Twitter as a district communication tool

Twitter as a district communication tool

Summary: 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.

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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.

Topics: Social Enterprise, Browser, CXO, Enterprise Software, Legal, Software Development

Christopher Dawson

About Christopher Dawson

Chris Dawson is a freelance writer, consultant, and policy advocate with 20 years of experience in education, technology, and the intersection of the two.

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9 comments
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  • Twitter does ROCK

    Here is a video which mentions how Twitter was used during the fires in Southern California recently. http://tinyurl.com/dm9ln4
    It's all about communication. Tweet me at www.twitter.com/futurediamond
    softwarebyrichard
  • Schools and governments would be foolish

    to not take advantage of what they can get for free, especially in a day and age where they need to watch every dollar they spend. As long as it's not being used to distribute confidential or private data (like school grades) I say use all the free utilities you like. I'd gladly put up with an ad on a web page if it means it saves my tax dollars.
    Michael Kelly
  • RE: Twitter as a district communication tool

    Our local ham radio group is using Twitter as a first line of notification in emergencies (telling members to GET ON THE AIR). By setting up mobile text messaging we can send mass messages that normally the carriers flag as 'spam' and don't allow to get thru. If Twitter can stay 'up' we're good!!
    robertm2
  • RE: Twitter as a district communication tool

    Most of the media focus on Twitter has been on how people are using twitter to tell us what they're having for dinner--or when they're making a pitstop--look at how we're leveraging Twitter for education! I'm working to publish an EdTech twitter with tools/news for technology in education.
    Julia
    Twitter: @jhengster
    Julia.Hengstler
  • Fix your grammar

    This is not correct: "increasing it?s utility ...." Literally you are saying "increasing it is utility ...." The correct way of saying this is "increasing its utility ...." Omit the apostrophe.
    bmeacham989
    • Ohhhh, Watch out for the Grammar Police

      While grammar is important, the gist of the message is more important. If you are really paying that close attention to the grammar, then you are missing the point of the post.
      k12IT
    • Don't hesitate to post editorial suggestions

      However, keep in mind that these are most likely typos rather than a poor grasp of the English language, obviating the need for the explanation which is just plain condescending.

      Another great way to make such suggestions is via email, so that these threads can be content-oriented.

      mrdatahs shift 2 gmail dot com

      Chris
      mrdatahs
  • For staff communication, Yammer

    For internal communication and collaboration, Yammer would be far better. As to Twitter, I just am not finding it useful. If something is going on with my son at school, I want a phone call. Email for lunch account balance and grade updates is fine.

    Twitter is just more static on the tubes of the Internet. <grin>
    lundp9
  • Seems like you'd have to watch what you say..

    what with intra-office communication needing security for primary and secondary educational staff.
    JCitizen