Friday, December 13, 2013

Using Your PLN to Share Your School Stories

I had an opportunity to observe a professional development conference for principals yesterday.  I was there in a technological role, not as an administrator, but I benefitted from the experience none-the-less. While there, I saw a perfectly demonstrated example of how to use your Personalized Learning Network (PLN).

Remember that your PLN is not just a way for you to learn.  It is also a way for you to share with others so that they may learn.

During the professional development yesterday, one of the presenters was talking about the value of "sharing your school stories."  Sharing your school stories is critical.  Backing those stories with data (creating "data stories") is powerful.  You can say "we have a great school."  But, that type of broad statement could be refuted.  If you share the data that explains why your school is great then the stories are irrefutable.

So, what are your important school stories?  What data stories can you build to make them irrefutable?
How can you share those stories in "soundbites" that seem to be the preferred method of communication these days with the impact of social media?  Make sure your soundbites are stories backed by actual data, but don't bombard your audience with statistics.  People aren't usually open to statistics, but they love a good story.  Sell your school with irrefutable data stories on a regular basis!

Once you decide on your data stories find your method of delivery.  We have talked in recent blogs about using Twitter as an integral part of our PLN.  Twitter is also an ideal avenue for delivering your data stories.  With a 140 character limit, data stories must be condensed to the "soundbites" that are so abundant and seemingly so desirable today.

So, today's challenge for you???....create a data story about your school or classroom and tweet that data story.

What might this look like?  Let's say that you have known that your typical homework completion percentage  is 87%.  On average, 87 out of your 100 students complete their homework, on time, as assigned.  However, since your school started using Google Tools for Education (and your students were trained in using Google Drive for accessing and submitting their homework) the homework completion percentage is now 99%!   Share that as a data story on Twitter in 140 characters or less.

Student homework completion rate is 99% since our school system launched  Tools for Ed.   makes access & submission easy.

Now, you try!  Sell your classroom or school by sharing your data stories! 

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