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Connect with our communities with - and about - ICTs

How does your school talk with and involve its community of families and whānau? There will, no doubt, be a range of ways that you inform, discuss and share the learning in your school, from newsletters to parents' evenings.

  • To what extent are you able to extend these conversations using technologies? Why would you?
  • And to what extent do you also need to deliberately involve your community when you talk about how we can use ICTs for learning?

This forum aims to explore ways to make connections with your community using different technologies, and the benefits provided by these connections. Commentators include: Moana Timoko, Janelle Riki and Togi Lemanu (National Blended e-Learning facilitators for Māori and Pasifika).

Until then, check out this snapshot from Enabling e-Learning, in which Principal Dave McShane, teacher Susan Lee, and kaumatua from Te Kura o Kutarere discuss how technologies have helped to engage the local community to support and share students' learning.

Source: Enabling e-Learning: Leadership - Beyond the Classroom


  • janedanielson (View all users posts) 11 Sep 2012 11:30am ()

    Hi all

    My apologies for the lateness of this post, there were issues with previous posts not showing up?!

    As the foundation principal of a new school we have used social media to engage with our community from the time before we had buildings! We use blogs, sites, google suits, email, ibooks and facebook to engage and communicate with our community. We use a variety of push and pull marketing and gather feedback through facebook, blogs and surveys. As we are a high decile school we have no issues regarding access and have had the fortune to be able to start with a 'paperless' communication system (as paperless as we can get it) which is supported by our sustainability procedures.

    I have used facebook and social media in schools for about 3 years now (http://edtalks.org/video/engaging-our-community-through-facebook) and have found it to be an excellent way of communicating with parents and wider school communities. We are able to post links, questions, news, upcoming events etc and to share items immediately with our community. I was, however, surprised that when we had watchdog installed at the beginning of the school year I had to request to have facebook unblocked - apparently "most schools" want it blocked!! Perhaps education is not as 21stC as we think?! 

  • janedanielson (View all users posts) 12 Sep 2012 9:41pm ()

    Thanks Tessa. We did do quite a bit of teacher education around what is acceptable to share in a public forum through brainstorming what we'd be happy to share with our family, our friends, our students, our community, our colleagues. This resulted in most teachers reviewing their privacy settings and making sure they were as secure as they wanted/needed to be before they "liked" the school page. As a staff we discussed "friending" parents and teachers requested it was school procedures not to - this enabled them to say "thanks but no thanks" without offending any of our families and served as another layer of privacy for them. We are fortunate that our students are not old enough to have fb accounts and therefore we couldn't possibly be friends with them because they would not be on fb ;-) Thinking about the school facebook page/blog/twitter as another form of newsletter is a good way to think about what you would want to include on social media.

    As individual teachers we asked teachers to consider their new working environment and whether or not their personal social media communications would support our ethos, values and vision. We have a high trust model and assume the best of everyone, we appointed highly competent e-learning teachers for a reason and to shut this down through policy and procedures would be futile - we go for the educate and trust model here at HPS.

    Way back when I first embarked on the social media in schools journey I found a slide share from Leslie Bradshaw which explores the idea of moving from anonyminity to translucency and the concept of translucency struck me as the way I personally wanted to be online; share some but not all of my thoughts, deeds, dreams … different things for different audiences … have work and personal personas. Her slideshare can be found here http://slidesha.re/OfnYyP. 

    This is a concept I have translated into our school social media image and it is one that I am passionate about protecting, improving and sharing with others!

  • janedanielson (View all users posts) 12 Sep 2012 9:51pm ()

    Here are some links to some of the resources we used at my last school when we began the journey:


     And the Learning at Schools presentation from last year:


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Beyond the Classroom

Beyond the Classroom

Beyond the classroom - Connecting school to the wider community with and about technologies.