and moderate conversations that arise from announcements posted on social media. On a Facebook page or Instagram account you can delete inappropriate comments. On Twitter your only option is to block, mute, or report the offender. 

Friday, May 1, 2015

Pros & Cons of Using Blog Posts for School Announcements

On Tuesday I assessed the pros and cons of using social media for school announcements. The next day I did the same for text messaging. Yesterday, I broke-down the pros and cons of emailing school announcements. To wrap-up the series let's take a look at the pros and cons of using blog posts for school announcements.

Blog platforms:
If you are only using your blog to post announcements about your school or classroom, you have plenty of options for a blogging service. Blogger, WordPress.com, and Edublogs make it easy to start a blog in a matter of minutes. A comparison of five popular blog platforms can be found here. Weebly and Google Sites also have options for running blogs within the context of a larger website.

Pros of using blog posts as school announcements:
  1. It is easy to have multiple people maintain the blog. The burden of keeping parents informed about school news doesn't rest with just one person. 
  2. An archive of announcements is automatically created and easy to find. 
  3. You can include as much media as you like (or your hosting allows) in a blog post. It is easy to include video of a great school event. Or include an audio announcement that is accessible to struggling readers. 
  4. You can write announcements in advance and schedule them for distribution at later times. 
  5. You can easily call attention to and direct people to previous announcement and or to reference pages containing things like school calendars and handouts. 
Cons of using blog posts as school announcements:
  1. Parents must remember to check your blog or you convince them to subscribe to it.
  2. If you have commenting enabled you will need to must moderate comments. 
  3. If you don't have comments enabled parents will have to open a separate email client or call to ask questions about information in the blog post. 
  4. If your blog's URL is complicated, people will have a hard time remembering it correctly. For example, parents in my district often complained about remembering the structure of sad17.k12.me.us when looking for some of my colleague's blogs. My blog was simply mrbyrneteaches.com (I spent $10 per year for hosting that domain through Blogger and wrote off the cost on my taxes). 
  5. If you choose to self-host your blog you will have to spend time maintaining the back-end for software updates and security. 
A couple of considerations that are neither pros nor cons.
  1. Blog posts can easily be converted into and sent as email messages through services like FeedBlitz, FeedBurner, and Aweber to name a few. Parents who prefer email can receive the posts through those services. Parents who prefer to subscribe to a blog via RSS can use services like Feedly and Flipboard to follow the blog. 
  2. Nearly every blogging platform will let you create static pages for content like calendars, policies, and handouts.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Pros and Cons of Using Social Media for School Announcements

When used correctly social media can be a fantastic aid in spreading the good word about your school. As I wrote in my post about socializing school events with social media, social media can be very helpful in building a positive feeling of community around your school too. On the other hand, social media isn't always the best way to share news about your school. Let's take a look at the pros and cons of using social media for school announcements.

The social media networks you might use:
In an effort to be concise this post will deal only with Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Instagram. Unless otherwise specified the pros and cons here will deal with all four networks as category rather than breaking out the pros and cons of each network individually.

Pros of using social media for school announcements:
  1. The likelihood of students checking their favorite social networks frequently is much higher than that of them checking email frequently. 
  2. You can quickly post concise messages with visuals that grab the attention of students and their parents. (I've been testing using large images into my Tweets lately. Each time I do I get more favorites and reTweets than I do with the same message that lacks a visual). 
  3. It is easy for students and or parents to share the announcement through a reTweet, tag or share on Facebook, tag/mention on Instagram, or a tag/mention or re-post on Google+. 
  4. It is easy for students and parents to reply to announcements. 
  5. A small archive of recent announcements is automatically created for you. 
Cons of using social media for school announcements:
  1. You must convince students and parents to follow or like your school's social media account. 
  2. Students and parents who follow a lot of social media accounts can easily overlook yours. This is especially true on Facebook because Facebook tends to hide posts from people/pages that haven't been interacted with on a frequent basis. (In other words, if you click on a lot of "cuddly kitten/ puppy" stories on Facebook you're more likely to see more of those than you are stories from sources that you don't click frequently). 
  3. You, your school administrator, or some committee within the school needs to decide who will be the "official" social media voice of the school. In other words, decide who gets to post on the school account. 
  4. Someone has to monitor and moderate conversations that arise from announcements posted on social media. On a Facebook page, Google+ page, or Instagram account you can delete inappropriate comments. On Twitter your only option is to block, mute, or report the offender. 
  5. Sharing lengthy announcements that require a lot of explanation can be done on Facebook or Google+, but that style of post tends to get ignored on social media or at the very least is not frequently shared from user to user.  
Tomorrow, I'll have a post about the pros and cons of using text message services to share school announcements

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Splash - Create Event Pages and Collect RSVPs

Splash is a free service that you can use to create great-looking event announcements and collect RSVPs.

Using Splash you can create a one page announcement of your event. To your Splash page you can add all of the important information that attendees need to know about your event. You can customize your page with your images or use the Splash stock images for your page. Attendees can RSVP through your Splash page. If you choose, you can create an auto-responder and send information directly to an attendees's email address after they RSVP. Take a look at  the Splash page I made for an event at my house in March.

Applications for Education
Splash could be a good way to advertise an event at your school. The RSVP option makes it easy to keep track of how many attendees to expect at your next school event.

H/T to Make Use Of.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

WeTxt - Free Group Text Messaging

WeTxt is a new service offering free group text messaging. WeTxt works with ten major cellular service providers to offer you the ability to send text messages to large groups at once. In addition to creating and sending initial messages, WeTxt offers an option for sending "reply all" messages. Messages can be sent from your mobile device or from your email account. A mobile calendar helps you keep track of items that you need to send out as text messages.

You should note that while WeTxt is free to use, you do still incur text messaging charges at the rate charged by your cellular service provider. Read the FAQ section of WeTxt for more information regarding their terms of service.

Thanks to Sam Gliksman for the link.

Applications for Education
WeTxt could be an option for sending group messages about school delays and cancellations, changes in field trip itineraries or other time-sensitive announcements.