This is my second post as a review of the sessions I attended while at this year’s TASSP Summer Workshop in Austin, Texas. I was fortunate to, once again, be able to attend this outstanding opportunity for professional development as well as get the opportunity to network with other principals and administrators from across the state.
The second session I attended was from Don Jacobs, an elementary principal from Royce City. The title to his session was Effective Digital Leadership — Moving Our Schools Forward. You can follow him on twitter @Don Jacobs.
This session was an excellent opportunity to get some solid information that we can all use immediately. Here’s a summary of my notes:
- If you are looking for a timer, just search YouTube.
- Instead of sending your staff email after email, create a blog and compile all information in a single post and send it once a week. This will prevent something from getting deleted or lost from all the email that you send. Pluse each post is archived so you can find all information very easily.
- If you do a “Teacher of the Month”, use a Google Doc to have everyone vote. This will automatically tally all votes. (and you can send the link in your weekly blog)
- Use videos instead of a lengthy email when you really want to explain something. Post to YouTube and send the link. This way everyone can watch it over and over if needed.
- In place of having a parent meeting, make a video and post to YouTube. Send the link to the parents.
- Use a video to send to faculty and staff (and you can also have students watch it too) to explain all of the beginning of the year “stuff”
- When you post videos on YouTube, you can make to where access can only come from a shared link. You can also make your videos private.
- Social Media is a great way to communicate with parents. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and also by text message (Remind 101). Feedback says that this is what parents and kids want.
- For a school Facebook — create a Page NOT a PROFILE. go to yoru settings and turn off the page visibility while you are making this. Set your profanity filter to STRONG. In Page moderation you can set the list of words that Facebook will block automatically. You are able to delete and post that is inappropriate.
- You are able to link Facebook and Twitter together so all you have to do is post to one and it will automatically post to the other.
- You can also use Remind 101, a free text messaging service that has recently updated the app to where you can tweet the message directly from the app. If your Twitter is linked to your Facebook to post automatically, then is essence you posted once and it went to three different avenues for communication to parents.
- Parents generally use on or the other — Facebook and Twitter.
- Use QR codes for daily announcements. Post them outside of each teacher’s classrooms as well as various places around campus. Note: by doing this you eliminate making announcements over the intercom which means that there can be no last minute announcements. Everyone must prepare ahead of time. I got this idea from Victor Sauceda from Granbury High School. We were sitting next to each other and talking about how to save time during the school day. You can follow him on twitter @VictorSauceda.
- Make sure to have a #hashtag for your school and use it every time you tweet.
- Use edweb.net for free webinars for professional development.
- Photo Apps that are good…1. Pic Collage, 2. Pic Stitch, 3. Blurr — this one allows you to blur out any student’s face and still be able to post the photo.
- Presentation / Story Telling apps: Chatter pix, Haiku Deck — this is a simple way to put a presentation together, Store House, PowToon (www.powtoon.com) — this website allows you to create professional looking presentations with animated videos.
- Save all your documents to cloud storage like Google Drive, Evernote, Box, and Dropbox.
- Kids are fearless when using technology. Teachers and administrators need to be this way too.
- Here is a link to the entire presentation –> Effective Digital Leadership – Moving Schools Forward