I personally see a school as non-profit business. They have, or should have, a budget. Therefore money is always in limited supply and the things that need to get done are monumental. Every “good school” has a few things in common. Chief among them is an open line of communication between the school and parents. Below I will share a few examples of things that schools can do to easily keep parents in the loop about things that are happening in the school: for free.
5. Have a Blog.
Schools can easily utilize free services such as Blogger, WordPress, Tumblr and others. However, I think services like those are potentially risky, because the students may gain access to potentially inappropriate content on those sites. Edublogs is a viable alternative. However, if you want to get the full use of Edublogs you will be required to pay in order to really customize it to your liking. Instead, I suggest that schools add free blogs such as Blogger and Tumblr on a subdomain, so your Tumblr blog will be located at yourtumble.schoolsite.com.
4. Send Free Newsletters
Schools can easily signup for newsletter services with companies such as Mailchimp-an Atlanta based business. This can be very beneficial because the Mailchimp templates allow for the newsletters to be mobile compatible. Mailchimp will allow you to send up to 2, 000 emails per month for free. I would think that will cover the vast majority of K-12 schools. Even colleges could use this on a college department level.
3. Create a Twitter Page
Of course everyone is on Facebook and Google. I personally feel that a Twitter account is a better alternative. Schools can easily create a Twitter page and not follow anyone-if they so choose. That way only what you post will show up in your activity feed. Also, schools could utilize services such as Twylah to archive their feeds on the school website.
2. Have a Mobile Version or Web App of Your Website
The web app can be utilized to archive all of your website’s content and make it easily available in an accessible web format. Also, there are services available that will allow you to create a mobile version of your website in a jiffy.
1. Text Messenger Services
Text message is the most effective way to keep in contact with people. People forget to check their emails or check their social notifications, but they will usually check their text messages immediately.
Finally, in this day of mushrooming social services, it is critical that all schools develop a social-media policy.
If you need help setting up your WordPress website on your own domain, feel free to contact me and I will set it up for you for free.