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Scranton Middle School Goes Live on Twitter

Principal Mark Wilson will use the social media platform to communicate with parents.

Scranton Middle School will be jumping on the Social Media train this week when it asks parents to follow Principal Mark Wilson on Twitter for school news and updates.

Wilson said that in every school he's been in, the number one complaint of parents is that they don't know what is going on in their childrens' schools.

"Scranton does a weekly newsletter in the building, so we've heard a lot less of that than any other place I've been," he said. "But at the same time, you send out a newsletter on Friday, and by Wednesday, they may not remember what's going on. So this is just a really unique way of communicating. I know some parents just live on Twitter and love experiencing life in sound bytes and this is one way of really addressing that need."

The school's weekly newsletter, The Weekly Harbinger, will still continue to go out. This week's issue will announce to parents about the new Twitter account.

Wilson said he chose Twitter as opposed to Facebook because the latter's primary purpose is two-way communication and engagement.

"Twitter really by design is to push out very small pieces of information to whoever is your follower," he said. "And that's really what we're trying to do - use it as almost like a group text feature."

Another reason was because, unlike Facebook, tweets can be delivered right to parents' cell phones.

Wilson said he will also use the new account to inform parents of snow days and even school emergencies and lockdowns, if the need arises.

"I've been planning on trying to find additional communication outlets over break anyhow, but I do think (with the Newtown, Connecticut. example) certainly, in a situation of emergency in a school, any means that you have at your disposal to get ahold of lots of parents quickly is huge," he said. "Even if you get 10 percent of your parents following you on something like a Twitter and you are able to put information in their hands, the word will spread very quickly."

And being able to tweet from from his iPhone is fabulous, according to Wilson.

"That's another really convenient part of this," he said. "Because really anywhere in the world you can post to your account and your followers."

"Not to mention, I can now follow Justin Bieber," Wilson added, laughing.

Parents can follow Wilson on Twitter at MarkWilson8415.

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