Do children really care about privacy & data protection? (Part 1: Adults online)

Digital privacy and data protection is a big topic for schools adopting social media. It is the first time in history that teachers have less knowledge than the pupils - with so many kids having now been born into a socially connected world.

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This means that extra work needs to put in to ensure pupils are using social media and digital tools safely. This does not stop at the classroom - parents also need to be educated to understand and guide their kids to safe digital usage...

...this is the assumption anyway! But do the younger generations need to be correctly guided in social media?

How clued up are they about privacy and data protection? Do they even care about it - is online security a serious consideration for your plugged-in kids?

 

Educating the educators

Before we can answer these questions you need to ask yourself how knowledgable are you in online safety?

 

T&C's - the blind leading the blind?

As adults we have greater scope to understand how social media works and to be savvy about what we sign up for. However, the simple reality is most of us aren't particularly savvy and will blindly agree to anything online.

Don't believe us? When did you take the time to read the Terms & Conditions for Facebook, or Twitter, or Instagram, or iTunes, or Netflix, or Gmail? 

Without fail, each and every one of these services collect your data and you agreed for them to do so! Some use this data to refine their platforms, some use it to target you better with products and some will sell your information onto third parties. It may sound dodgy or seem unfair, but you agreed to let them do so.

With this in mind, how can your pupils and kids possibly understand their rights as digital users? 

 

Professional Reputation - digital is forever

As educators your reputation in your school is important. You are champions to your pupils - examples in how to learn not just academically but in all facets of their lives. It is essential then that you maintain a professional outlook in all facets of your life. The simple rule to always remember is this:

What happens on social media, stays on Google forever.

Suddenly, that silly thing you did a few years ago (for a laugh) becomes your digital legacy. The pupils in your school can (and mostly likely will) find it - even if your settings are set to private. 

Understanding this is an important step to understanding how you can better educate your pupils on their digital legacies. 

 

Issues of privacy: The rise of Sharenting

Have you heard of Sharenting? It is the name attributed to parents who share images of their own children on social media. It sounds harmless enough, but it is important to realise the consequences of this.

Most kids have started their life on social media before they are even born! It is nothing new to see pictures of ultrasounds - of parents celebrating their pregnancy. Beyond this, it is likely you have seen proud mummies and daddies plastering their Facebook or Instagram walls with baby pictures and videos. In fact, according to a survey, more than 90% of 2-year-olds in the US have a presence on social media.

This trend continues on for most parents indefinitely -  with toddlers and older having their photos continually shared online.

What is not being realised is that parents are creating digital footprints for their kids. This means that:

  1. Media of a person is being shared without permission. While this is not usually an issue with babies, it does raise an interesting question. If a child asks for their pics to stop being posted on social can the parent refuse? What digital rights do children have? Right now there is no one rule -  in much the same way that adults can't 100% stop friends and family posting pictures of them.
  2. It’s hard to UNDO content. For kids reaching the more awkward stages of their youth, fitting in is a huge worry for many. Many will be on social already (even if they are younger than 13), so having a collection of embarrassing photos and videos of them can lead to hard experiences. Good news (although laborious currently) - when they turn into an adult, they automatically become the right-holder for their data - and can go through the process of asking Google to remove any links or references to them. Go to https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/removals. In the future, this will be more automated and easier via AI.
  3. Private information is being shared. Think for a moment about the sharents you know on your own social media. Now think about all the details you know about their child - even if you have not seen them or the parents for a long time. You'll probably know their name, where they live, their age, date of birth, hair colour, eye colour, the school they go to. If you know these details it stands to reason that anyone can easily find them too. 

Resources: In and out of the classroom

You may be reading this and thinking MY GOODNESS! But fear not - we are not looking to scare monger people into never using social media again. In fact, we are all for social media, and want schools to be using it effectively and safely to help share #SchoolStories across their communities.

What needs to be the focus of this article is awareness, and understanding the consequences of poor privacy and data protection. 

There are plenty of great resources available, ranging from lesson plans for your pupils to taking control of your own digital citizenship. We have listed some below 👍

  • The UK Safer Internet Centre - the organisation behind Safer Internet Day - is a great place to start. Their site is filled with lots of tips, articles and advice for your pupils to better understand e-safety. It also tackles large issues such as what to do if pupils have witnessed or been involved in cyber bullying.

The site is split into three sections for easier navigation - dependent on who is looking for advice:

  1. Young People
  2. Parents and Carers
  3. Teachers and Professionals
  • Likewise, edutopia has curated a Digital Citizenship Resource list - collecting articles, videos, and other resources on internet safety, cyberbullying, digital responsibility, and media and digital literacy.
  • We also have a great article from our blog archive all about Keeping Children Safe Online.

 

 

We hope that the information in this article has given you some insight into not just digital safety and privacy, but where you and your school stand in ensuring children are safe online. As a school, your duty goes beyond keeping children safe in the world - meaning it is important parents also understand their role in online safety.

In the next part we will look into this from a pupil's perspective. It is important to realise that the vast majority of your pupils are digital natives - in terms of using the tech they get it. What needs to be addressed is whether they care about privacy and data protection, and if they need to be taught in the same way we need to.

 

Thank you for reading. We welcome thoughts on all the topics we discuss and would love to hear from you. Please comment below. 

Why should you hire a Digital Storyteller?

With digital storytelling still being a relatively new concept, you could be forgiven for being a little confused about what it is or how it could benefit your school and your pupils.

However, it has grown in significance as digital technologies have evolved at an incredible rate. Now, as social media impacts most facets of our lives, the ideals and desires of good digital storytelling are larger than ever. Hiring a Digital Storyteller (DS) is something to take under serious consideration.

 

What is Digital Storytelling?

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Digital Storytelling is a method of sharing stories or events using digital media production. It is the marrying up of traditional storytelling with modern technologies to create content including: videos, images, voice-overs, soundtracks and animations, among other things.

A DS is the person behind the stories - a digital Dickens if you like. They are the authors curating your stories - just without all those words on all that paper. Where once the pen might have been ‘mightier than the sword’, it is now the likes of computers, tablets, software and apps that will help you win the attention and engagement of your community.

This new technology has already been fully adopted by the majority of your pupils, and their parents. It is now so integrated it into their lives that many cannot do without it.

They make use of sites and apps like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Boomerang the way previous generations watched TV, read newspapers, listened to the radio. Instead of getting out of bed and brushing their teeth, people are now reaching for their phones first thing in the morning. It is routine for them.

We have been spoilt by the consumption options available to us. We no longer just want words on a page or screen. We are now used to GIFs, soundtracks, short form text and memes.

Digital Storytelling achieves so much more than words on a page. It is content that is impactful, interesting and engaging. And it begs to be shared.

Why Digital Storytelling?

Here’s a philosophical question for you. Is it brands that create stories or is it stories that create brands? Very much like the chicken and the egg there is no real clear answer. However, from a marketing standpoint, the general consensus is this: if you want to communicate effectively with your audience you should be doing it through storytelling.

As a species we have been telling and listening to stories since the Big Bang. As cavemen we drew on our cave walls. Languages have come, gone and even today continue to adapt. While the method of delivery evolves in parallel to tech advances, our love for storytelling remains a constant.

Storytelling allows a post or series of posts, which may otherwise become white noise, to STAND OUT to your audience. It does this by evoking an emotion, providing authenticity to your brand and creating 'relatability'.

Good storytelling will keep people coming back for more.

With this in mind, the question becomes how can a DS facilitate these outcomes to benefit you and your institution?

Relatability: Humanising the Bricks and Mortar

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As a school you find yourself well placed when looking to market to prospective parents. This is because most brands need to start their marketing journey by synthesising a brand and identity. They need to create a relatable personality.

With your school, all the personality and identity you could possibly need is already walking the corridors and eating lunch in your canteen.

YES - your pupils are the answer and focus of your digital storytelling content. They are the literal human facet and personality of your brand, and as such using #SchoolStories about them will go a long way in humanising the bricks and mortar of your school.

Suddenly your signage is not just another school emblem. Your motto has a face which prospective parents will use to picture their own kids attending your school. Through effective storytelling they will be able to envisage them playing for your sports teams, to see them laughing at lunch, studying with enraptured faces and becoming a part of your school’s culture.

Why a Digital Storyteller?

Digital Storytelling is proving to be an ever growing trend, with multiple benefits when used by your school and in an educational setting. It stands to reason that a dedicated DS can only be a good thing for your institution.

The person in question need not be an expert by any means, although for those interested, there are workshops dedicated to teaching the craft. The only prerequisite really is a little bit of tech savvy and knowing how to focus on the story without relying on bells and whistles.

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What is imperative in your DS is how they can express your school's brand. It is brand that you want to communicate to students and parents; both current and prospective.

Your school's brand is a direct representation of what your school stands for. It is that special element that makes your school unique. All schools say they are special and one-of-a-kind, but most struggle to adequately get this message out to their community.

A good DS will take this brand and curate the stories that best engage your pupils and their parents. And through these stories you will see the difference between a post that is passively read to one that is actively shared (and word of mouth is always your top marketing tool).

By having a designated member of staff in the DS role you will have a brand champion; someone who is the glue - keeping content, tone, pupils and staff on the same page. This will mean that no matter where the source of content comes from - whether it’s a Snapchat of the football team’s latest win or a Youtube upload of a science lesson experiment - it will always appear in your school’s house style.

Beyond Marketing: Digital Storytellers in the Classroom

You can't be everywhere at once!

You may be reading this and wondering why traditional storytelling methods do not suffice anymore when it comes to engaging with pupils. Why can a post not be drafted with some text and a nice image? The answer to this is simple. Your intended audience are digital natives and they expect more from their content.

From an educational standpoint, there are many reasons you may want to adopt Digital Storytelling in your classrooms.

How much more interesting and innovative would a lesson be if that complex math theory could be explained via a video on YouTube? Or how real that debate will seem when tweet responses are being broadcast in class in real-time, with some of your pupils even taking part and Tweeting themselves? These are the educational tools that a DS can help unlock in the classroom.

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With an increase in the availability of computers and tablets in schools, your school may want to take advantage of content delivered in lessons to pupil's personal devices (whether owned personally or provided by the school). By sharing content in this way, teachers can take advantage or the fact that students will likely prove to be more engrossed in tablet or phone devices than by focusing on white boards alone.

Further to this, there are notable benefits in allowing your pupils to be DS's themselves! Pupils are able to develop skills in a number of areas including: 

  • research
  • resource selection and synthesisation
  • script-writing
  • voice-overs
  • tech skills
  • collaboration
  • presentation
  • creative expression
  • communication.

 

The Future

As we consider what the future of school marketing - and marketing in general - will look like in the future, it is clear that nothing will stand still for long. As tech evolves so too does marketing remain in a state of flux. That is, and always has been, the nature of marketing. Newer, more innovative methods will be developed - and will likely need to be employed on platforms and on devices that do not even exist yet.

Again, school’s are extremely well placed in navigating these changes. Your student body will continue to be digital natives - each new generation already bringing with them the skills your teaching staff will need to adopt. In this, you will continue to see first-hand where your marketing focus should be next.

4 camera apps to help improve your school photos

Visuals express ideas in a snackable manner
— Kim Garst, Founder & CEO of Boom! Social

In today's marketing visual content is king! Platforms such as Instagram are proven, effective ways to engage with your community.

For schools the most engaging visual content will be pictures of your pupils. Your community (i.e. parents) will typically scroll through a social channel's feed looking for one thing - their kid!

While this is good for getting engagement, it is very difficult to keep everyone happy - you're not going to systematically photograph each pupil so all parents have the same opportunity to spot them...are you?

Instead, you need to be able to create highly engaging visual pieces that everyone will engage with (regardless if their child is pictured or not). So, how do you stand out on channels like Instagram? What tools are out there to add a professional finish to any photo you snap? 

Here are our 4 favourite apps to add a whole new element to your visual content and up your marketing game. 👍

Snapseed

Snapseed is a powerful, FREE photo editing app, available for iOS and Android. While Instagram does have photo editing capabilities, Snapseed does it all better plus more! 

What many users find appealing about Snapseed is its accessibility - it strikes a nice balance between amateur and professional photo editing. There are all the usual editing tools (e.g. exposure, saturation, contrast and brightness) for newbies. But for the more advanced users there are lots of additional tools. 

Spot Repair, for example, helps remove unwanted elements from your photo and Transform is a fantastic tool for altering the perspective of your snaps. On top of this you can have access to a huge suite of pre-made filters, making it easier to make your pictures look awesome and social media ready.

The latest version of Snapseed (2.0) is also "non-destructive", meaning all edits made can be easily undone or removed, and you don't lose the original photo. This means that you have a lot more freedom to explore Snapseed's many features without the fear of making irreparable changes.

Finally, Snapseed was built from the ground-up as a mobile app - meaning its interface is suited for mobile devices. The design is intuitive, swiping left and right to gauge the "strength" of your edits, and tools are laid out in a simple grid. 

 

VSCO Cam

VSCO Cam is a little different from Snapseed. First and foremost it is a camera application, and not strictly a photo editing app. The strength in VSCO Cam comes from the high quality pictures you can take using it. It is free for both iOS and Android - with in-app purchases available. 

As a camera application VSCO Cam is brilliant! Colours are vivid, images sharp, whites are well balanced, and auto-exposure works really well. For many, this application is highly preferable to a phone or tablet's in-built camera application. 

You can take customisation further using preset filters (the app comes with 10 free ones and more can be purchased in-app) which can be fine-tuned using sliders.

If you don't fancy using any preset features you can adjust most aspects (such as: exposure, temperature, contrast, saturation, tint, shadows, and a lot more) using a simple slider tool. As well as this there are handy features such as cropping (with a very useful aspect adjustment feature) and picture rotation.

Preset filters on VSCO Cam

Preset filters on VSCO Cam

A final and very useful feature on VSCO Cam is how the ability to instantly share your awesome photos. The app can share to Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and any compatible app you have installed on your mobile device (e.g. Messenger, WhatsApp, and Gmail).

 

Pic Stitch

Pic Stitch is all about creating collages to share as one beautifully framed image. This is especially handy if you have lots of good content that you want to merge into one piece of super content. 😎 You can download for free on iOS and Android

What makes Pic Stitch a useful collage creator is the freedom to create something bespoke. Not only do you have all the usual photo editing tools - which can be used on individual photos or across the entire collage of photos - but you also have the ability to create your own template. This means you are able to design a layout that fits around your imagery instead of making your imagery fit around a layout. 👍

With Pic Stitch you can take the usual photo collage one step further by adding in other media elements such as music or videos.

As with VSCO Cam, sharing to your social media channels is really easy. This added ability to share instantly to channels such as Instagram means you can curate great content in the one app and effortlessly share it to another. 

 

Camera+

Camera+ is only available for iOS. Priced at £2.99 on iPhone and £4.99 on iPad, we consider this a small price to pay for a great camera and photo editing tool.

The team behind Camera+ designed the app around the slogan It’s all about one thing... great photos! And that's exactly what they delivered! You could consider Camera+ as the Pro version of the iPhone's native camera application - offering you lots of new features that the standard camera app cannot.

For example, features such as Touch Exposure & Focus help give you greater definition over how light or dark your photos will come out as. An enhanced digital zoom and good stabiliser means you can take more steady pics of objects further away, and overlay grids will give you a better sense of composition.

Another great asset with Camera+ comes with he Clarity feature. This allows you to transform your normal pic into something spectacular with just a tap of a button. Clarity:

analyzes your photos and makes several intelligent adjustments that magically bring out details and breathe life into dull photos. There’s no need to futz with complicated and confusing controls…behind the scenes, we do all that and more for you through innovative “smart-processing”.

Click to enlarge: Photos enhanced with the Clarity feature on Camera+

Finally, Camera+ has the usual suite of advanced photo editing tools, as in-depth and intuitive as Snapseed and VSCO Cam, as well as preset filters - called Scenes - and a selection of Frames to add those finishing touches to your photos.

 

Equipment

With so many amazing stories being told on a daily basis in schools, it's important that you have the tools to capture these stories. The apps above are fantastic for adding ✨STAND OUT✨ elements to your photos but they do require equipment to be used properly!

Knowing what equipment is out there can be a minefield to navigate (there are A LOT of cameras to pick from). Luckily though, we have already written a blog exploring this very subject - complete with our recommendations! 😎 You can read it here.

 

We hope that this article has opened your eyes to some fantastic tools you can use in your visual content marketing strategy.

We'd love to hear your thoughts about everything you've just read, or perhaps you have some alternative ideas / apps to the ones on here. Please comment below.

Managing your Twitter accounts using TweetDeck

TweetDeck is a very interesting client, because it presents a view that no other client in the world presents, which is this multicolumn, massive amounts of information in one pane. And people really, really enjoy that.
— Jack Dorsey, Co-founder & CEO of Twitter

Do you have multiple Twitter accounts? Many schools now have subject-based Twitter accounts, and the growing number can be difficult to monitor. Your school may have as many as 50 accounts!

There are plenty of scheduling and content management tools you can use to combat this, but one of the favourites at @intSchools HQ is TweetDeck.

TweetDeck, exclusively for Twitter, is perhaps the single most effective way to monitor Twitter across a range of accounts in real-time. What's more - it is completely free and quick to get to grips with 😎

What is TweetDeck?

TweetDeck is a browser-based tool that gives you a comprehensive method of managing multiple Twitter accounts.

Originally this was available as both a desktop application and through a web browser. It could also be used for Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and FourSquare. However, following Twitter's purchase of the software, it became a Twitter-exclusive tool and was made usable only via web browsers in 2016. 

TweetDeck offers users a single interface for doing everything you could possibly need to do on Twitter - tweeting, replying, retweeting, favouriting, direct messaging, following, viewing accounts - with the added bonus of being able to manage to do all of these across multiple Twitter accounts.

This means you don't need to have various browsers open or continually have to switch between accounts in-app. It is a simple, one-stop platform you can utilise for effective, real-time Twitter use and monitoring.

Getting started: columns

To get started on TweetDeck all you need to do is Log In using your Twitter username and password.

Columns are the heart and soul of TweetDeck - each column can be set up with lots of additional filters to make management as focussed as you require.

To add a new column simply click the + icon seen on the left-hand side. This will give you the various column choices:

  • Home: real-time feed of your account's Home feed (i.e. what others are posting)
  • User: real-time feed of your account's profile feed (i.e. what you are posting)
  • Notifications: real-time feed of your account's notifications (i.e. @user has followed you)
  • Search: specify a search term (e.g. a #hashtag) in the same way you would on Twitter

 

  • List: create or view in real-time a list you already follow
  • Collection: a timeline of curated Tweets, hand-selected by you, to share with others. This is a TweetDeck tool and should not be confused with Twitter Moments⚡️.  You can view created Collections or create a new collection here
  • Activity: a real-time feed of what’s happening with your account
  • Likes: view Tweets marked as likes from your account
  • Messages: Direct Messages for your account (or all accounts you have authorised on TweetDeck)
  • Mentions: when users mention your account (or all accounts you have authorised on TweetDeck)
  • Followers: follow activity for your account
  • Scheduled: your scheduled Tweets (yes, TweetDeck allows you to schedule Tweets too 👍)
  • Trending: specific worldwide trends (e.g. #WorldBookDay or General Election)

Understanding how columns work and the different metrics you can take from them will largely inform how you choose to set up your TweetDeck. You are not limited to how many columns you have open at any one time. However, keeping them reduced, perhaps with filters in place too, will make managing the information you can see on TweetDeck a lot easier.

Getting started: filters

Using filters on your columns is an effective way to really focus on the metrics you desire. There are two main types of filters you can play around with:

  • User filters
  • Content filters

To open your filter choices click the caret icon on the top-right to expand the menu (see screenshot below) to expand. 

User filters

These allow you to filter your columns using User metrics. This means that you can filter your column to show Tweets by:

  • all users
  • users you follow
  • specific users
  • your own account
  • verified users (blue tick profiles)

You can also filter Tweets mentioning:

  • specific users
  • your own account

Content filters

Content filters are a bit more complex but still incredibly useful. There are more options - but in having these you have more opportunity to mine Twitter for exactly what you want. Filters include:

  • Showing:  show tweets containing ... (i.e. videos, images, links, Periscopes etc.)
  • Matching: specify words / phrases / #hashtags
  • Excluding: exclude specific words / phrases / #hashtags
  • Date range: specify a From and To date range
  • Written in: specify the languages the Tweets are in
  • Retweets: specify whether to include or exclude retweets

Other filters

There are a few other filter types you can make use of:

  • Location: specify a geographic location for Tweets to be coming from (very handy if you want to gather / monitor Tweets from your school's region and direct community)
  • Engagement: specify the number of retweets, likes and / or replies a Tweet has (this is an invaluable tool when mining for really engaging content to share)

Adding multiple Twitter accounts

Adding multiple Twitter accounts onto your TweetDeck is one of its most valuable features. As noted earlier, this makes monitoring and responding to whatever may be happening in your Twitter world so much easier. 

For schools that have more than one Twitter account, but struggle to keep on top of them, it becomes clear how helpful this can be. Adding a new account to your TweetDeck is very simple - click the Profiles icon in the bottom-left of the window (the silhouette of two people) to expand the Accounts column. 

At the bottom you will see a field with Join another team above it. Enter your @handle into this field and select from the drop-down menu. A new window will open asking you to Log In - enter the password to authorise and your account is now added. 

TweetDeck allows you to add up to 200 accounts - with one selected as the Default for your actions (e.g. sending Tweets or replying etc.). This does not mean that all actions will be made from this account - you can select which accounts using a drop-down menu - but it will be the first one in the list and the default if nothing else is selected.

Bringing it all together: columns, filters and multiple accounts

With these basic TweetDeck skills mastered TweetDeck really comes into its own as a powerful, efficient and incredibly useful tool. Knowing how to combine everything together will undoubtedly prove useful when you are monitoring Twitter - whether it is looking for engaging content or actively engaging with your community.

So, how can you use it in your school?

If like many schools now you are on Twitter you probably have a main school account.

But what about your head / principal? Do they have an account too - used for school purposes? How about your departments? Do your faculty use Twitter in your school to promote what they do in the classroom or to share content related to their speciality? What about if your school has different sections / year groups? Does the prep school have an account as well as the senior school?

Using or monitoring all of these different accounts in conjunction can be very difficult. But, by understanding the basic concepts of TweetDeck - i.e. columns and filters - you can take a huge weight of your shoulders. 

Masterclass

One good idea is to create a Twitter list of all the accounts you are monitoring - especially when these number into the 10's. This can be done through TweetDeck, making this process even easier.

Here's how:

  • Add a new column (+ symbol on left-hand side of TweetDeck desktop)
  • Select List from the choices
  • You can only select lists you have already created or that you are subscribed to
  • If you need to make a new list click the Create list button
  • Fill in fields - i.e. Name = School Accounts
  • Search for your accounts using the search field - if you have used a naming strategy for your Twitter accounts this will be very easy 👍
  • To add an account to the list simply click the + button
  • Add all accounts required then click Done (hint: if the Add column box is checked it will automatically add this list as a column onto your TweetDeck - nice)
  • Use the new List column to monitor all Tweets from your listed accounts in real-time
  • Sit back and marvel at your efficiency 

Recap

You can set up User columns to monitor each additional school-related account - enabling you view what they are Tweeting about in real-time.

If these same accounts are added to your TweetDeck - by being authorised via the log in page - you can also set up Notifications columns to view all their notifications as they come in. This gives you a fantastic method to stay engaged with your community - quickly replying, liking or retweeting where appropriate. 

If you want to monitor lots of school accounts all at once create a Twitter List - which can be done on TweetDeck. Then add a List column to view all listed accounts in real-time. Particularly useful if you have a high number of school accounts.

For school events you can set up Search columns to follow particular hashtags (e.g. #SchoolNameSportsDay). This gives you a live feed of all the chatter happening around that event.

The same can be done for large, world events - #WorldBookDay is coming up 😉.

When mining Twitter - a task unto itself in scope (did you know the average life cycle of a Tweet is less than 2o minutes) - you can use the filters to find more quality content. Perhaps you are looking for some great, engaging #edtech related Tweets?

Set up a Search column for #edtech and set the like or retweet filter to at least 50. The column will pull through only those Tweets that meet the set criteria - enabling you to quickly curate from the most engaging content.

As a final point it might be a good idea to share TweetDeck with a second monitor. This way you can divide your tasks more efficiently - one monitor to engage with your community by Tweeting and replying, and another monitor to focus solely on school chatter. 

 

We hope that you have enjoyed this guide for TweetDeck and feel ready to use this fantastic tool in your school's marketing process. If you have any comments about this article or any questions about TweetDeck please do comment below.

Best of luck Tweeters 🐦

Which social media should your departments use?

Does your school have a Twitter account or Facebook Page? If the answer is yes, that's great! The demands of modern times require modern solutions - social media is one answer to the ever-growing demands of school marketing.

But how far does your presence on social media go? How about a school YouTube account for sharing all your awesome video content? What about Instagram and Flickr - two places to host photos and images? No? What about SoundCloud for audio? Issuu for publications? Pinterest for inspiration?

All of these channels offer something new to your school's marketing - and should all be considered important tools to make use of.

Knowing how to use them is important - of course! But being able to see how they can fit into your school, which departments and subjects they can be applied to, and understanding that their limitations are often your own is essential if you want to ✨STAND OUT✨ with your marketing.

YouTube: the place for video!

Twitter and Facebook are both very capable of hosting video content, but there are significant limitations. Did you know, for example, that videos directly uploaded to Twitter cannot exceed 140 seconds?

YouTube is hands down that best place to primarily host all of your school's video content, before disseminating across your other platforms (as simple as sharing a URL). 

Which departments?

Performing arts: drama and music both have a very comfortable home on YouTube. In fact, YouTube is regarded as the top music streaming service - topping actual dedicated music streaming services such as Spotify and Apple Music! 

Make use of YouTube for school concerts and shows - it will be greatly appreciated by those parents who were unable to attend the live performance. 

Sports: Similarly, your sports departments can make great use of YouTube for the same reasons as above. Sports Day is a huge event for many schools so create a Playlist of all the events recorded that day. Parents will know which event their kid was in, and truly appreciate being able to watch them take part over and over.

What else?

Science: the amazing world of science is a YouTube favourite. Remember those experiments where your chemistry teacher burns a Jelly Baby to produce a spectacular display of flames? Share this with your community - it is fun to watch and good to know that's what the kids are getting to see first-hand. 

The Head: oh yes! Your Head is your champion and should be hitting those digital waves for your community to see. YouTube has many possible ways for your head to engage. How about a series of vlogs delivered by your head, or upload the recordings from live-stream Q&A sessions? 

And don't forget to set up PLAYLISTS. Take a look at how the British School of the Netherlands have organised their videos by using playlists.

Flickr & Instagram: photo galleries and filtered pics

In the same way YouTube is for video, Flickr and Instagram are awesome social tools for photos.

Flickr's strength lies in its detail to photography - offering unrivalled specs for image, a full suite of editing tools and a handy tagging system, which allows you to specify variables such as camera, lens, shutter speed, focal length and more.

For all of Flickr's detail to attention, Instagram's appeal is in its simplicity. The process of taking a picture on your phone, choosing a filter, writing a description and uploading to your profile can take less than 30 seconds.

Flickr can do everything that Instagram can, plus more. So why consider both? The answer is simple - Instagram is by far more popular with younger users and a more engaging platform for your community. 

Which departments?

Photography: the obvious answer is of course photography. For aspiring photographers Flickr is superior, combining on-the-go snapping (with Smart Phones) with a platform you can upload images en masse from your camera. Instagram however remains a favourite with teens and most likely your community.

Visual arts: sharing arty content is nice and easy with Flickr and Instagram. 

Sports: Sport is a visual game - videos and photos taken from games and events will always have greater impact over non-visual content.

Trips: in very much the same way as sports, your trips department will receive far more engagement if they post lots of pics from all the amazing places your pupils visit.  

What else?

You can use these channels effectively in any department really! Just remember: visual content is key - if you want to market your school effectively the simple reality is you will need some great images and videos. 

SoundCloud: the place for audio!

We've done video and we've done images. So what about an often understated (and arguably far more traditional) marketing tool - audio? SoundCloud is a social network that deals entirely in audio, making it yet another great tool for schools.

Which departments?

Music: no prizes for this one! All music departments should have a SoundCloud profile so they can share all the amazing things their pupils are doing. Whether they are solo performances, bands, choirs, ensembles, duets, quartets or orchestras - SoundCloud is a perfect social network to share these on.

What else?

We've seen some interesting subjects shared on SoundCloud.

Drama: can be an effective subject for SoundCloud - what level of expression can be put into a dramatic performance when the visual is removed? 

Modern Foreign Languages: being a subject that heavily involves speaking as part of its foundation, MFL is a great one for SoundCloud - particularly when it comes down to assessment work.

Media: check out Alleyn Court Prep School's SoundCloud page - they have been uploading their recordings taken from their pupil-run radio station. 

Pinterest: a channel for expression

Pinterest can be an odd one for schools to get grips with. In essence it is a platform for sharing and collaborating on pretty much anything visual. We consider Pinterest to be less marketing focussed but a super tool for teachers and pupils alike.

Users create boards - blank canvases that are populated with Pinned images. This can lead it to be a super teaching aid - allowing teachers to collect helpful material for teaching and pupils inspiration for learning.

Our past blog covers the creative arts on Pinterest - be sure to read it for more on Pinterest and its usefulness in the classroom.

Which departments?

Creative arts: Pinterest holds a special place in learning because of its ability to inspire. Whether it is Picasso-inspired works, minimalism, street art, architecture, clay moulding, airbrushing, hand painting, totem pole whittling, or whatever - Pinterest can offer new ideas to explore.

In fact, any subject can find inspiration on Pinterest! What about:

Design & Tech / Crafts: in very much the same vein as creative arts, Pinterest can inspire D&T lessons and the crafts. 

What else?

As a final point about Pinterest, why not make boards that promote your school? Collect images from sporting events, open days, the seasons as seen at your school, objects that are in your school colours and so on. The idea is to give a good visual representation of how you want your school to be seen and the spirit it entails. 

Issuu: paper-free publications

Issuu is for publications. It is a platform for files such as PDF's - allowing users to flick through pages with a click. More often than not, Issuu becomes a school's archive for all their newsletters. 

In using Issuu schools are cutting down costs by reducing the need to print on paper.

Users can categorise their content into Stacks. For example, you may have a Stack that collects all of your newsletters from 2017 or perhaps a Stack dedicated to annually released publications. 

Which departments?

Media: media is a typically good place to start. Does your school have a magazine - perhaps even a pupil run publication? Upload it to Issuu so you can effectively share it with the world.

English: school newsletters and magazines take the front-seat on Issuu, but there are some great ideas you can use it for. We've seen schools use Issuu to share digital copies of their pupil's literature - collecting poem, short stories, essays and writing into annual publications.  

What else?

Issuu can also be a good space to upload all the reports and policy documents that often get buried within your website. By creating a Stack or two you can share everything you need for inspections and the like, simply by sending a few URL's.

What about you?

As you can see there are various social channels to make effective use of in all walks of your school. By using these channels in creative ways you are reaching your community and beyond. 

Which channels do you departments use? How are your teachers and pupils using social media?

Let us know in the comments.