Local Schools and Social Media

York Daily Record education reporter Angie Mason posted some great information over on the Cram Session blog yesterday about a Red Lion School District employee who has been tweeting photos of facility improvement projects.

Jeffrey Bryan, Red Lion Area School District’s buildings and grounds director, has taken to Twitter to keep people posted on the work going on in school district facilities.

He’s been tweeting a lot this summer, since it’s the busy season for those in his line of work – lots of buildings to get ready for the students’ first day in just a few weeks.

Bryan said Twitter is just another way to keep people up to date. Red Lion has a few Twitter accounts they use to post general updates or information on athletics.

I’ve been following @rl_construction for a while now and I would love to see a similar use of Twitter at Southern. How cool would it have been to follow the Friendship Elementary School construction project from day to day?

The post also contains links to several other area schools that are using social media to communicate with their communities. One thing that I have been interested to see is whether these schools are using Twitter as a broadcast-only means of communication or if they are using them to dialogue with students, parents, staff, and the public. Southern has chosen to strictly broadcast messages and not follow any other users. A quick glance shows that other area public schools have chosen a similar method – only a few follow other users, and it appears that none of them reply to @mentions. But New Hope Academy Charter School (@newhopeyork) – the city charter school that was recently denied renewal – actively replies and retweets. It’ll be interesting to see how use of social media tools like Twitter will evolve. Districts are becoming comfortable with Twitter, YouTube, etc. but many are still wary of Facebook. Some districts are moving forward without set policies while others are refusing to pilot programs without something in writing. It’s all fascinating, and it’s all part of the future of education!

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