orchestra

I had a great time meeting with the International Academy Music Boosters last night. The group was looking for ways to help communicate essential information (concert dates, uniform distribution, etc.) while working on a long term strategy of better engagement with the school and local communities. (My connection to the group is that my husband is the orchestra director. :)

The boosters have set up a twitter account and a Facebook group, but like many who are new to the social “scene” they weren’t quite sure where to go or what to do.  We had an excellent discussion and determined that Twitter wasn’t the best solution for their needs.  This whole tech world is about choosing the right tools for the task.  When you look at the actual saturation rates of Twitter use, their target populations (parents and teens) don’t have super high usage statistics.  We did have a brief discussion on Twitter (went over basic terminology, use of 3rd party apps like Oosfora, Flipboard or Tweetdeck) which was helpful for everyone to get a basic grasp of how to approach the twitterverse and how to filter out the clutter or conversations that don’t interest you or your needs.

We also took a look at my favorite workflow tool – ifttt.com – an essential tool for anyone trying to broadcast messages through multiple mediums.  I mentioned Remind101 as a possible solution for group text messages.

The discussion did veer off in an important direction – there were many questions and concerns about teens and social media.  I suggested they check out danah boyd‘s recent work. I also forgot to mention CommonSense Media which has a tremendous repository of advice and resources for parents.

While only a few in the room had dabbled in twitter, everyone in the room used email and text messaging on a daily basis, so that’s where we headed (to get back on task.)  Ultimately, we decided that a WordPress site with an embedded Google calendar was the best solution for their needs.  The site would allow email subscriptions/digests and we’ll look for an SMS plug in that allows updates to be broadcast out via text message.  Starting simple will help address immediate needs and concerns while the WordPress framework lays a solid foundation for future growth.

It was truly a pleasure meeting with such a dedicated, hard working and engaged group of parents (and Choir/Band Teacher Mr. Ash!) committed not only to their own children but to the collective mission of the music department at the IA – thank you for all that you do and I’m glad I could help!

I did not use these slides much as we were talking, but I thought I would provide them here for reference.

 

 

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