Going Google with Daily Announcements
Picture this scenario: You and your students are hard at work in your classroom only to be rudely interrupted by the daily announcements over the PA system. It's at this exact moment that you suddenly remember that you meant to write a important announcement in your school's announcement log, which absolutely must be shared today! You weigh your options. One: send a runner (who's not actually allowed to run) to the office with your message scrawled on a scrap of paper. Two: Wait for the announcements to end (usually with the message "There are no more announcements. Have a good day") and jump onto the PA system yourself via the classroom telephone with "one more announcement". Does this sound familiar to you? If so, you might be interested in Going Google with Daily Announcements.
Creating an announcement system within Google Apps allows real-time updating and collaboration. Imagine being able to add last minute announcements from the convenience of the classroom. Or better yet, with such a system, it becomes possible to add announcements from the comfort of home. For those teachers who plan in advance, it's possible to add announcements for future dates, rather than waiting (and hoping to remember) to add it on the day of!
One of the best reasons to adopt Google Apps for your school's daily announcement is the simple way with which parents and others in the local community become involved and connected.
As you can see in the image above, the announcement template includes links at the bottom for anyone in the local school community to access. These documents do not have to be shared with anyone in the community to be accessed. Because Google documents can be published to the web, it's quite simple to share each day's announcement page with those in the community without having to add Editors or Viewers.
There are a lot of options to choose from when publishing to the web. An embed code and link are automatically created once the publish button is selected. This URL can be shared with parents and others in the community. This may be of use if you update the same document on a day to day to basis. If you are creating a new document each day and archiving old ones, you may want to make use of the integrated sharing tools for Google+, Gmail, Facebook and Twitter.
Compare this to a monthly newsletter, the traditional means of regular communication with parents. By following a school's social media account, parents can now remain informed on daily activities and developments at school.
As mentioned above, the same document can be revised and reused on a daily basis. However, this is not the ideal setup if staff want to create announcements in advance. I recommend setting up a folder for each month of the school year. Within each folder, create a copy of the template for each school day. Now staff can create and update announcements at their convenience.
If you think that a system like this might be of benefit to you, feel free to grab a copy of the daily announcement template here: http://goo.gl/Usja68 - don't forget to update all links so that they point to your school's websites and social media accounts.
Give it a try and share your experiences with us @inquireinspire #digitalannouncements