Please see attached my venture pitch as an intrepreneur at a school board, requesting funds and backing from the Board of Directors. The pitch is to launch a social media training video as the first step in developing a full scale training/orientation program in the area of social media. Please see my elevator pitch here https://youtu.be/vkGWud6L7Ew before moving on to the actual written proposal to be handed into the Board of Directors for approval below:
Social Media Training Video Proposal
Presented To the Board of Directors for Approval on November 27, 2016
By Brenda Spehar, Training & Development Administrator
The proliferation of use of social media has created an excellent opportunity for the professionals at the ABC Catholic District School Board to connect with our students, parents and the broader community like never before. Our Board currently fosters social media engagement through our Twitter account, through the Board’s YouTube channel, as well as through our Rich Site Summary (RSS) feeds. Schools are also authorized to use social media in various forms in order to engage the community in educational activities.
However, this tool is a very powerful one. One only needs to look at the current issue at the York Region District School Board (YRDSB) where one of its principals shared links on Facebook that were interpreted as offensive to Muslims. This led to an investigation within the board, and some very public criticism which has now led to the Education Minister meeting with the leadership of YRDSB to discuss the issue. Like YRDSB, ABC does not have a specific social media policy. In very short order, we can help prevent this type of situation occurring at ABC by providing our new and existing employees with education about ABC’s stance on social media and the risks and benefits of its use.
As a human resources professional who has over twenty years of experience in recruitment, on-boarding, career counselling, training & development as well as expertise in technology in education I am proposing a fifteen minute social media video that can be built upon into a full social media orientation program in the future to prevent our board from encountering the same fate as YRDSB.
While our Board has various policies, procedures and guidelines related to the Network Use and Security, there is no formal policy specifically dealing with the use of social media. Several other school boards, professional associations and organizations across Canada have created standard procedures and/or training for their employees specifically designed to guide them in the use of social media.
Human error, or poor decisions is widely considered the most significant security risk when it comes to social media activities. The Ontario College of Teachers published a Professional Advisory on the Use of Electronic Communication and Social Media on February 23, 2011 that states it is the responsibility of the member to be aware of the numerous challenges and ramifications associated with the use of social media. Phil Mennie, Social Media Risk and Governance Leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) believes establishing the right behaviours from the start will help prevent public relations or security disasters. He says “It’s not just about strategy. It’s putting the right operating processes to ensure that social is used the right way.” This proposal will give our employees clear guidelines and comprehensive knowledge of the risks of social media.
Providing a social media training video to all of our employees will be beneficial for several reasons:
- It reduces the risk of the use of social media in our classrooms and administrative office that does not coincide with our code of conduct or philosophy of education in a Catholic board. By educating our staff with specific guidelines for proper use we will create a standard, consistent presence to the community and reduce the chances of an embarrassing social media faux pas.
- It reduces the security threat risk that comes with the use of social media. By outlining several methods used by hackers in social media to penetrate our firewall we will diminish the chances of a breach.
- It increases awareness of how social media use blurs the lines between our social and professional brand. It will cultivate an awareness in our employees about appropriate use and the potential repercussions (personal and professional) when they operate outside the guidelines.
To mitigate some of the barriers and risks associated with the use of social media we are offering a fifteen minute training video created using Camtasia to be delivered to our staff through our professional development website. The steps to completing this task are as follows:
Step 1: Examine the corporate culture – complete a survey (using Survey Monkey which is already purchased) to determine how social media products are currently being used by our teachers, students and corporate office employees. This will uncover any fears our staff members have about accessing social media as well as where it is already being used successfully. We can then pinpoint the areas to focus on that will maximize the effectiveness of the video.
Approximate timeline: 2 weeks
Target date for summary of results available: December 8, 2016
Step 2: Establish a committee – create a focus group that includes a cross section of representatives throughout the Board: Principal and Administrative Assistant representatives from both elementary and secondary panels, Marketing Manager, Information Technology Manager, Freedom of Information Administrator, Corporate Training and Development Administrator. External expertise to be considered would be a representative from the local police department.
Approximate timeline: 2 weeks
Target date for committee to be established: December 8, 2016
Step 3: Research – Over the course of 3-4 meetings the committee will examine the results of the survey, review current policies in place that relate to the use of technology and draft the video script. We will also reference other social media policies and/or guidelines that exist in other school boards, institutions and professional organizations. We will source legal advice to make sure we are adhering to the guidelines outlined at the local, provincial and national level.
Approximate timeline: 3 weeks
Target date for guidelines to be in place: January 9, 2017
Step 4: Create video – The Training and Development Administrator is well versed in the use of the Boards current software, Camtasia to create the video. Final approval of the finished product will be vetted through the Director’s office.
Approximate timeline: 2-3 days
Target date for the video to be completed and approved to distribute: January 17, 2017
Step 5: Rollout the video distribution – The video will be announced by the Director’s office and provided to our employees through our professional development software on-line training module already available to all staff. The software requires the employee to watch the entire video before it records that they have completed the training. The Training and Development Administrator can track the progress of the completion over a period of one month.
Approximate timeline: 1 month
Target date for the video to be viewed by all staff: From January 23rd to February 17th, 2017.
Step 6: Provide a central area for access to all current and new employees – Post the video on our central employee website where the video can be accessed by all employees at any time. New employees to the Board will also be required to view the video as part of their orientation.
By providing the information to employees in a video format we are delivering this important information efficiently and with minimal cost to the Board. We are using software already purchased by the Board (Survey Monkey and Camtasia) and accessing internal expertise in the research and design of the video. Employees will be able to get the information at their desk, keeping the cost of lost time at a minimum. We are proposing the funding for the Social Media Training video come out of our Corporate Training and Development fund provided by the Ministry for the 2016-17 school year. The funding structure is outlined as follows:
|Opening Balance||16-Oct-16||$ 3,500.00|
|Meeting and research costs|
|Time for Training and Development Administrator to tally the results of survey||28-Oct-16||$70.00||$ 3,430.00||$35/hour by 2 hours|
|First committee meeting||28-Oct-16||$800.00||$ 2,630.00||Approx $400/hour by 2 hours each|
|Second committee meeting||4-Nov-16||$800.00||$ 1,830.00|
|Third committee meeting||11-Nov-16||$800.00||$ 1,030.00|
|Final committee meeting (if required)||18-Nov-16||$800.00||$ 230.00|
|Time for Training and Development Manager to create the video||17-Nov-16||$175.00||$ 55.00||$35/hour by 5 hours|
Return on Investment
This small investment in a training video will provide big returns to the Board in several ways. Our employees are already using several social media outlets on a regular basis. This video will provide training to employees in an efficient and cost effective manner to establish the rules for the use of social media that is electronically acknowledged and recorded board wide. While a more substantial and detailed policy will be developed, the video will establish a standard and a launching pad for further direction going forward. The return on investment will benefit the Board in several areas:
- Students. Our students are already savvy in the use of social media and are more engaged when using it in the classroom. By educating our teachers on the basic rules around the use of social media in the classroom, those who have resisted using it may be more inclined to try it. The use of social media in the classroom fosters student engagement, increases the frequency of collaborative learning, and integrates real world applications to the student learning.
- Employees. Providing clear guidelines to our employees on the use of social media will reduce the incidents of risky or unintentional misuse which could result in an embarrassing event. Social media is also used extensively in professional development and employees familiar with the rules and risks associated with its use will be more comfortable using it to network with colleagues.
- The Board. By providing our employees with this information via video, we are delivering the social media guidelines in a cost effective and timely manner. Tracking those who complete the training through our professional development software allows us to have a record that the training took place should the question ever arise for legal reasons. This training also reduces the risk of social media being used inappropriately which could require costly employee relations and/or public relations intervention. In addition by increasing our employees’ awareness of the risks involved in using social media we are reducing the Board’s vulnerability to hacking and other threats that are reliant on inexperience and lack of awareness. The video will also inform our employees of the ABC Catholic Board brand which will ensure it is consistently portrayed in our community. We will also be demonstrating to our community our forward-thinking approach to education.
- Community. Our community also benefits in that the guidelines, specifically outlined, can be communicated outside the board which will reduce misunderstanding between our employees and community members. Our employees will be more comfortable using social media to connect with the community thus keeping them informed in a faster, more efficient manner than would be provided by traditional newsletters or notes home.
Our employees are already connecting to our community using social media. Providing a quick, cost-effective video specifically outlining the guidelines, risks and the Board’s philosophy on using social media will offer protection against social media disasters, reduce the risk of being hacked, and empower our employees to be more confident and effective in its use. It will also ensure the consistency of the message throughout the Board which can be expanded upon with further training to provide a standard of communication that enhances our digital presence in the community.
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