Dane Dellenbach, from Blackboard, talks with Joel about “sociability” – a way for schools to use all of their social media platforms all under one roof. Dane talks about technology, the value of keeping all of your district on the same page, and the difference between “good” and “bad” technology within the educational field.

“Celebrate everything. Small, big, it doesn’t matter. Your community wants to know.”

Joel & Dane both have heard the resistance from schools to social media and especially to devoting resources to managing and creating content. But it is an undeniable necessity as it is how students, parents and the community receive information and process it. If schools don’t become active participants in social media, they are losing a valuable way to not only contribute but lead the conversation about their school.

“The conversations are going on out there. The apprehension [about your school] is going to happen no matter but social media decreases the risk because you can contribute to the conversation. If negative things are being said about your school, you can diffuse the situation with social media.”

Dane argues that social media is a critical tool for both daily communication and in times of crisis. Social media empowers you to identify issues within minutes, release factual information immediately and make contact with the right people.

Blackboard is a valuable software program for schools to use to manage their social media and make it more accessible. What makes Blackboard unique? “We simplify the lives of those who use our products. …our integrated approach makes it simple and engaging.”

The passion that Dane and Blackboard as a whole feels for public education is evident in the tools they are building and constantly improving for schools. Blackboard is a global company and this gives them an edge in working with the US public school system. “The world is becoming more and more globalized… and the US public education has the possibility to mimic this reality. View this as an opportunity rather than something that needs to be overcome.”

Book recommendations:

  1. Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
  2. Having an Impact on Learning by Kelly Wachel and Matt Wachel
  3. Why Social Media Matters: School Communication in the Digital Age by Kitty Porterfield and Meg Carnes