Mar
25
2012

5 Steps to Check into a Better Image For Your School

With services such as foursquare, Facebook Location, and Google Places a gaining traction, social checkin’s have become more popular than ever before. One thing I noticed about my area is I only had to create one location, all of the other locations (schools) have already been added by someone else. This was a good feeling as well as a terrifying one. The purpose of this post is to alert administrators that they are responsible for their building’s image physically as well as online. The good news is it can be controlled in 5 steps.

What is a social check-in?

A social checkin is a service that allows you to “check” into different places such as restaurants, shops, and other locations such as schools. Checking in gives you points, rewards, and badges. Some locations offer different discounts for people who checkin in order to entice people to share  When people checkin, often times it is shared on their social media platform of choice such as Facebook and Twitter. This can be bad for schools if you don’t do something about it. I feel it is best to take control of these services and utilize the platform to share the positive things happening in your building.

 

Services such as foursquare allow anyone to post pictures from the location. This would be like allowing anyone on the street to change the pictures on your school’s homepage. This raises a lot of issues, do you want this to show up when a parent or board member checks in?

 

 

or would you rather have this:

 

 

Here are the 5 steps to get started with social check in’s and take control of your school’s image.

  • Step 1: Research
    • Research to see if your building is already on these social checkin sites:
      • foursquare- https://foursquare.com/
      • Facebook places- http://www.facebook.com/about/location
      • Google Places- http://www.google.com/places
      • SCVNGR- http://www.scvngr.com/
  • Step 2: Take control of your image
    • If your building / school is not on these sites, add them. All of those sites are built with non-techie people in mind and it is very easy to setup. If you need help you know where to find me :)
  • Step 3: Post pictures you want to see.
    • What is your brand? What do you want to share with strangers visiting your building?I post pictures of excellence banners, the school sign etc.
  • Step 4: Encourage the use of these services
    • Encourage people to checkin. You want to encourage people to check in to your buildings. The more your encourage the more buzz you will build about your school. This buzz can be contagious as people compete to be the “Mayor”, get badges, etc. Make it fun!
  • Step 5: Engage your community
    • Most of these services automatically post to Facebook and Twitter which gives you more reach into your community to share what you are doing in the school. This can be especially good when you want to get community in for a science fair, a fundraiser, or other community activity.

By utilizing these free tools you can take control of your digital footprint. As you know we as professionals need to do our best to protect our personal footprint but not many people think about their district as having a digital footprint.

 

What are other ways you can control your digital footprint? What services do you use? Does your school have a Facebook page? Do you Tweet to your community? Please share!

 

 

About the Author: TJ Houston

TJ Houston is the Director of Technology at Shelby City Schools and New London Local Schools for Epiphany Management. TJ leads professional development in all areas of technology and loves developing ways to make teachers, students, and staff's lives easier with the use of technology. TJ also loves photography and his portfolio can be found at http://www.tjshots.com. All of the views on this site are his own.

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About Me:

My name is TJ Houston.
I am the Director of Technology at Huron City Schools. I love integrating technology into the classroom and helping teachers find the way on the information super highway. Things I love: My family, My awesome Girlfriend, Technology, Education, and Photography.

I run PD sessions twice a week and run community training the first Saturday of the month. I love teaching people new things.

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