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Social Media for School Leaders: A Comprehensive Guide to Getting the Most Out of Facebook, Twitter, and Other Essential Web Tools Paperback – September 25, 2012
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"A welcome guide to navigating the rocky social media shoals, and to enlisting the community stakeholders needed for success in your educational initiatives."--Bernie Trilling, 21st Century Learning Advisor, co-author of 21st Century Skills: Learning for Life in Our Times
"This is an important book that will help school leaders take advantage of social media and addresses some key issues that school leaders face."--Erik Bose, President of the New Mexico Association of Secondary School Principals
"A very savvy and practical guide to social media for schools and school leaders. Finally, there is no excuse not to use this powerful set of tools in schools."--James Paul Gee, co-author of Language and Learning in the Digital Age
"Dixon's focus on equipping school leaders to use social media hits a hard-to-reach target in education. It's transformative when school leaders embrace new ways to lead in learning."--Bruce Umpstead, State Director, Educational Technology, Michigan Department of Education
From the Author
Thanks for checking out my book "Social Media for School Leaders".
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In 2012 he published the book, Social Media for School Leaders – A Comprehensive Guide to Getting the most out of Facebook, Twitter, and Other essential Web Tools. The word “Comprehensive” is in the subtitle of this book, and the use of this word is appropriate by all means. Dr. Dixon goes into great depth on a number of social media tools that can be used in education; Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, School Websites, E-Mail, and Blogs just to name a few. For each of these tools he describes how the tool works, the benefits of using the tool, how it can be used to connect with others, and how to begin using the tool in your school.
In the introduction he notes the shift from one-way communication (broadcasting) to two-way communication (conversation) made possible by new web-based technologies. He goes on by explaining why two-way communication is a good thing, more specifically, why schools should engage with social media. He addresses the potential barriers to adopting social-media tools and lays out a foundational framework for social media success.
One thing that stuck out to me in the introduction is that Dr. Dixon acknowledged the use of this book as reference guide. He states the book is laid out to be used as such, but encourages readers not to skip over the tools that they think they are already aware of. Had he not mentioned this in the introduction, I, as the reader, would have been much more inclined to skim over certain chapters. But with his precaution, I did indeed take the time to read about the tools I felt as if I was an expert in; and I’m very glad I did.
The bulk of the book dives into the many aspects of popular social media tools and how they can be used in education to increase social engagement. I learned something new about every tool listed in this book. For example: On Facebook, you can create advertisements and then be very selective about who these adverts are delivered to. This boosts the probability that schools who are investing in advertisement - via social media sites like facebook – are getting a return on their investment. He even goes into how schools can measure this return on their investment.
Another thing I liked about this book was the ongoing use of the Social Engagement Model developed by Dr. Dixon. This framework can be used to help teachers successfully use social media to engage the community. It starts with awareness, then leads to feedback, collaboration, and advocacy, where each of the levels increases in social engagement. He uses this model in every chapter, with every tool. For each tool he lists different examples and strategies that correspond with the different levels of engagement in this model. I felt as if the continued use of this model made it easier for me to grasp the best possible ways to utilize each tool.
While each chapter could really stand on its own, and the introduction was thorough and prefaced the inner-workings of the book nicely, there was a noticeable absence of a conclusion. While not entirely necessary (especially in a reference guide book), I feel as if I wanted to continue reading after the last chapter. Just to get some reassuring words of what I should have taken away from the book or what Dr. Dixon thought was the most important.
When I purchased this book, I feared it would be out of date and nearly irrelevant due to the year it was written (2012). To my surprise, the book was relevant, thorough, and very specific. Like I said before, I learned something new about each tool addressed in the book. It really is a “Comprehensive Guide”.
I would recommend this book to anyone who is interested in educational technology or social media engagement in their school or even their classroom. While the book focuses more on school-wide practices, one could easily adapt the information to work on a smaller scale. This book is a friendly, well-written, comprehensive guide that will make you an expert on social media engagement in education.