Social Superintendent blazing social media trails - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Social Media Superintendent blazing trails


Fall Creek (WQOW)- When it comes to social media, you have to take the good with the bad:  or the like button with the hashtag.

One criticism of Twitter is that it's used to share personal information few people want to know.  For example, what I had for lunch.  A local superintendent says there's much more to it and it can be used as a learning tool for students and educators.

"As administrators, there's no choice anymore.  You have to be connected," explains Fall Creek Superintendent Dr. Joe Sanfelippo.

Sanfelippo is a trail blazer.  He's leading his district into a social media world that's been mostly off limits for schools for years; until now.

"Your story is out there," Sanfelippo says.  "Either you tell your story or somebody is going to tell it for you."

Sanfelippo runs the district's Facebook page, Twitter account and even has his own blog.

He has more than 1,200 Twitter followers and he interacts with them on a number of different areas: from the score of the basketball game that night to reaching out to other superintendents to discuss challenges facing education throughout the country.

And social media outlets like Twitter can help teachers learn how to become better teachers from the comfort of home.

"They don't have to go to a meeting to have professional development," says Sanfelippo.  "They can sit at home.  They can be on their phone and they can be learning how to work with kids."

The "gocrickets" hashtag has gotten a lot of attention at the school.  Many students and parents love having the opportunity to talk with the district's leader from anywhere.

"I truly believe that Twitter is one of if not the most underutilized professional development tools for teachers out there because if you know how to navigate it, you can get past the this is what I had for dinner and into this is how kids learn," Sanfelippo explains.

Sanfelippo says 90 percent of the teachers in the Fall Creek School District now have Twitter accounts.  He holds question and answer sessions with parents and school leaders throughout the country each week.

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