Oct 052011
 
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By: Alicia Post

I had the pleasure of attending the Day Schools Social Media Academy graduation where ten NY area schools joined together to reflect on how much they accomplished over the past six months. The graduation ceremony provided the opportunity for the schools to showcase the knowledge and skills they gained through the academy. In case you missed it, you can read more about the academy here.

Throughout the evening, the mentors presented awards that celebrated each school’s accomplishments. Schools were applauded for launching an inaugural website or blog, growing their databases by building relationships with their alumni and successfully cultivating donors. Darim Online and Big Duck did a stellar job of managing the schools according to their needs.

One of the most common challenges many of the schools faced was learning how to navigate the new technology, while maintaining the school’s value and standards. In response, some schools had begun writing their own social media policies to be implemented once approved.

There were two discussions I found especially interesting. The first was about how schools are using new, creative approaches when reaching out to their alumni. Some ideas suggested included holding contests with prizes that would be of interest to alumni and posting old school photos on Facebook for friend-tagging. The second discussion I found intriguing was about the importance of listening. Unique to each school was where to listen – what the best platform(s) to use in order to hear the conversations happening. When done properly, the administrators were able to discover the concerns being voiced by parents and figure out if they needed to be addressed.

As the evening came to a close, the educators seemed proud of all that they had accomplished. They also acknowledged that there is a lot more work to be done! Tell me about the tools your school could use to increase their engagement – leave your comments here and be sure to join the conversation online with the twitter hashtag: #JDStech.

You can read more about the Social Media Academy (Allison Fine’s reflections) here:
Avi Chai Social Media Academy Begins
Social Media Academy Part II

Videos make great recruitment tools, be sure to join our check-out our Day School Video Academy

Alilcia Post
Social Media Manager at The AVI CHAI Foundation