As new forms of media become readily available, there are more ways than ever to effectively communicate between home and school. The difficulty is finding which one best suits the needs of the parents and students in your school or district. And herein lies the problem, there are many stakeholders at play when it comes to communication between home and school, and each has their own preferred method. One article that put this in perspective for me was the one posted on @Medium by an actual teen, Andrew Watts. In it he reviews a number of common social media platforms being use by teens, and provides insight on how he and his personal cohort feel about it.
To provide some context, Andrew is a student in his first year of school at the University of Texas, and in it he recognizes that his opinion may be different than other students his age across North America. However, his perspective is a wealth of knowledge that we as educators can tap into. From Tumblr to Twitter it is evident that each platform influences its users in different ways; Marshall McLuhan’s “the medium is the message” quote is more relevant now then ever. However, it seems that each generation uses different social platforms in a multitude of ways.
So how do we use them effectively as part of a communication strategy? Well, the answer isn’t easy. However, the first place to start for now and the foreseeable future is to tie in all of these platforms to an effective website. If the content on a school site is continually updated and maintained, and tied in with all pertinent social platforms in the region, it provides a one-stop shop that efficiently meets all stakeholders where they are.
I may have a personal bias as I have found it an effective tool myself, but I honestly feel that the affordances it provides, and the plugins that are available, it really makes it easy to manage the current social media landscape, as well as any new sites on the horizon.
You can see the rest of this past weeks conversation below on #EastCoastEd
Also published on Medium.