School districts join social networking trend

Plano ISD launched a new Facebook page last week, opting to join the social networking trend their students have already mastered. Carrollton-Farmers Branch, led by Lake Highlands’ own Bobby Burns, has set up a Twitter account to reach neighborhood families, as have Irving and Coppell. All have hundreds of followers so far. Will RISD join the trend?

“We’ve not found the use of Facebook to be conducive to a productive school day for either students or teachers, so it is blocked from the RISD network,” said RISD Communications Director Tim Clark. “From a district news and information standpoint, we feel confident that the same population (e-savvy stakeholders) who would follow RISD on Facebook very likely take advantage of the free e-newsletter and/or visit the homepage.”

Districts using Twitter are broadcasting immediate messages to a wide audience, announcing test scores, new principals, and immunization requirements. “We haven’t made a decision yet on using Twitter,” Tim told me. “In times when instant and/or mobile communication is needed, our automated telephone calling system offers that functionality and is able to reach across the digital divide, while the various social networking applications cannot.”

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Stay tuned as schools and businesses develop more options for communication techniques and their constituents demand more information.

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