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Results From LAUSD's First Social Media Survey
Graph displaying results to a single question from the social media survey, courtesy of LAUSD.
Los Angeles Unified School District has released results from its self-conducted social media survey, aimed at discovering how its parents and community prefer to receive updates, news, and alerts online. Among the findings: nearly 70 percent of respondents still favor email as their primary channel to receive updates, compared with24 percent for Facebook, which was ranked highest among social media sites.
More than 4,800 online users took the poll on the district's website. According to LAUSD Communication Director Thomas Waldman, nearly 60% of those surveyed were between 31 and 50 years old, an age group that he said represents a higher share of email users than those who are younger.
More than 60 percent of those polled said that the district would be more effective in using social media as a communication tool; 60 percent also said that they wanted to learn about district events through online channels. Thirty-six percent thought that school safety alerts can be issued most effectively through social media.
Beefing up social media channels is a relatively recent push for the district, the country's second largest by enrollment. In March, LAUSD began coordinating its social media program, hiring its first social media director, Stephanie Abrams, a former television reporter.
In addition to Facebook and Twitter pages, the district also has a Pinterest page. A new blog featuring contributions from all district departments and board members is also in the works.
“Though social media is now complementing and in many ways displacing older media as a preferred means of communication around the world, school districts are just beginning to recognize its value,” Abrams said in a statement. “The survey will better enable this district to set priorities and target outreach with social media and our constituents in the future.”
Stephen Noonoo is a reporter, contributing editor and consultant specializing in education technology. He is on Twitter @stephenoonoo.