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How to Get Staff to Contribute More Photos Blog

How to Get Staff to Contribute More Photos

By far, the number one concern I hear from schools that use social media is they can’t get enough content from their staff. They know great things are going on, but they have trouble getting information from their teachers.

Other schools struggle with getting balanced stories from all grade levels. It seems that the elementary grades may be good about sending regular photos, but the middle and high school content is nearly non-existent. It seems counter-intuitive, since this group of students is always on their phones.

Well, if you are reading this blog, you are probably the one responsible for posting things for your school. You cannot do it alone. It truly does take a village to tell your story (and here is the blog that talks about it).

So let’s talk about nine strategies to get more photos:

  1. Make it easy to submit – We recommend asking staff to e-mail photos and updates to a central e-mail address. Creating a general social media e-mail address (like socialmedia@myschool.com) will help clear up any misconceptions of “Who do I e-mail this to?” If e-mail is too tough, you could also offer up a cell phone number where they could text the photos to you. Another option would be if the teachers are using social media already in their classroom, to make sure they tag the school district in their posts. Get creative. The easier you make it, the more likely it will be that you get photos.
  2. Emphasize the importance – The new school year has either just kicked off, or will be kicking off soon. Passionately sharing the impact social media has for your school is a must! To help you out, I have created an awesome six-minute video to help highlight the reasons behind social media use in school. You are free to use this at your convocation or staff inservice meeting – click here for the YouTube video link.
  3. How to Get Staff to Contribute More Photos Blog

  4. Talk it out – If some teachers don’t ever submit content, ask the question of why. If they are worried about privacy issues, take time to explain the list of students that can’t be photographed. If they feel that they don’t have time, show them how easy it is to snap a photo and attach it to an e-mail. If they are against social media altogether, then you may just want to let it go. You will not bat 1,000, nor do you need to in order to be successful.
  5. Reward staff – Creating a traveling trophy or special recognition for those who actively submit content is a great way to encourage staff. Competition is healthy, especially when it is in the name of celebrating our students. My friend Greg Turchetta at Collier School District created a hashtag trophy. Teachers adorn their classroom or office with pride!
  6. How to Get Staff to Contribute More Photos Blog

  7. Get students and parents involved – Staff aren’t the only ones with great stories. Your students and parents have great accounts of the awesomeness going on in your school too! You can personally ask for involved students and parents to submit content to you via your e-mail address. You can also encourage the use of your school hashtag and use material that you find on your district channel. I would encourage you to ask permission first, but I’m sure they will be happy to see their photos shared.
  8. Report on metrics – You must share your social media wins with your staff. If you have a post that reaches 10,000 people, let them know about it! If you receive great comments, make sure to highlight them. Don’t assume your staff reads every post on social media. You need to put together a report card to share metrics back with them. If they see the impact you are having, they will likely participate more in the future. If you want help creating a report card for your school, this recorded webinar will help.
  9. https://www.facebook.com/collierschools/?fref=ts

  10. Classroom photographers – Encourage staff to assign classroom photographers. These photos from the students’ view are so fun for your community to see! It can make it less stressful on the teacher to try and remember to take photos.
  11. 100 Inspiring Ideas for School Social Media


  12. Provide ideas – Even though I believe there are a million things that could be shared each day in every classroom, some teachers may struggle with ideas for what to share. That’s why I created a list of 100 inspiring ideas for social media posts. Download the list here.

  14. Training – Offering ongoing support for the social media efforts is key. In order to meet people where they are at, we need to offer continued training for our staff on using social media. If you aren’t equipped to conduct the training internally, #SocialSchool4EDU can help! We love conducting in-person or online training for your staff. E-mail me so we can talk about your specific needs.

I hope this list helps provide at least one or two that you can try at your school to grab more content. If you have another idea to share, comment below!


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Five Biggest Takeaways from #SMSC17

Five Biggest Takeaways from #SMSC17

What’s the best way to take social media to the next level for your school?

Learn from others, of course!

Two weeks ago, I hosted my first virtual Social Media Summer Camp (SMSC) event. It was an unbelievable day of learning with over 100 attendees and a jam-packed agenda of social media topics intended just for K-12 schools.

This feedback summed it up well:

“I’m a happy camper! SMSC17 was a great day of learning: relevant topics; expert, engaging presenters; and a flexible format to fit into this busy time of year. I took away tips to use right away, and thoughtful information for long-range planning.” – Cathy Kedjidjian, Deerfield Public Schools, IL

If you missed the event, there is still a chance to grab all of the content. Check it out here!

To give you a high level summary of the camp, I wanted to share my top five takeaways from the day.

  1. Make staff feel like rockstars

    Dr. Joe Sanfelippo’s presentation certainly ignited the entire camp, but one of my biggest takeaways was to make staff feel appreciated. You invest thousands of dollars in hiring them. How about throwing them a $10 t-shirt and giving them some Facebook love?

    Fall Creek has taken it a step further and involved students in the process of hiring new staff. How cool is it to get a job offer from your class of 5th grade students that you’ll be teaching next year? Pretty cool!

  2. Five Biggest Takeaways from #SMSC17

  3. In a crisis, the goal is to “keep your head while all around you are losing theirs.”

    When tragedy or controversy hits your school, most people know about it before you have a chance to tell them! Understanding the issue, getting the facts, knowing what to say and how to say it through the use of social media – it’s overwhelming! Lesley Bruinton, APR gave this one piece of advice that really resonated with me. It’s all about keeping calm when everyone around you is frantic.

  4. Five Biggest Takeaways from #SMSC17

  5. A small budget can go a long way in Facebook advertising compared to traditional channels.

    If your school is spending any money on traditional modes of advertising, they are completely missing the boat if they don’t use some dollars on Facebook advertising. Shane Haggerty’s advice and direct examples of how Facebook ads can work for schools was powerful! I hear of schools using radio or newspaper ads – for thousands of dollars – when Facebook boosted posts can be done with as little as $5. The first step is to just try it out and see what happens – then build on it from there.

  6. Five Biggest Takeaways from #SMSC17

  7. “Don’t worry about having the right words; worry more about having the right heart.”

    Providing guidelines for our school staff was the topic, but Carla Pereira, APR hit on so many great topics that pertain to telling our story. This quote hit home for so many of our attendees. We get caught up in finding the perfect image and caption. It can be so stressful. Worry more about having the right heart. Celebrating our students is an important job. Keep that as your guiding light and you’ll be just fine!

  8. Five Biggest Takeaways from #SMSC17

  9. Social media champions

    Social media for your district truly takes a village. You may be the person responsible for managing it, but you can’t do it alone. You need to build social media champions within your schools. Kristin Magette, APR shared that this is the way that she has continued to grow her social media presence for her district.

  10. Five Biggest Takeaways from #SMSC17

I hope this advice serves your school well! If you attended camp and have another takeaway that you’d like to share, comment below.

And if you are interested in taking part in all of the content that was covered, you still have a chance. Full access to recordings, the workbook, and all supporting materials are available for a special price until August 31, 2017. Check it out here!


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Boost Your Social Media With These Back To School Ideas

Boost Your Social Media With These Back To School Ideas!

It’s about to get a little crazy…


Nothing can beat the energy of back to school time.

Teachers are recharged, students are wide-eyed with curiosity, and parents are ready to get their kids back into a routine.

Easy Ways to Boost Social Media This School YearSo let’s capitalize on the attention our school is gathering by getting everyone involved in the social media channels for our school!

A few weeks ago, I shared more than 20 ideas for boosting your social media efforts on a free webinar. You can get access to that free recording here.

Out of the list, I wanted to highlight 5 of the best ideas.

  1. Facebook Live – Bedtime Book Reading
    Bring families together by sharing some of your favorite stories over Facebook Live. They could be read by a primary teacher, a principal, or superintendent. Check out this promotion for an upcoming event in Fall Creek!
    Facebook Live Book Reading

  3. How To Videos
    Many kids (and adults) have anxiety when it comes to new things. How about using social media to cover some helpful tips before the first day of school? Show your kids how to do locks. This post from Ridgetop Middle School reached over 80,000 people when the originally shared it. Other ideas could include:

    • Getting from class to class in 3 minutes
    • Punching in your lunch number
    • What to do if you get sick
    • Tips on organizing your locker
    • Cell phone policies
    • Lunchroom rules
    Ridgetop Middle School Lockers

  5. Introducing New Staff
    Using social media to introduce new staff is a great way to make them feel welcome in a new school! These posts reach thousands of people and end up attracting a lot of new followers to your page.
    New Staff Post

  7. First Day Campaign
    Getting the entire community involved in broadcasting the first day of school excitement is as easy as developing a first day campaign. Wondering what it is? We broke down exactly how to do it in this blog post from District 214.
    First Day Campaign

  9. Social Media Table at Open House
    Invite students, parents, and teachers to join your social media channels during your open house or back to school event. You can staff it with high school students or ask for parent or para-professional volunteers. Don’t simply tell people to follow your pages, but rather help them find it on their phone and ensure they have the right page.
    Open House Table

You can add hundreds of new followers to your social media channels during this back to school season! To grab even more ideas, and to get more information on the five strategies above, don’t forget to check out the free webinar here.

Good luck! Here is to the best year yet!

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What does “embracing” social media look like?

What Does “Embracing” Social Media Look Like?

During a recent webinar, a social media manager for a school asked this question:

“I can’t see Facebook when I’m at school, so it makes it impossible to view comments as they are coming in on our school page. How do I get administration to let us use Facebook at school?”

Uff da. I live in Minnesota, so I can use that saying.

What does “embracing” social media look like?I’ve worked with so many schools like this. The schools know that they need to use social media, but they still shut down access to it internally. They definitely aren’t singing “Kum-ba-ya” around the campfire with all of the social media platforms.

My response to this concern is always that people can access it at school, they just don’t access it through the school WIFI. Or if you are a student, you just figure out a way around it…

Fear of social media is common, but there are practical steps that you can use to guide your school to accept it. For the best advice on this topic, I always go to my friend and mentor, Kristin Magette, APR. Afterall, she wrote a book on the topic!

Her best advice is to manage risk through the 3 Ps:

  1. Policies
  2. Procedures
  3. Professional Development

To grab the full understanding, I recommend purchasing her book. Embracing Social Media – A Practical Guide to Leverage Risk and Leverage Opportunity. Another great opportunity is to learn directly from her.

And even though she lives in Kansas, you can hear her talk and get your questions answered by checking out our virtual event. The 1st annual Social Media Summer Camp happened on Wednesday, July 26th, but you can still participate! You can listen to every single moment for just $197! But the price is going up to $247 on August 31, 2017. So get it now!

1st Annual Social Media Summer Camp Recording

Dive in and learn the secrets to taking social media to the next level at your school. Kristin, along with four other speakers, shared their experiences through live presentations. When you purchase the the recording for Social Media Summer Camp you’ll receive a workbook and recordings to all of the sessions. This means that you can share them with others at your school!

Get access now! Just $197 – until August 31 – will give you access to all of the great topics.

Social Media Summer Camp 2017 Speakers


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Facebook Ads for Schools

Have you wanted to “try” Facebook ads for your school but have no idea where to start?

Or have you even considered paying to reach a bigger audience? Maybe you think that advertising is just for businesses – you wouldn’t use it for your school!

Well, Facebook has dramatically changed their Facebook algorithm over the past four years. What this means for pages like your school’s Facebook presence is that less people are seeing the posts you make.

Now some parents are going to make sure to tune in no matter what, because they know you are sharing great information – but what about the parents who don’t yet have kids at your school? Or what about getting news out about a referendum or bond issue to your community who don’t even have kids that attend your school?

Facebook Ads for SchoolsIf the thought of learning yet ANOTHER aspect to social media freaks you out, you are not alone. It scares me too! I’ve been doing social media for over 3 years and I have yet to master this skill.

So what do I do when I need help? I ask a pro. And this time, I turned to my friend Shane Haggerty.

He has assured me that it is easier than you think! Now, I’m not going to dive into the specifics of Facebook ads in this week’s blog. Instead I’m going to invite you to an online training event. Shane is a featured speaker and his talk on Facebook Advertising will help you:

    • Discover the various types of advertising solutions that are available utilizing Facebook ads


    • Learn more about the targeting tools available on Facebook’s ad platform and why it is important


    • Learn from actual case studies of Facebook advertising best practices from various school districts, including examples of school election issues and enrollment campaigns


Sounds like good stuff, huh? Well, you are invited to gain access to the recordings and resources from our 1st annual Social Media Summer Camp.

1st Annual Social Media Summer Camp Recording

The cost is just $197 until August 31, 2017 and then it will go up to $247. So get access now!

You’ll get to learn from Shane and four other leading school experts in the area of social media. You’ll receive an email with all of the recordings and resources for the event. You can share this with anyone inside of your school district – all for the one low price of $197 (through August 31st) and then $247 after that.

We know it’s summer vacation for some of you – but now is the time to take action and learn some new tips, tricks and strategies to help your school’s social media game next year! You’ll thank us. And if you don’t love the event, I’m offering a 100% money back guarantee.

Sign up now.

Social Media Summer Camp 2017 Speakers


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Social Media On (and Off) the Job

Social Media On (and Off) the Job

Imagine this:

Your high school football coach is being attacked on social media by parents for not playing the senior players. Attitude issues and efforts in practice are at the root of the decision, but of course, the rants on Facebook don’t go into that.

Nothing is put on the formal Facebook page for your school, but the words are definitely heard throughout the community. The coach is getting personal messages and public posts made on his own Facebook page, and he finally decides to respond. Things don’t go well…

Social Media On (and Off) the JobSome of you didn’t have to imagine too much on this, did you? You’ve had something very similar already happen. It could be a coach, a teacher, a paraprofessional or a principal – and it could involve a real situation, a completely fabricated story, or likely a blurred line between the two.

So how do you handle guidelines for your staff to use social media both on and off the job? Providing basics like “Always be positive and helpful online – all district staff are ambassadors.” It seems obvious, but it needs to be said!

If you feel like your school needs a better plan for addressing this subject, I want to invite you to an participate in our virtual camp. Carla Pereira, Manager of Communications for Peel County School Board in Canada, will break it down into easy, actionable steps for you at your school. If you have a few hundred staff – then consider your job pretty easy. Carla helps with communications with a staff of over 16,000 at 250 schools!!

1st Annual Social Media Summer Camp Recording

Our 1st annual Social Media Summer Camp was a virtual event held on Wednesday, July 26th. But it’s not too late for you to participate in this event.

For $197 you can gain access to all the recordings and resources from the event. Can you imagine the help and assistance just this one session from Carla will provide? Definitely worth it. But you’ll get that plus four other topics on social media and schools. You can’t find a one stop shop specialized in school social media like this event! Sign up now before the price goes up to $247 on August 31, 2017!

In addition to the presentations with opportunities for Q&A, you’ll also get a workbook to follow along with. That means that if you want to share one of the presentations with a colleague, your administrative team, or even your entire staff – you can! No additional cost – the recordings are included in the $197 registration fee.

So register now. Don’t delay. This will be the best decision you make to help remove the stress on social media for your school!

Have questions? Call 715-205-0429 or email me at andrea@socialschool4edu.com.

Social Media Summer Camp 2017 Speakers


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Are you prepared for a social media crisis?

Are You Prepared for a Social Media Crisis?

Social media has changed the game. I like to think mostly for the better, but of course, there are some “worse” moments too.

To think that literally every moment that happens in your school could be broadcast to the world – well, it’s a little overwhelming. And what happens can be interpreted so differently by so many people, that have no direct tie to your school!

So I’ve got a question for you…

Do you have a crisis management plan at your school? And does it specifically address social media?

If you are like most schools that I know, the answer is “no.” When an issue or crisis emerges, having a plan is only the first step. The three steps go like this:

  1. Plan – Have a plan in place – beforehand.
  2. Understand – Get all the facts before you speak.
  3. Take a Stand – Implement your plan – quickly.


Looking at examples from different schools is a good way to understand how this three-step approach will apply to your school. I’m not going to review that in detail today, but dove deep into real life examples during our 1st Social Media Summer Camp – and you’re invited to view the recordings and resources from this virtual event!

Lesley Bruinton, APR from Tuscaloosa City Schools will be sharing her firsthand experience with social media crisis management. Unfortunately, she has several examples to share. From a natural disaster to a politically charged viral post from a staff member, her in-the-trenches experience will provide actionable guidance for your school.

1st Annual Social Media Summer Camp Recording

The first annual Social Media Summer Camp recordings feature Lesley and four other speakers from across North America. You’ll receive an email with all of the recordings and resources and be provided with a workbook to guide you through the topics. You’ll have the ability to share these videos with others at your school.

Register now – the cost is just $197, but will be going up to $247 on August 31, 2017.

If you have questions, just reach out to me at andrea@socialschool4edu.com. We’ve got a 100% money back guarantee. If this full day of training doesn’t leave you satisfied, we’ll refund your money.

We can’t wait to help your school with social media. Stop stressing and start planning with the great guidance that this panel of speakers will provide!

Social Media Summer Camp 2017 Speakers


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Developing Social Media Superheroes in Your School

Developing Social Media Superheroes in Your School

Your teachers and staff have a lot going on in their daily routines. That might be the understatement of the year, right?

And now we want them to help with the social media efforts for the school too.

Easy sell? Not quite.

So how do you develop these social media superheroes? It all starts at the top!

Great leaders can nurture and ingrain the importance of social media with their staff if done right. Dr. Joe Sanfelippo, superintendent of Fall Creek School District in Wisconsin, has been on a mission for years now. And with photos like this, which he shared on crazy hair day (but he doesn’t have hair), it is easy to see why his school is successful.

Joe’s favorite quote of mine is this:

“Never Give Up the Opportunity to Say Something Great about Your School!”

Developing Social Media Superheroes in Your School

And social media gives all of our staff an opportunity to make sure that what is said reaches many eyes and ears. Joe’s advice is broken down into three keys.

  1. Be Intentional
  2. Open the Doors
  3. Build Staff

Now, we’d love to elaborate on these, and we will, but not here. Joe shared his proven formula for creating social media superheroes at our first annual Social Media Summer Camp. This virtual event was held on July 26th, but it’s not too late to gain access to this virtual event. You are invited to gain access to all of the recordings and resources from the event!

1st Annual Social Media Summer Camp Recording

Not only will you get the chance to hear what Joe has to offer on this topic, but you will get four additional speakers too. Check out the full details here.

And the best part? You get to listen and learn, and then you can share the talks with others at your school. When the time is right – you have lifetime access to the sessions!

The price is just $197 for the entire event, but will be going up to $247 on August 31, 2017. You can watch in the comfort of your own home or office and follow along with our workbook. You’ll receive an email with all of the recordings and resources for the event.

Register now. If you have questions, just reach out to me at andrea@socialschool4edu.com. We’ve got a 100% money back guarantee. I know that it will be the best investment in PD for your social media efforts this school year!

Social Media Summer Camp 2017 Speakers


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Just Getting Started with Social Media? Start Here!

I’ve been helping schools with social media since early 2014. After being inside Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter literally EVERYDAY for the past 1,200 days – I’ve learned a lot.

If you’re just getting started, it can be overwhelming, to say the least.

My job here at #SocialSchool4EDU is to help you out. It’s not as scary as you think. It’s a really important job. And you can do it!

I don’t refer to myself as the Social Media Cheerleader for nothing. I’m legit – I was even a cheerleader in high school!

So here is my first piece of advice.

Facebook is the place to be for your school. Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Snap Chat, LinkedIn – I love them too. But Facebook is number one.

That one piece of wisdom should help a LOT. Focus on Facebook and then move on to others only when you feel you have it mastered. Heck, many awesome schools are still just using Facebook. And that’s OK.

Beyond that first nugget, my advice is going to vary a bit depending on where you are in your understanding of schools, social media, content marketing, graphic design, and so much more.

The best I could do for providing a thorough explanation was to share some of my most popular blogs. I’ve written over 100 blogs on the topic of social media and schools. After combing through that list, here are the 10 topics that I think you will find most helpful as you get started.

1 – Three Keys to Leverage Social Media – This blog walks you through the 3 C’s – Content, Consistency, and Community.

Three Keys to Leverage Social Media

2 – Getting enough content to post is often a struggle. Beyond this list of 100 ideas of what to post, you could use the weekly challenge approach.

Grab More Content in 2017 with Weekly Challenges Blog Post

3 – Understanding the Facebook algorithm is key to reaching more people with your posts.

Facebook Algorithm 101: What is it and how does it work?

4 – Once you understand the Facebook algorithm, it is helpful to know how to beat it! This blog provides 11 ways to improve your reach.

Facebook Algorithm: 11 Ways to Improve Your Reach

5 – Growing your fanbase is important – especially when you are trying to show your district the impact that you are making with social media. This one habit will help ensure you don’t hit a plateau!

One Habit to Increase Facebook Fans

6 – Broadcasting live video has never been easier. Using Facebook Live will also help your reach! Find out the how-to and some examples in this article.

Facebook Live for Schools Blog

7 – Keeping up with Facebook is tough. This article and accompanying webinar walks you through the basics and the advanced stuff!

#SocialSchool4EDU Facebook 2017: What’s New for Schools

8 – Why invest in social media? Because the numbers don’t lie! Check out the latest stats in this article.

Social Media by the Numbers

9 – Looking for the best types of posts to share at your school? Check these out!

The 11 Most Loved Social Media Posts for Schools

10 – And my final recommendation – my best secret of all – come to Social Media Summer Camp! It’s seriously the best move you can make for better social media at your school next year. Find out why in this short article.

One Secret for Better Social Media Next School Year

Whew – that was a lot! Are you still looking for more? Just hop onto my website and search by topic.

#SocialSchool4EDU Blog Search

And if you haven’t jumped on my weekly newsletter yet, then sign up now. I share the best apps, challenges, upcoming events, and ideas from other schools each Tuesday morning!

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Never Fear - Helpful Apps are Here!

Never Fear – Helpful Apps are Here!

Social media is a time-consuming job, but thank goodness we have great apps to help make it easier! It is summer time, so it is the PERFECT time to learn new apps that will help you all year long.

I have a LOT of favorites, but today I’m going to limit myself to just three. I’d love to know what your favorites are, so comment below!

Newsfeed Burner
Have you ever went into Facebook to do some work on your school’s page and 20 minutes later found yourself deeply involved in a quiz to find out what car bests match your personality? Or you get sucked into a series of tragic news stories?

I have, and that’s why I’m excited to share this app. It is called Newsfeed Burner.

Newsfeed Burner is a Chrome Extension and it actually blocks your newsfeed from appearing on your Facebook page.

I just started using it – and it has really helped me be more productive! If I want to see the newsfeed again, I can give myself a 15-minute window to look. Then it will disappear again.

Newsfeed Burner App

Splice is an app from the makers of GoPro and it helps you create professional-looking videos on your iPhone® or iPad®.

Now wait a minute – you don’t need a GoPro camera in order to use it!

Splice has everything you need to create a fully customized video: trim, crop, effects, titles, speed controls, animation, transitions, music and more.

Brian Nicol shared this app during a recent webinar on finding social media success in a one-person school PR shop (check out the recording here).

Here is the example he shared from the first day of school last year. He had several photographers at the various school buildings and then was able to generate this video in about 30 minutes. Pretty darn efficient if you ask me!

Never Fear - Helpful Apps are Here!

Pic Collage
Need a graphic in a quick hurry? Or do you want to throw together a fun collage on your mobile device? Then I recommend PicCollage!

It is so easy to use, and whether you have an image to use or not – you can create great graphics in minutes. You are able to add fonts, GIFS and videos. You can select the image layout and they have over 1500 stickers, 80 backgrounds, and 60 templates to pick from. Many are free.

You can pay a small amount to remove the PicCollage logo from the bottom of your creations. I highly recommend doing that!

You can get so much more creative than this – but here is a simple one I created for an upcoming tournament. Remember – you need an image with each post you share – so this app makes it so easy!!

OK – so that was hard. Limiting myself to just 3 apps to share…

I have so many more – so I decided to host a free webinar where I’ll share my top 18 apps! I want to SHOW you how they work.

So join in my free webinar on Wednesday, June 14th – register now.

Apps to Make Social Media Easier Next School Year