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Schools use Facebook, Twitter to get out their message


Social networking isn’t just for kids, reports the Oregonian: Schools, too, are getting into the act. In the Portland metro area, at least eight districts made the leap this fall, signing up for Twitter or Facebook. Though the sites won’t replace the more traditional forms of communication anytime soon, they provide another way to reach out to plugged-in parents, residents without kids, and even students themselves. At the same time, the new domain comes with a new set of questions about how to maintain the district-sponsored sites, what kind of content is appropriate, and who should have access to the sites during the workday. Portland Public Schools’ Facebook page has been up for about a month and is designed to provide a more casual platform for people to see announcements. The site also provides a way for the district to get instant feedback on news alerts and articles, said district spokesman Matt Shelby. So far, the district has 307 "fans" following its daily updates. "We’re not talking about a real viable communication tool yet," Shelby said. "As more people sign on and more people are viewing and interacting, there will be a variety of uses we can find for it."

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