When I was preparing to work as a school leader (back in the early 2000’s), I never could have imagined beyond my wildest dreams that we would be working in between the technological and face-to-face spaces that we are each day with students, parents, employees, and the greater community. Any of us preparing for this work before a couple years ago have really had to play catch-up in learning quickly about these environments and their intersection.
Let’s face it, though. Some conversations and news need to be delivered through a phone call or face-to-face conversation (individual students’ academic and emotional progress, for example). I think, though, there are lots of ways that technology can enhance the relationships with families. I had a blog as a high school principal where I would highlight academic, athletics and other accomplishments of students periodically. I know of a local superintendent who uses twitter to also highlight great things about his district, but he also uses it to highlight educational issues that impact the district and the community as a whole. I’m starting to see lots of districts use twitter as a place to post schedule changes, announcements, highlights, etc.
By utilizing these tools, it can also keep us in touch with what the community members and students are saying…. a window into our customer service, so to speak. In addition, the school can become a training ground for other adults in the building or community to learn more about these media to have a more accurate understanding of the world our children experience.