Last night there were a series of hurried texts between a group of friends and myself. At first, I was going to ignore them. It was, after all, almost 10 pm – way past my bedtime! Then curiosity got the better of me, and boy am I glad it did. A friend who teaches at another site within my district was telling the rest of us that school was cancelled for today, because of bomb threats at one of the campuses. Before long, I was communicating with my site administrator who asked me to post the information on our school’s Facebook page.
How do we get our information?
When I first heard the news, guess where I went first? The district’s website? The local news station’s site? Facebook? You guessed it, Facebook. Isn’t that what most of us do?
Spreading the Word
The district was in the process of recording a message that would auto call all the parents. However, the system had already shut down for the night and the calls wouldn’t be made until morning. This is a problem.
Living in a small community such as mine, word travels fast. So by harnessing the power of social media, we were able to inform many, who in turn helped to spread the word, about the school closings. Within 16 hours, our post had been viewed by nearly 9,900 people. That’s almost the size of our town!
118 Shares! I have heard that some district administrators are not a fan of schools having a Facebook page. They feel that it puts them at risk of negative attention or criticism. While this is true, the risk is minimal. In the 3 to 4 years we’ve had ours, I can only recall 2 instances where someone was negative, and one of those the person had some misinformation (which we were able to clear up immediately).
I’m sure you would agree, this was an amazing way to harness the power of social media. On another note, the majority of our posts show students engaged in learning and having fun. If your school doesn’t have a Facebook Page, I think it’s a missed opportunity to connect with parents, students (depending on age), and your community.