ERIC Number: EJ851915
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Aug
Reference Count: N/A
Keeping the Community in the Know
Dyrli, Kurt O.
District Administration, v45 n7 p41-43 Aug 2009
This article reports that notification systems--which use the Internet to enable school administrators to make and send thousands of automated phone calls, text messages and e-mails in minutes--are expanding in popularity in school districts across the country. As the dire national economic conditions increase voter concern about the best use of tax dollars, notification systems often play a crucial role in district transparency, by enabling administrators to conduct telephone or online opinion polls about budget proposals, for example, and rapidly, regularly and efficiently informing the community about financial issues. The 2009 School Safety Index, a national survey conducted by CDW-G, found that 70 percent of districts were using some form of the technology to disseminate information, up from 45 percent in 2008, while 46 percent of districts without such a system were considering implementing one in the next year. While the number of districts implementing mass notification rapidly increases, the frequency with which such systems are used is also increasing. "Emergency notification" is becoming something of a misnomer, as most of these products are now designed to be used more often, for regular, non-emergency, everyday communications. This trend is due in large part to the convenience and ease of use that comes from Internet-based, entirely hosted online services. Regardless of the type or urgency of the messages, however, the greater the number of platforms and media that are used, the greater the chance that they will be received. As a result, notification systems continue to broaden their reach beyond voice messages to landline and cell phones to also include text messaging, e-mail, desktop instant messages, school Web sites and blogs, and most recently through social networking applications like Facebook and Twitter.
Descriptors: Internet, Interpersonal Communication, Computer Mediated Communication, Web Sites, School Administration, School Community Relationship, Information Dissemination, School Safety, Synchronous Communication, Electronic Mail, Technology Uses in Education, Parent School Relationship
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Florida; Indiana