viernes, 18 de mayo de 2012

Principals must blog and tweet

Education Editor Sheradyn Holderhead May 16, 2012 11:00PM
     Education Minister Grace Portolesi says it's important for school principals to communicate with students and parents. Picture: Mark Brake   
 PRINCIPALS will be encouraged to blog, tweet and use a school Facebook page to communicate with parents and the local community.
The Education Department is developing a social media policy, recognising the usefulness of social media in education and providing guidance on safeguards that should be in place for staff and students.
The initiative is part of a broader strategy to improve leadership in public education to be announced today by Education Minister Grace Portolesi in the third policy direction discussion paper.
New technologies present many opportunities to assist schools and preschools to stay in touch with their communities and with each other, the paper stated.
"Social media has become a part of our lives and gives schools an opportunity to communicate with parents and the wider community," Ms Portolesi said.

"Some schools already use Facebook and blogs as an opportunity to communicate directly with their community and this is something we could see extended."
SA Primary Principals Association president Steve Portlock said greater use of social media would be a challenge for principals but was a good thing.
"In the past we have used very effective forms of communication through paper newsletters but the world has changed and it's important principals change with that and use every possible avenue to connect with parents," he said.
Other measures outlined in the discussion paper include:
A NEW SA Institute for Educational Leadership that will provide leaders with professional development programs, opportunities to collaborate and help develop postgraduate qualifications.
INCREASING staff in schools with major skills in areas such as finance, administration and management and this will allow leaders to focus on activities that directly improve the quality of education.
EARLY identification and development of potential leaders and new coaching and mentoring programs.
Ms Portolesi said the state's teaching profession faced a major challenge as many experienced people retire over the next five years so fostering strong leadership was important for the future.
"We have many outstanding leaders in public education, and we need to build on their achievements to ensure our future leaders know what's expected of them and have the skills, qualities and support to lead their school communities in making a lasting difference for every child," she said.