I would like to share with you what I have set up at my schools that has been a HUGE success (at least in my eyes). If your district has GAFE, then I highly suggest creating a Google Plus community for your school. Many conferences that you might attend use a G+ community to communicate and store presentations. Google+ communities are super easy to set up and will dramatically improve the work flow in your school!
Basically, a Google+ community is like a professional Facebook. You can set up a community for any event or group. Here is a look at some of the communities I belong to:
People can +1 (an equivalent to a "like") AND comment on posts.
We have all of the teachers set their Google + Community as their home page in Chrome. Therefore, when they launch their browser in the morning the first thing that pops up is the school's community!
You can quickly get to your Google Apps/Drive by clicking the dotted array in the top right hand corner. Everything will all be in ONE place. I love that!
Your staff can be notified of any and all posts via email. Click on the three dots in the upper right hand corner of your school's profile and make sure the community notification toggle is green.
The KEY to G+ communities is getting your administrators on board. When we first launched a G+ community in one of my schools a few years ago the principal was worried people would turn off their notifications or wouldn't keep up with the page feed.
Solution: Get your admin to make "special" announcements at random.
- Monday at 1:02pm: "JEANS DAY tomorrow!!"
- Tuesday at 6:55 am: "Special morning treats are waiting for you in the teacher's lounge!"
- Friday at 12:30pm: "You can leave 15 minutes early today. Happy Friday!"
- Just adding text
- Adding images/picture gallery
- Adding text and a link: This integrate beautifully with Google Apps. The cover image of my monthly newsletter populates automatically
- Adding polls: SUCH AN AWESOME FEATURE
That's it! Quick, easy and effective :)