Will Administrators Use Social Media in the Future?

Today’s CEO is not social, says Forrester Research’s CEO George Colony–in a study reported today on the Mashable site. I pulled one of the quotes that made me think about administrators in our schools:

Colony has concluded that, “None of the CEOs of Fortune Magazine’s top 100 global corporations have a social profile.”

Wow. None. But should we be surprised? Very few school principals, Heads of Schools, or even high-level administrators have a social profile. George Couros, whose fairly recent jump into social media has propelled him as a leader in this area, started Connected Principals to share those that do. But until the past few months, I saw few administrators willing to take the perceived risk of being “out there.”

I find social media fascinating. I can’t imagine not sharing and learning online. But it seems people either get it or don’t.

Educators are no different in that regard. But those administrators who have jumped report great satisfaction in their transparency with parents and families. Check out Larry Fliegelman’s latest post about connecting with his parents. Josie Holford, head of Poughkeepsie Day School, keeps her families up to date through her blog, Twitter, and Facebook.

So as I read the post on Mashable, I wondered….how different will our “school world” be when administrators around the world will feel as LIVESTRONG CEO Doug Ulman does. In the post he says,  “perceptions around social media being too risky for CEOs are beginning to change.”

“I would predict that more and more executives will see this as an opportunity rather than a risk,” he says.

I hope more school administrators will soon discover the possibilities.

image:By Pranav SinghPranav Singh

9 thoughts on “Will Administrators Use Social Media in the Future?

  1. I have been formulating some notions about why school leaders appear so reluctant to embrace the tools now at their disposal for communicating, sharing and…yes …educating. No firm conclusions yet. The ostensible reasons revolve around time. But I don’t buy that.

    CEOs in the profit community maybe a different animal. They can hire a cadre of social media drones to do the work. But again – a lost opportunity imo.

    To be continued. And see you on Facebook, Twitter and my blog.
    Cheers – Josie

  2. I wonder this as well. I think Ullman’s comment about the perceived risk is a bit depressing. Letting people know you is risky, but is also necessary. Lately, I’ve been thinking that the age of near-total privacy must be a blip in history. I didn’t know my teacher’s first names when I was an elementary student. Why on earth was this the case? Why should students accept that teachers are there for them if we don’t let them know who we are? It doesn’t mean revealing everything, but they and we deserve better. CEOs and principals will find the same–you don’t have to FB friend all the teachers and show them pictures of your grandchildren. But if you show them that you are a thinking leader and share the thought process with them, you will all be better off.

  3. I think school leaders may simply not know how. They may think it is too difficult and time consuming. It seems to me that social networking is easier than ever and so exciting and powerful that it is a matter of time before school heads will be more involved. With a little help from tech directors and division heads, perhaps school heads will be on sooner than we think.

  4. I agree with Jim. I think a good bit of it is a lack of understanding & appreciation. The exercise of playing with the tools; crafting content; sparking a dialogue should help to ease some of the pressure and point folks in the right direction. Who knows, maybe they’ll even find it fun.

    Nice post, Susan!

  5. Josie, love what you do. Keep up the great work.
    Sarah, you are so right. That relationship is what builds trust (and within a class, builds community).
    Jim and Peter, I worry that it’s not a matter of knowing how but of not wanting to share. You may be right in that they don’t fully understand the benefits.I, too, am hopeful that putting the toe in the water might yield good results. Let’s hope so.

  6. You’ve asked the $2500 question, Susan. I agree – their lack of engagement can be due to time, priorities, lack of understanding, and a reluctance to put themselves out there. I think Administrators have many unpleasant dealings with their school communities (parents, neighbors, etc) during the year that they don’t want to entertain them in another platform. I think they underestimate the power of the positive in social media forums. I still field questions on why do we have a facebook page and why exactly are we twittering and the only way for them to fully understand it is for them to get on it. Slowly, I think we’ll get there. Thanks for the post!

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