Connecting Educators Using Media

Communicating Your Message to Your Audience

Communicate your Message!
Doesn't matter if you are an Administrator, Teacher, or Student

  • Bobby Dodd, Principal, Gahanna Lincoln High School  2016 NASSP National Digital Principal of the Year.
  • Communication is the most important element in education.
  • We do not have time (nor do others) to meet and discuss our goals, mission, and initiatives on a daily basis with everyone in the community & state.
  • Everyone (parents, community members, students, other school districts, etc.) want to know what you are doing, how you are doing it, and why you are doing things that way.
  • And EVERYONE wants to know NOW, so we need alternative forms of communication to accomplish this. (Think of a 1:1 school who creates email accounts for all students & many Frosh do not know how to use email)
  • Use quick methods to communicate; use social media to your advantage.

Using Social Media

  • 140 Characters
  • Great way to build a Professional Learning Network (PLN) with other educators, community members, parents, and students
  • Amazing professional development
  • New to Twitter? Its easy to get started:
  • Go to Twitter and watch this video to get started

How do I use Twitter as an Administrator?

  • Professional Development - chats (#satchat, #ohedchat, #arkedchat)
  • Keep up to date on the current trends in education (@ASCD, @eschoolnews, @OhioHigherEd, @educationweek)
  • Post news about our school and things I am involved in.
  • Create multiple accounts: one professional, one for your building/district
  • Why multiple Twitter accounts?  We have a high school Twitter account that posts information about our school & students.  I use my professional account for my professional development.  Many students & parents do not want to follow my professional account (because to be honest, it doesn't necessarily interest them).

Ways You Can use Twitter

  • Follow other teachers around the world - Bonny Buffington@BBuff43011, Will Chamberlain @wmchamberlain, Sabra Eaton @sabrapro, Star Sackstein @mssackstein
  • Follow other administrators around the world - Jimmy Casas @casas_jimmy, Holly Sutherland @BUCSlead, Ryan McLane @McLane_Ryan
  • Post assignments, host chats (just create a hashtag "#"), keep parents informed as to what is going on in class (syllabus, procedures, highlights)
  • Participate in chats - #satchat, #edchat, #ohedchat, #arkedchat, #iaedchat
  • Mention your blog, your website, your Facebook page
  • Watch this video to find other great ways to use Twitter to your advantage as a Teacher/Administrator
  • What if Twitter is blocked in my district/building? Develop a committee to present to school administrators why it should not be blocked & the many ways it can benefit the district/building. Your PLN on Twitter will help with you with this.
  • Connect with your students' parents - students are not on Facebook that much anymore (too many parents are on Facebook driving students to Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat)
  • Let everyone know the great things that are going on in your building/district.
  • Alerts (weather) or changes in schedules, agendas, etc.
  • Create multiple accounts: professional, school/district page, personal (see above for reasons).  Set your account so it automatically posts to Twitter after you post on the timeline.

How do I use Facebook as an Administrator?

  • Pictures and descriptions of student & teacher activities
  • Updates of blogs, newsletters, calendars, and change of schedule
  • Athletic updates, directions, scores
  • Get access to the school district's Administrative account. That way, you can be in control of what you want to post.
  • Promote other programs that many parents don't get a chance to hear about - Energy Team at HS, 21st Century Summer Program, Performing Arts

Ways you can use Facebook?

  • Keep parents & community members updated as to what is going on in the classroom or building.
  • Display student work (anonymous)
  • See how other school districts use Facebook to communicate.
  • Post links to important areas or topics for parents & community members - educational links, blogs, school website
  • Be positive!
  • Watch the video on how to create a Facebook account.
  • Check out this presentation on ways Teachers can use Facebook in a school setting.
  • Great collections of videos on how to use Facebook like creating a profile and accessing your "Wall."
  • Most important thing: Get your district on Facebook.
  • Tell your story. Let everyone know what you want them to know.
  • Many different applications to choose from: your school district's website software, Blogger, Wordpress, Weebly, Tackk, Jux, Tumblr, Edmodo
  • It gives parents another perspective to their child's school experience.
  • Allows others to see your educational philosophy and beliefs.

Ways I use a Blog as an Administrator

Ways you can use a Blog

  • Teach students how to blog effectively & use it in your classes. (Great way to establish OTES evidence)
  • Share with students, parents, community members things about you that they don't know (Books you're reading, PD sessions you attend, etc.) Use it to demonstrate the impact that this communication has on their schooling.
  • Gives teachers & students "voices" to be heard that they have never had before.
  • Here is a great resource for you to use to get started.
  • Classroom uses - journals, question & answer, discuss topics, homework help from other students & teachers in the class.
  • Check out this blog with more ways for Teachers to use blogs in class.
  • Watch video on how to create and use a blog
  • Get all of your school's information in a central location for parents, students, community members, and other districts & professionals.
  • Ask for PD on organizing your webpage and learning how to use the webpage.
  • Look at other teachers, administrators, & schools to see what you would like to add on your site and/or page.
  • Convince the Technology Director in your district to get a school website software that is user friendly & easy to use.

How I use a school website as an Administrator

Ways you can use a school website

  • Same way I use our website.
  • Get all of your pertinent information on the site so parents & students have a resource to use.
  • Many of my teachers use Edmodo, Schoology, and Google Classroom instead of their school website. Edmodo gives teachers greater flexibility when adding information.
  • Send emails/broadcasts to stakeholders all over the world.
  • "Push" out communication about anything and everything to parents/stakeholders.
  • GJPS has parents put in a valid email address when they sign their students up for classes each year.

How Do I Use Email as an Administrator?

  • Communicate with parents about school matters (emergencies, fundraisers, instruction)
  • Program the emails to send at certain times during the day/week/month.
  • Include all of the ways parents can connect with GLHS on each email.
  • Allow for stakeholders to email me back after I send out a broadcast.
  • Share important links to different articles, posts, etc. with parents.

How Can You Use Email as a Teacher?

  • Same ways as mentioned above: communicate with parents on a daily/weekly basis.
  • Obtain parents email addresses at the beginning of the school year.
  • Great way to share QR Codes, links, and other important information.
  • Don't rely too much on email!  When discussing behavior, school achievement, or positives, always use the telephone or meet in person.
  • Pinterest is where you go to discover new things and collect stuff you love. If you find something online you want to build, cook, buy or do, just Pin It to your board.
  • Great way to let people see what interests you and organize topics for parents & students.

How do I use Pinterest as an Administrator?

Ways you can use Pinterest

  • Share lesson plans, gather images for different projects.
  • Find project-based learning lessons.
  • Students can use the boards to collaborate with each other, share ideas.
  • Watch this video on how to create your Pinterest account.
  • Use Instagram to take pictures and videos of student accomplishments or student activities. You can use Vine to record 6 second videos.
  • Videos and photos are published on your page and your Followers will be able to see the videos and photos. (similar to Facebook)

How do I use Instagram & Vine as an Administrator?

  • Take videos of students at games, events, concerts and post for people to see
  • Take pictures of student projects, student work, etc. and post for followers to see.
  • Link your Instagram account to your school Twitter & Facebook account to post your pictures to your other applications.

Ways you can use Instagram & Vine

  • Assign photo essays for students. Have students add captions to their pictures to explain photo.
  • Document science experiments and art projects with photo and captions to explain each step in the process.
  • Use pictures to how different landforms, cultures, populations for graphs for projects.
  • Have students play the role of important people in history and have them use Instagram as the person in history would have used it.
  • Good video discussing the difference between Vine & Instagram.
  • Create videos for communicating.
  • Create your own YouTube profile and it stores all of your videos.
  • You can create HD videos or longer videos that are not HD, but still useful to communicate your message.

How do I use YouTube as an Administrator?

  • Flipped Faculty Meetings - allow teachers to view videos on their own time and submit comments/questions using Padlet
  • Create videos for conferences or presentations to demonstrate what is going on in our district.
  • Other uses - create weekly news reports, Principal Message each week, create a school YouTube profile for announcements

Ways you can use YouTube

  • Demonstrate to parents what goes on in the classroom regarding projects.
  • Create a weekly message for parents & students to view about assignments, expectations, etc.
  • Create a community project or service learning project you are going to launch and allow people to see what you have planned.
  • I create video newsletters with this app.
  • Easy to use app that includes music and transitions.
  • Students have this app on their iPads so students taught me how to use the app.

How do I use the app as an Administrator?

  • Create video newsletters to get my message to the community.

Ways to use the app as a teacher

  • Huge differentiation piece
  • We have teachers who have students create "how to" videos for certain units and then share them with the class.
  • Students place videos in Google Drive for storage and sharing
  • Create newsletters to share with parents.
  • Post videos on Twitter, Facebook, You Tube
  • Send large volumes of phone calls, emails, and text messages to parents, students, & community members.
  • Get your message out to many people at one time.

How do I use One Call Now as an Administrator?

  • Weather alerts, game cancellations, important parent meetings, 1:1 rollout, advertise programs for students & parents.
  • I use One Call Now for "important" announcements as another means of communication when I use Twitter, FB, website, etc. to communicate with parents & community members.

Ways to use One Call Now

  • Either gain administrator privileges or have your Principal or Superintendent send messages for you.
  • Can be set up by grades, so you could send messages to your students.
  • May want to use it for big events so parents are not turned off by receiving a large number of calls.
  • Use Remind101 to text students, parents, and community stakeholders about important events going on in the building or district.
  • Easy to use interface and you can "push" texts out without anyone being able to text you back.

How do I use Remind101 as an Administrator?

  • Send text messages to parents & students about cancellations and updates.
  • Can direct parents & students to websites or articles by embedding links in the text messages.
  • Send voice messages and attachments (send images of our bell schedules, send flyers for fundraisers)
  • Alert students of possible threatening situations (ex. lockdowns)
  • Set up separate account for staff and send them messages and reminders.

Ways you can use Remind101

  • Send reminders to parents & students. (anything from "Remember to study" to "Tonights HW is Ch. 1, Section 1, Essay")
  • You could send texts to inform students of Twitter chats or Blogs to post to.
  • Watch this video to set up a Remind101 account.

Ways to use Voxer

  • Connect with colleagues from all over the world.  Connect with parents and students.
  • Collaborate on professional matters with colleagues. (Teams, Creating your own podcasts through Voxer)

Ways to use Voxer as Administrators & Teachers

  • Communicate your daily message to students, staff, and parents.
  • Create a learning group with students and have them share their insights regarding assignments.
  • Students can communicate their views or ideas verbally and through text
  • Web based tool that allows users to create pages with their own IP address
  • It is free to use, user-friendly and also works on iPads
  • Has feature where you can comment on posts and chat with users

Ways to use Tackk as an Administrator or Teacher

  • Utilize Tackk as a web page, blog, or presentation tool
  • Incorporate images & links to advertise for events - make your own advertising media
  • Many examples on how to use in education including distributing and collecting assignments
  • Student examples of using Tackk for projects
  • Zite is a tool to use to find articles, posts, and links to your favorite topics.
  • You search topics that interest you and Zite will post a collection of articles/posts that are pertinent to your search.
  • You can read different articles/posts and share with students, staff, and parents.
  • Its a good way to keep parents informed as to what you are reading and what they may need to know about education.

How Do I Use Flipboard as an Administrator?

  • Read articles and share with my PLN using Twitter and Voxer
  • Read articles and share links with teaching staff.  I share articles with them that go along with our vision and also articles that I think some may be interested in.  I post the links to the articles on my staff blog.

How Can You Use Flipboard as a Teacher?

How Do I Use QR Codes as an Administrator?

  • Share information with students, staff, and community.
  • Some examples include: placing codes on banners posted throughout the school and community, placing codes on floor stickers so people can scan the code as they walk over it.
  • You can include anything on codes: office hours, link to important websites or forms, ways stakeholders can communicate with you

How can you use QR Codes as a teacher?

  • App using video capabilities of phones to capture footage and share with others around the world in real-time.
  • People watching can text you and you can respond to their texts while on camera.
  • Footage can also be recorded and shared with others.

How Can You Use Periscope as an Administrator?

  • Send out short videos of your daily/weekly announcements so students and stakeholders can view in school.
  • Capture and share footage of school events.

How Can You Use Periscope as a Teacher?

  • Share classroom experiences with stakeholders.
  • Communicate with other educators and share classroom experiences real-time. (Like Skype with less hassle).
  • Have students share experiences for real-time field trips, learning experiences, and for projects.  Imagine a student recording an experience while they are there and sharing it with others at that time.
  • Check out what other educators think about Periscope in education.

Questions & Answers

  • Assistance with any of the apps/sites/software discussed above?
  • Discuss 1:1 programs and how they work?
  • Communicate your message, you do not want anyone else doing it for you.
  • Connect with me:  


Twitter: @bobby__dodd


Parents Blog:

School Twitter: @GLHSLions


School Website:

Remind 101 Account: text 81010 with the message @glhsinfo

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