The following is a guest post from Vidigami.
Photos and videos are the perfect way to help families stay in the loop with their children’s academic experiences. We’ve spoken with schools who realize the potential of digital media in the classroom and beyond. Having said, many schools have yet to take the leap with photo sharing. As we prepare for a new school year, the time is right to get some serious buy-in. Here are four tried and tested strategies to consider before your new tool takes off this summer:
1. ‘Soft launch’ and identify key users.
Start by launching your tool as a pilot program and recruit enthusiastic colleagues—you don’t need an army. Most schools tend to recruit between five to fifteen people (from the marketing team, yearbook group, coaches, and the PTO). Not only are they tech-savvy, have a knack for photography and love sharing memories, but they also serve as ‘early adopters’ who help you build and maintain your archive of content over the years.
Tip: There is always a group of people actively involved in school events! Scout for those who are:
1. Visionary: See the potential of the new system to change a school’s community for the better and happy to be the first to try something that no one else is using.
2. Optimistic: Able to overlook the rough edges because they believe in the benefits this new system can bring to your school community.
3. Big Supporters: They are committed to the cause because they understand that change is a part of progress. They will serve as advocates and propel that change by convincing others why this new tool is great!
2. Establish a content structure.
Organizing all your crowdsourced content will serve you and your users well in the long run. Establish a logical approach to how your school will need to organize everything in a way that makes it easier for specific staff and community members to contribute and access what they need, quickly and effectively.
Tip: Break down batches of media under school years and specific ‘categories’ or ‘people groups’. The rest is up to you. As time passes, having a content structure will make your life a lot easier when you need to access content from previous years.
3. Train your team.
Make sure that you and your team learn the bells and whistles of your new platform as early as possible. Different training options may be available to you depending on the software, so take advantage of online tutorials, help site information and product-focused forums to learn your tool inside out. Most products also appoint a dedicated Client Success Specialist (CSS) who can host as many training sessions as you need. Get your team in on these resources and when push comes to shove, you’ll all have a good sense of what you need to do.
Tip: If you plan to host your own training using online material, document the process. This could be useful for others at your school when you launch to them, and for future reference as your team grows and changes.
4. Build up the hype.
A tool that no one knows about won’t do them any good. For a photo management platform, your content takes center stage. Use your new tool to share out highlights from a recent school event to your entire community (within just a few hours). Whether its a newsletter or social media post, it’s a great way to build awareness about your new system and have your community wanting more.
Tip: Host a launch contest to promote basic features like uploading photos or tagging faces. This will spark your community’s competitive spirit, and show them just how easy the platform is to use.
The right tool for your school.
We’ve explored time and time again on the caveats of tools like Flickr, Facebook and Google Photos, and we always hear the same challenges…how do we address privacy needs? How can we customize content access for our school? Regardless of where you are at in the process, it always boils down to your school policies, and how you use your tools in a way that is responsible and rewarding. Learn more at Vidigami.
About the AuthorMore Content by Calina Franz-Hernandez