Florida and Texas Districts Sign Onto Twitter
- By Dian Schaffhauser
School districts in Florida and Alaska have been the latest to initiate Twitter accounts to keep students, parents, and the public updated with news and information about their schools. Broward County Public Schools in Ft. Lauderdale and Anchorage School District have both joined the social networking and messaging site to post updates, called "tweets," on their Twitter home pages. Subscribers can be informed about new tweets through text messages, RSS feeds, and third-party applications.
"This provides the district an additional method to deliver information expediently and directly to students, parents, and the community," said the Florida district in a statement. "Twitter supplements the district's current communications vehicles, which include parent link phone messages, e-mails, the district's Web site, BECON-TV, and the parent newsletter."
By March 12, Broward County had 317 followers and 48 updates, including reminders about testing, announcements about sporting events, and insight into the favorite meals of Broward students (chicken nuggets, pizza, chicken patty on a bun, and tacos).
The Alaska School District is focusing its Tweets on school closures. Shortly before joining Twitter, the district set up a profile on Facebook, where it announced that it wouldn't be using all the applications and features offered by service. "We're just getting started in the world of social networking, and we're taking 'baby steps' to make sure that we don't get in over our heads," the district wrote. "So, what can you expect to see? For now, news releases and school closure information. We'll also put events on our event calendar and put up some pictures of the great things our students, teachers, and staff are doing. Once we see how that works, we may introduce new features."
Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.