Broward County Public Schools announced Tuesday that they would be using Twitter to quickly disseminate information to parents, students, and staff. While automated calling systems and school/district websites are fine ways to get information out, this strikes me as a particularly useful application for the microblogging site.
According to their press release,
Twitter supplements the District’s current communications vehicles, which include Parent Link phone messages, E-mails, the District’s Web site (www.browardschools.com), BECON-TV and the parent newsletter.
Their Twitter feed can be found at twitter.com/browardschools, and already contains links to a new attendance policy, links to school board meeting broadcasts, etc. Because Twitter is so easy to update, it makes for a much more convenient platform than traditional websites, although it's also easy to embed a Twitter feed in a website, further increasing its utility and reach. Similarly, multiple people could be given access to the account, making it simple for principals, secretaries, or other administrators to add to the information stream.
Parents who always wish to stay informed can follow the school via Twitter updates to their cell phone or simply watch the feed through any number of tools. I've had a lot of people question the utility of Twitter in schools and while I have a long ways to go to convince them that it's a great classroom tool, this seems like a no-brainer, adding an extra level of communication and transparency for the district and the community at large.