Randolph Central School District now has a Facebook page. This is a place where Facebook members can connect, communicate and collaborate. If you’re a Facebook member and are interested in the Randolph school district, please join us. The group name is Randolph Central School District, Randolph, New York.
I could just leave this post at that, right? An announcement of a relatively benign new media source. After all–this blog, the Facebook page, Twitter, YouTube videos, our school website with some amazing teacher webpages–are all on-line sources for members of our school community to COMMUNICATE. A quicker, more real time version of the good old fashioned school newsletter–a source those connected can go to for information, to ask questions, to offer opinions. And now with the Facebook page, a place to announce reunions or to find old friends, to talk about the game Friday night and how to get tickets, or to announce upcoming events.
I wonder how many people won’t think it’s benign. There are still a lot of people who don’t participate, who don’t understand and who therefore, may fear these types of media. But if I don’t step up and use them productively, how will they ever know? How will they ever see it as anything other than what they perceive?
I know on-line sources of information can’t replace more traditional media/communication tools (at least not yet)–we have members of our school community who aren’t connected here. But many of my teachers, parents and students are connected on Facebook–so why not join the conversation?
I need to lead as a superintendent. I want to step up and use the tools I hope our teachers are using. Why not a facebook page created with your class to communicate about that night’s homework assignment? Or for a sports team where all of the parents and students can join and share photos?
I know, I know. Because it’s DANGEROUS. (Read sarcasm here please.) People may do bad things on there. They may make disparaging remarks or connect in inappropriate ways. But you know what? Our fear of what could go wrong should not prohibit us from using these tools for the 99% of the community members who will do so appropriately and productively.
Are we going to make all of our decisions based on what can go wrong? Or are we going to make them based on what we make go right? And if we’re not leading the way, if we’re not stepping out as role models and as teachers to show kids the appropriate way to create content and to use these tools, who will? Who’s going to show them, through example and discussion, how to leave a digital footprint that will help them get a job, instead of telling them later that their posted content wasn’t as private as they thought and actually hurt their chances?
And if you’re worried the teachers won’t use it correctly or appropriately, please remember that we trust them with our kids every day, can’t we trust them with collaborative communication tools too? I want our teachers leading learning and out here is one of the best places to learn to lead. Let me be one of the first to raise my hand so you know it’s safe to raise yours too.