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Digital Citizenship

Reclaiming Your School’s Identity

Empty hallway at school with yellow lockers and looking down to windows with a shade of green swoosh

Lost in the whirlwind of setting up the new home office, organizing Zoom calls, adapting curriculum and managing a whole new world of remote education logistics is the one thing we are beginning to realize…

Our identity as a school has shifted.

Our schools are known for their buildings, the colors, the athletics, performing arts, and even the geography. But all that is gone now. We are all a bit like Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz upon arriving, realizing that everything that was wrapped in our identity has now been stripped. In fact, no one understands when we identify with “Kansas” anymore.

So, how do we do adapt our social media strategy and create meaningful content moving forward?

Purpose

Your school has an identity of purpose. When we strip away our buildings and activities, we are left with a purpose. This calling, perhaps we’ve messaged about it before, calls us to focus. It helps to re-center this purpose in every bit of communication we have. It is the rallying cry for our school messaging, our teachers and even the parents who now are more active than ever before in the school’s mission.

Interest

Your school has an identity of interest. We can no longer attend a few events, post some photos and videos and have a diverse collection of social media for our community and school to reference. We must collect these photos from where our school now exists. Student’s interests are now the identity that gives our school diversity.

Teacher & Student-led Identity

Your school has a teacher-led identity. The identity that teachers once had in a classroom, now needs to get translated online. Of course, it won’t be translated identically, but everything that was brought into the classroom now has its only power online. The way you carry yourself online Not only are we adapting lesson plans for online learning, but we are finding a new identity. When we were in a building, we could capture some of these stories and share what made a teacher special. But now these moments are online and often need to be curated by each teacher.

Your school has a student-driven identity. It always has, but it is now more critical than ever to empower students to buy-in to the identity of your school. When students become the primary content contributors for your school in a 100% remote school district, it’s identity becomes student-driven. Not only will they provide guidance for each other, but they will also determine the engagement in your community to rally behind the school when it is most needed.

Empower

When we discover our identity of purpose, interests and empower student-driven identity, we will see the buy-in we need from our home-teacher partners. Our students possess the power to give our school a new identity and perhaps a better identity.

Just as Glinda says to Dorothy at the end of the Wizard of Oz, “You don’t need to be helped any longer. You’ve always had the power to go back to Kansas.”

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