Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

The use of social media tools by school principals to communicate between home and school
by Mazza, Joseph A., Jr., Ed.D., University of Pennsylvania, 2013, 126; 3592334
Abstract (Summary)

Research has documented numerous benefits of parent involvement in children's education including increased attendance, increased test scores and better behavior. Access to increased and meaningful communication between home and school enhances parent involvement. The utilization of technology through the use of the Internet and e- mail for school to home communications is growing rapidly as an additional means of two-way communications between home and school. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the role of emerging technologies, specifically social media use by school principals and how its use affects communication between schools and parents. Data gathered from three principals, parents in their schools and actual social media communications were triangulated across these three perspectives as part of a case study analysis, using a convenience sample to further our understanding of the benefits and challenges of using social media tools to build home-school partnerships.

Findings suggest that school principals are mainly responsible for social media use at the school. Consistent, child-centered use of these tools has the opportunity to complement face-to-face, two-way communications between home and school, provided there is a relationship with the school to begin with. In identifying the communication needs of the school, both technology and non-technology related communications must be utilized as part of a "menu of offerings" based upon solicitation of technology and non-technology related tools used by a school's families. This differentiated home- school communication approach allows for more families to engage in two-way communications with the school.

Ultimately, the outcomes of the study may help lead to changes in family and community partnerships, leadership practices by principals, as well as teachers and parent groups expanding their use of social media tools to build a connected and transparent learning community. The insights included in this study may be used to support the development and implementation of a school or district's communication strategies and professional development plans for all stakeholders.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Watts, Caroline L.
Commitee: Epstein, Joyce, Kafai, Yasmin, Watts, Caroline
School: University of Pennsylvania
Department: Educational Leadership
School Location: United States -- Pennsylvania
Source: DAI-A 74/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Educational leadership, School administration, Educational technology
Keywords: Family engagement, Parent involvement, School-home communication, Schools, Social media, Technology
Publication Number: 3592334
ISBN: 978-1-303-33342-2
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