When I was on Jeff Utecht’s SOS Podcast a few weeks ago with Jenny Luca, Tom Barrett and David Carpenter we spent our time talking about what makes the shift happen school-wide. The Essential Question: How do we bring school’s forward at a more rapid pace? I keep coming back to the same answer to this question – we must educate and engage all stakeholders within the school community. Of course, we educate the kids – they are the point of first contact and focus. In my role as the Technology Integrationist, I also have been given the charge to educate my teachers, my administrators and my parents. I do not say “my” lightly… in my opinion the teachers, administrators and parents are just as important as the students when it comes to shifting our schools.

My partner, Andy Torris, and I presented at the EARCOS Administrator’s Conference in Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia where we focused our presentation for the administrators and the parents. Moving Principal Epistole’s to Blogs and Podcasts with Style highlighted how we have organized our communication plan at our school. I don’t mean to toot our own horn here, but the way we are communicating now is working and working well to have all stakeholders involved in the process of shifting our school.

At the end of last school year, we had 10% of our teachers and a single administrator blogging as a form of communication with the parents. As of now, we have over 90% of our teachers and 100% of our administrators blogging on a regular basis to inform parents and bring them into the conversation. We even have student guest bloggers to bring the communication full circle.  As a result, the parents are taking notice. They are noticing the connections that we as educators take for granted that our deliberate actions are giving our students a well-rounded and reflective education. Through PTSA meetings, parent coffees and screencasts, we are educating our parents about RSS feeds, which is helping them stay connected to the administrators, their children’s teachers, and even their own children’s blogs. We must be having success because our PTSA just started their own blog!

The message is clear: administrators must set the example about what and how to communicate. This goes beyond the traditional website which focuses on building an audience. The blog focuses on building a community. I realize that I’m preaching to the choir here, but recent adopters need to clearly see the difference. This is what is exciting about communication with all of our stakeholders! When we focus on building community, the shift in our schools is inevitable… people will crave and EXPECT the connections. The 2000 student and teacher blogs at my school provide the proof.

Earcos Presentation
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Seth Godin –  Let’s her it for the blog

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One Comment to “Shifting our Schools – EARCOS Admininstrator’s Conference”

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