A great new podcast that I love listening to is BrandEd hosted by Joe Sanfelippo and Tony Sinanis. Each episode shares ways that schools can communicate and share their positive news with parents/community. We all know that we can’t count on news reporters to share the positive things happening in our schools, because the negative stories are the ones that make sensational headlines. It is up to us to “tell our story” and share the great things we are doing in our school buildings.
I strive to “tell our story” by having a Principal’s Page on our website where I update pictures each month from my classroom walkthroughs to give parents a “window” into our school to see what our students are doing. I also maintain a school Facebook page to not only share reminders, but easily share pictures/video clips of great things parents may not otherwise hear about. (*If you’re wondering why I don’t have a Twitter account for our school it is because I surveyed parents and none of them were on Twitter).
On the most recent BrandEd podcast, they were joined by Joe Mazza who is well known on Twitter for starting #PTchat (parent teacher chat) and helping to pave the way for administrators and educators to open the door for connections with parents. In this interview with Joe, he shared the idea of broadcasting or having a livestream online from school events to allow parents to view even if they cannot attend in person.
I had heard of this idea before, but since I heard this podcast a week before a scheduled assembly I decided it was time to try it. I set up an account at ustream.tv, created a channel for our broadcast, created a shortened weblink using bitly.com to make it easy for parents to type in, and then let parents know by sending home a flyer (yes, we still use those!) and put it on our Facebook page. During our assembly, the highest number of viewers we had was 42, although I’m not sure how many were from our community, because I did also tweet it out. I did have a few parents comment to me or on our Facebook page that they watched it and thought it was neat that we could do that.
Now that I have our first live broadcast under our belt, I’m wondering what other events should I broadcast to invite parents to be connected from home/work? I’d love to hear from other educators on what events you have broadcasted from your school.