Leadership magazine May/June 2018 V47 No. 5 | Page 13

grams and social media platforms that utilize two-way communication are defined as Web 2.0 . Examples of this would be twoway interactions , including replies and comments , on social media such as Facebook , Twitter and Instagram . An example of oneway communication programs or platforms include traditional websites and are considered Web 1.0 . An example of Web 3.0 programs or platforms are those where the technology talks and communicates with other technology , such as GPS or when a user ’ s interest is determined by Amazon or Facebook for targeted ads .
So , remaining in our bold new world , something that has not changed is the importance of rich and meaningful communication , not only one-way , but two-way . We need to know our audience . We need to know how and what they feel and what we can do to meet their needs . But this really goes beyond a concert and to an entire school and community – and city , state and government .
We ’ ll stay with the school parameters , though . You need to not only get the word out to your students ’ parents that the calendar has changed , you need to get their input on that change . Taking it further , you not only need to get a report out on school rules and policies , you need to get input from your community on those rules and policies when they are updated or revised .
And , while it is awesome to share photos and videos demonstrating student success with the community – we used to distribute photos and VHS or cassette tapes – it ’ s equally awesome to have today ’ s platforms for feedback from the community or twoway dialogue and sharing of success from the parents themselves .
I ’ m reminded of a case when I was monitoring our school Facebook page at one of my former schools , which you should always do , and an especially irate parent posted a comment stating his feeling that I didn ’ t like baseball . He said that the school never posted photos , scores or stats for the baseball team . He asked why I didn ’ t like baseball and said he was offended because his kid was on the baseball team .
I thought for a minute about my next step . Though my initial reaction was to take the

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comment down , which is always an option , I chose to publicly reply . I was very positive and apologized for not posting more photos or info on the baseball team . I explained that as the school principal , I was pretty busy with all I had to do and it was sometimes difficult to get photos or scores from the team .
He replied back , apologetically , about how he didn ’ t realize that the principal updated the Facebook page , he assumed it was someone else , and to not worry about the comments he had made . We continued the dialogue on Facebook , and I let him know that if he would send me any photos or game results , I could post them .
And this is exactly what he did . The parent would send photos and scores and I would post them . I was able to turn a negative interaction into a positive one , and this is a great example of how we can influence school culture through positive interactions on social media .
With a cheerleader daughter and football player son , one of our parents at the same
school who loved to take photos at football games would post photos on Facebook . Whenever she shared her album , I would have up to 100 photos I could share without having to take a single one – just one click on the school Facebook page .
Don ’ t forget a website
As I transitioned schools more than a year ago , I found that the website at my new school was a bit dated and the school had just started using social media . I realized how important a dynamic and interactive website was and saw the power of social media realized at my last school . After a few initial discussions with school and district staff , I discovered that while the school culture was positive , there needed to be improved communication and sharing of all the great work going on at the school .
The school had also just started using the Remind smart-phone app for communication between teachers , student groups and some parents . I realized that one of the challenges of moving to a new school was establishing dynamic communication with my community and the school , as well as showcasing student talent and promoting the school to help with recruitment efforts . It wasn ’ t rocket science .
I followed the same steps I had established at the last school . I redesigned the website making it dynamic and interactive , including several photo albums , a Twitter feed , several videos , including promo slide-shows and embedded videos from Instagram , traditional news and calendar sections , links to school Twitter , Facebook , Instagram and YouTube feeds , a “ shout out ” to our partners with hyperlinks to their websites , a scrolling marquee , and even an embedded podcast that was updated every week when I sent it home to the community in a weekly phone call .
Though it took a while to get the website to where it is now , updating it has not taken too much time and the benefits have been extraordinary . Most times I post stories / photos on the school Facebook , Twitter and Instagram sites at the same time . It ’ s important to reach the widest audience . I also post big stories on the website and mention them in the weekly podcast . Occasionally , I would link / share arts-related stories on Facebook
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