Chicago schools embrace district CEO's social media example
- Chicago Public Schools Chief Education Officer Janice Jackson is inspiring schools in her district to take to Twitter with her frequent posts on events in the city's school system and her experiences from the classroom to today, Chalkbeat reports.
- Eric Solorio Academy High, for example, has had a fair share of events to tout on Twitter, from a visit by former president Barack Obama to the more run-of-the-mill music and athletic activities, while Newton Bateman Elementary has used social platforms to share newsletters, event calendars for the upcoming week, and photos of school in session.
- Other social-media-savvy efforts include Curie Metro High's use of digital text on photographs and a well-produced video from Sullivan High in the Rogers Park neighborhood.
In the digital age, social media has proven to be a valuable tool for districts and individual schools to build their brands and cement their reputations among families and the community at large. Especially with pushes for school choice on the rise, platforms like Twitter and Facebook can make the case to parents by providing a window into a school's approach to learning and its overall philosophy. And sharing particularly innovative goings-on — or even specific needs for certain programs or lessons to happen — can also help forge partnerships within the community and connect classrooms to subject matter experts who might be willing to serve as a special guest, either in person or via Skype.
Of course, there are plenty of pitfalls to social media, too. To avoid these, it's advisable that districts craft social media policies for faculty and staff to follow.
For Jackson, her social media presence is a further extension of the overall importance she places upon being visible in the community and accountable for her decisions. "It's not about just making decisions and then I go back somewhere and nobody sees me. I see the same people who I'm making decisions for in the grocery store, at the park, at the rec center," she told Education Dive in July. "I think being a part of the community is really important and it holds you accountable in a way that maybe I wouldn't be as accountable if I didn't have to look at the people every day who I'm making decisions for."
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