Teaching Tuesday: Should Schools Use Social Media for Communication and Collaboration?

By Ursula Martin, Ed.D, Adjunct Faculty

Teacher and students taking selfie for social media in classroom

COVID-19 has forever changed how school districts operate. This includes schools finding different ways to communicate with their teachers, students and the community at large. Schools have used social media in the past to communicate with their stakeholders, but now it’s being used more than ever.

More people stay connected to the world via some social media, many using more than one. As teachers, we may be wondering, is social media the best way for schools to communicate and collaborate with their stakeholders?

Benefits of Social Media Use in Education

Access

There are many benefits to using social media for communication and collaboration. As most people are already using social media, what better way to connect the public to the schools? Sharing important information with all stakeholders is important, and sharing that information using a medium that can reach most stakeholders is equally as important. As teachers, we are constantly seeking out avenues and platforms commonly utilized by communities and families to better help the public access important information.

Timeliness

Many times, students are tasked with taking home a newsletter with information on happenings at school and information parents need to respond to in some way. Sometimes, though, the newsletter does not make it home that day or is even lost completely. Using social media to get this information out and to receive the necessary responses allows this process to happen in a more timely and effective manner.

Using social media also allows schools to “go green.” This means using less paper to print out announcements for school activities and less paper for parents to respond to the shared information. Social media platforms allow for information to get to all stakeholders simultaneously and for stakeholders to respond when needed.

Transparency

Social media also provides a visual medium helping stakeholders to see and better understand exactly what is happening in the school. For example, we can share pictures of the classroom and class projects, highlighting our students’ hard work. In this way, we are able to share information and visuals in order to give the community a glimpse of what is taking place inside the school walls. We are visually opening the doors of opportunity for the community to support the learning processes and allowing transparency between schools and families.

Involving the Stakeholders

Stakeholders are generally excited about being able to see what is happening inside the schools, as prior to social media, this only happened if parents and the community were invited into the school to interact with teachers and students. Parents love to hear and see what their children are involved in at their school. The community also loves to see what the children in their area are learning and how they can be involved in that learning process as well.

As teachers, we love to be able to share the wonderful things that are taking place in our classrooms. Our students also feel accomplished that the good things they are doing at school can be shared with everyone. It’s often said that if you do not share your story, someone else will. What better way for schools to share their stories than through the use of social media!

Want more? Check out all of the articles from Teaching Tuesday and return each week for a new post. To learn more about the College of Education and our degree programs, visit our website and join in our efforts to elevate the education profession.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.

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