Facebook (Photo credit: stoneysteiner)

We’ve already touched upon the idea of schools using social media to communicate in some of our other posts. Recently, however, we heard that some schools and school districts have been using Facebook and/or Twitter to communicate with parents and teachers, and our curiosity got the better of us.

Should more schools follow the example set by the Birmingham Public School District and begin using social media more extensively?

  • The district began using more online media to improve communication with parents- and it seems to be working. Parents who follow a school, teacher, or school district in Twitter could be able to get an “inside” look at the classroom that they don’t usually get to experience.
  • Parents can easily access the information they need through user-friendly social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.
  • Using social media can help establish bonds between teachers and parents, as well as allow parents to more conveniently communicate with each other.

However, there are also quite a few reasons for schools not to get involved with social media:

  • Using so many different platforms to distribute information could become very confusing and/or troublesome. If you want to find important news about your school, where should you check first?
  • There’s no real way for parents to guarantee that the information on Twitter or Facebook is relevant to them- and they might get tired of schools “spamming” their pages with updates that they aren’t very interested in.
  • Using social media can certainly use up a lot of time for school officials (and even money), without noticeable benefits. Is it really worth all the trouble?
  • It’s always possible that schools might face security issues.

As the results are mixed, it’s too early to make any judgments on the success of such a program- but we’d love to hear your thoughts! Would you follow your child’s school on Twitter? “Like” it on Facebook? Why or why not?