Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Indiana Superintendents Do More Than Talk, They Tweet

EdWeek’s “Superintendent Take to Twitter to Kick Off School Year” inspired us to draft our own Indiana take on the post as a way to recognize some of those leaders who have realized the potential of Twitter to build connections.  You can find all of these superintendents as well as other administrators on our Twitter List IN Administrators

For many Indiana educators, back to school preparations began with learning at one of the Summer of eLearning conferences. Several district superintendents abandoned any traditional figurehead roles at these events and could be seen in sessions engaged in rich dialogue about transforming learning. If you followed the various conference hashtags, you could find many district leaders highlighting their takeaways from sessions, such as Plymouth Community School Corporation Superintendent Daniel Tyree.
Greater Clark County Schools Superintendent Andrew Melin and his faculty were immersed in new thinking and new tools as they prepared to rollout their 1:1 initiative. He modeled the change in his initial tweet seen here.
When the first day of instruction drew closer, districts began holding their back to school events for teachers. We saw a number of tweets being sent out from auditoriums and gymnasiums across the state as leadership shared their district’s vision and welcomed new and returning teachers. Jason Callahan, Superintendent of Wabash City Schools demonstrates how Twitter allows us to extend the exchange and make personal connections.
Superintendents are paying attention to faculty and staff tweets. You can tell that they follow their district and school hashtags. It’s not unusual to come across a leader retweet of something shared by a classroom teacher. Dr. Jeff Butts, Superintendent of MSD Wayne Township amplifies his teachers' voices this way. 
Dr. Butts also uses Twitter to keep his followers informed on state and local news stories that impact education. 

While others directly show how they are advocating for students. Flora Reichanadter Superintendent of Franklin Township Community School Corporation provides a nice example of this.
Others used Twitter as a platform to encourage more community connections by highlighting events and activities. In Bluffton-Harrison Metropolitan School District, Superintendent Wayne Barker tweeted out about Donuts for Dads.
And we'd remiss in not showing how Dr. Stacey Schmidt of Porter Township School Corporation tweets out resources she uncovers for colleagues and families of her students.
The first round of eLearning Admin Academies spurred many superintendents to create a Twitter profile as part of their shift in school culture.  Even more followed after hearing national leaders (and even a few Canadians) dispel myths about using social media and advocate for educational leaders to model its use during this summer's second round of academies. Are you asking yourself, how do I get started? The superintendents featured here, many other district leaders and the building principals on the list IN Admin are resources.

Are you a Connected Educator using Twitter? We encourage you to be on one of our INeLearn Twitter Lists so that others can connect with you.  All it takes is a minute to submit this survey.

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