Social Media Use Among State and Local Education Agencies

“Measurable Success, Growing Adoption, Vast Potential”—that’s the headline of a recent report on social media use among state and local education agencies. The report is produced by the Reform Support Network, a U.S. Department of Education effort to support Race to the Top grantees and to help disseminate promising practices and lessons learned to the rest of the non-grantee world.

While the data is drawn from a very select group of organizations, it is interesting nonetheless. A couple things stood out to me:

Local education agencies are leading their SEA counterparts in more expansive use of social media tools.

That doesn’t surprise me. The bigger the bureaucracy, the harder it is to do anything for which there is not already an established protocol. It’s why I’ve always preferred to work in smaller districts and organizations where you can adopt the Nike motto and “just do it.”

Only 6 percent of agencies responding did not have a designated person managing social media, but nearly all agencies, 91 percent, have a senior manager — a deputy director or director of communications — leading the effort. Those senior managers, the questionnaire showed, spent a quarter of their time working on social media and just three agencies have someone with “social media” or “digital content” in the formal job title.

Senior managers spending 25% of their time on social media? That seems like a lot to me. Perhaps this is an example of when technology is not saving us time but creating new ways to use it up. No doubt that senior manager was also the one who had to fill out the survey on which RSN based its report!

Get a copy of the report here.

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