Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Is Social Media worth the effort?

What is the ROI on using Social Media for your school?

While this is a tough question to answer, without metrics in the form of page views, an increase in your application pool, increased enrollment, or an increase in giving by the alumni, sometimes the effort pays off in ways one could never imagine.  At St. Christopher's School, we have multiple twitter accounts(@stcva, @stcvafootball @stcvatrack), a facebook fan page, a youtube channel, and now a Google+ page. Yes all of these avenues require TLC, time, and a dedicated team that ensures that the content is current, because our constituents expect it.

So has the effort paid off? 

It's not easy maintaining multiple social media outlets but the payoff in this particular instance was incredible.

Check this video out and see for yourself.  ESPNHS Video picked up our playoff game which is on our YouTube Channel.

Special Thanks to Stephen Lewis, Asst. Director of Electronic Communications & Sports Information  for taking our social media footprint to a whole new level and Cappy Gilchrist, Director of Electronic Communications, and Susan Mistr, Director of Marketing and Communications  for investing the time to promote our school using Social Media.

7 Myths About BYOD Debunked

Earlier this month, Lisa Nielsen tweeted for assistance on an article she was writing about myths associated with BYOD.  Having just deployed a BYOD program(laptop form factor) in our upper school, I could not resist the opportunity to share my thoughts on this topic.  The result was an article posted in THE Journal.

The Myths:
  1. BYOD deepens the digital divide
  2. BYOD will result in lessons geared toward the weakest device
  3. BYOD will cause students to be distracted
  4. Teachers need to become expert in all the technology students own
  5. BYOD will result in students engaging in dangerous activities
  6. Cell phones are not that powerful, so we should not waste our time with them
  7. BYOD will necessitate the standardization of apps and software across all devices
To view and read the reasons behind each myth, please go directly to THE Journal Article here.

A special thanks to Lisa Nielson for giving me the opportunity to contribute to her article. To read more of her posts, please check out her blog The Innovative Educator and follow her on twitter @InnovativeEdu

Our School-Wide Migration to Dropbox

As our school's technology access model continues to evolve(1:1 school) so must our infrastructure and strategy for backing up faculty and student work.  Prior to our 1:1 initiative, all faculty and student computers(labs/carts) were synchronized on our file server.  With the introduction of an additional 240+ computers to our campus, some changes to the file server were made to accommodate the increase in users and load but it came at a cost-synchronization was failing.  There was a work around but it required us to touch every single computer on the domain.  Needless to say, our tech department aka the tech squad was not happy with that option and a few faculty members were not pleased when some files were lost during the migration.  So the tech squad examined the options and we decided to recommend to the administration that we move to Dropbox.

Why Dropbox?

Recognizing that change is difficult, we focused on what the value adds were by going to Dropbox. The table below summarizes the differences between our file server and Dropbox and it is pretty clear what the value adds are.  See table below

Next Steps:
  • The tech squad provided instructions on how to install Dropbox and migrate files from the file server to their dropbox folder.
  • Referral strategies were encouraged/created so each teacher received a bit more than the allotted 2 GB.


The faculty loves Dropbox and all of the value adds it has over our local file server. It also provided many of our faculty and staff with additional access now that smart phones are becoming more prevalent on campus.

Summary of File Server versus Dropbox