Image courtesy of Victor Habbick /

Oct 30 2012

How Schools Used Technology to Share Hurricane Sandy Updates

School districts employ an arsenal of technologies to update their communities about closings caused by Hurricane Sandy.

Technology plays an important role in how school districts across the Eastern Seaboard communicate — this most certainly applies to natural disasters, such as Hurricane Sandy. Social-networking sites, such as Twitter and Facebook, enable districts to broadcast news, alerts and updates and make it easy for administrators to directly respond to inquiries about the storm.

Here's a deeper look at how some school districts used social media to keep parents and students in the loop during, and after, the hurricane.

Baltimore City Public Schools

Baltimore City Public Schools (BCPS) shared up-to-the-minute news and announcements on their Twitter feed (@BaltCitySchools). The school district also shared links to its website’s inclement weather page, which shared information on school closings, delays and early dismissals.

The BCPS Twitter account also announced that the Baltimore National College Fair has been postponed due to Hurricane Sandy. The fair was originally scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, Oct. 29 and 30.

Boston Public Schools

Boston Public Schools (BPS) shared news alerts through its Facebook page. News that the system’s schools would be open on Tuesday sparked debate in the comments section among students, faculty, and community members as to whether BPS made the right decision.

School District of Philadelphia

The School District of Philadelphia updated its community through social media and press releases on its website. The school system was active on Twitter (@PhillyEducation), sharing news updates on school and program closings as well as promoting Hurricane Sandy-related hashtags: #phillyeducation and #sandyinphilly. To the dismay of student commenters, an update on the school district’s Facebook announced that schools would be open on Wednesday.

DC Public Schools

DC Public Schools (DCPS) has various channels for sharing updates with its community. The school system sent updates via Facebook, Twitter, text alerts, email alerts, and its website. Additionally, the school system asked followers to share pictures of any damages caused by Hurricane Sandy with them through social media. DCPS schools are expected to open all schools and administrative sites on Wednesday. According to the DCPS Facebook page, “the vast majority of DCPS schools have reported they are ready to open with little or no damage from Hurricane Sandy.”

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