Chapter 12: Documenting Learning and Branding: Administrative Actions
1. Keeping what Sheninger and Rubin (2017) shared in mind—that the branding of a school or district cannot rest on the shoulders of one person, or even two or three, discuss possible answers to the following conversation starters with a colleague or a team of teacher-leaders and administrators:
- Who are the natural brand ambassadors in our school or district?
- What skills do these ambassadors already possess?
- What skills do they still need to develop and put into practice?
If desired, share and amplify your thoughts using your school’s or district’s hashtag and/or @handle, as well as #documenting4learning hashtag on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram; or by mentioning @documenting4learning on Facebook and Instagram, and @doc4learning on Twitter.
2. Keeping promises made by a school or district play an important branding role. Evidence of these promises can be related to the mission, vision, core values, or new initiatives that matter to community stakeholders.
Meet with your (or create) a school or district branding-ambassador team and brainstorm a list of the promises that should already be embedded in the institution’s culture, as well as new ones that may be forming based on new knowledge or student needs. Create and post a promise survey via one or more social media platforms and invite students, teachers, staff, parents, stakeholders, and community members to complete it to contribute their voice and perspectives.
As a branding-ambassador team, unpack the survey data collected and analyze the similarities and differences among the responses. Discuss how your school/district is making (or not making) each promise visible and/or audible to the entire community through current forms of display or documentation artifacts.
Design a campaign for any promises that did not rank high in visibility and/or accuracy. Begin to share and amplify a story that makes that promise’s attributes and application apparent and meaningful. Consider documenting and sharing your ambassador team’s promise-campaign process transparently as well. Increase your amplification degrees further by disseminating a link to your promise-campaign story to the Documenting Learning online community using the #documenting4learning hashtag on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram; or by mentioning @documenting4learning on Facebook and Instagram, and @doc4learning on Twitter.
3. How can branding opportunities arise based on your school’s or district’s academic-year and summer-events calendar for students, teachers, administrators, and the community? Think about how documenting FOR or AS learning artifacts related to specific events or seasonal happenings can support or expand your school’s or district’s learning journeys and create robust interaction opportunities with its community. Here are two ideas to get you started:
- Tell an over-time story of three students for a school year: a kindergartener, middle schooler, and high schooler. What important events need to be represented for each student? How will those events and the associated actions or emotions be captured and conveyed accurately? A humorous twist could be to tell the story of a school or district mascot and its significant branding-event moments throughout the school year.
- Record 15-second exit-event video interviews from participants (students, teachers, administrators, volunteers, community members) as they are leaving or have returned from field trips; participating in an author’s visit; providing a service to the local community; or myriad other extended-learning opportunities. What questions should be asked of them to articulate and further develop, support, or expand the school’s brand-identity? After all of the short clips desired have been filmed, create a collage video (complete with introduction and conclusion segments) that lasts approximately two to three minutes long that consists of a compilation of the 15-second video clips that best convey a variety of participant perspectives for this video’s branding focus.
When you share and amplify your exit-event video interviews as part of your branding process by placing them on your school’s social media platforms, be sure to include the#documenting4learning hashtag on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram; or by mentioning @documenting4learning on Facebook and Instagram, and @doc4learning on Twitter.