- Schools should be using social and traditional media to reach the public and their communities, senior fellow with the International Center for Leadership in Education Eric Sheninger said at the 2016 COS and spotlight session.
- Digital leadership should be viewed as a way to share information, tell stories and build relationships, Sheninger said; school brands should represent student achievement, teacher quality and many more items.
- Sheninger also encourages a proactive attitude when it comes to social media in order to meet and engage people in different conversations related to school systems.
When using social media, it's imperative for school systems to have guidelines in place. A number of resources can help, including K12 Insight's booklet, the "Definitive School Leader’s Guide to Navigating Social Media." The guide provides district leaders with strategies for refining their district’s social media approach, as well as their own individual approaches. Tips include developing a plan ahead of time to prepare employees and set goals, proactively communicating the district’s successes and encouraging dialogue with parents, community members and students.
Students generally view educators as role models, and for that and other reasons, it's important to give teachers a set of standards to guide how they use social media channels. Anything posted online or in email runs the risk of eventually being made public, despite privacy settings that may be set conservatively.
Digital spaces also need security. Cybersecurity experts recommend schools systems use an engaged, proactive and aggressive approach to IT, in order to prevent mishaps like mismanagement, misconduct and tech device theft.