What do people say about your school?

Forrester Research CEO George Colony makes a case that businesses cannot ignore Web 2.0 in an editorial on News.com. Colony basically says that the days where businesses dictate the message they want people to hear about their company are over. Thanks to the Internet, the world has become more interactive through websites, blogging, wikis, podcasts, and other interactive tools. This old way of thinking can also apply to the way schools wish to give out information. Of course there are schools that do things like allowing parents to view grades online, have e-mail lists of teachers and administrators but is that enough? The main thing that struck me about the Colony's article is how companies and their CEO's are oblivious to what customers are really saying about products. Products such as Kryptonite Locks almost got destroyed because company executives failed to acknowledge what was written in blogs was true about their product being deficient.

Think schools are above all of this? Think again. Here are two websites whose purpose is to gather parent and student opinions about schools and teachers. Greatschools.net rates schools and also allows parents to rate schools. I looked at my schools review and it was not good. Another site, Ratemyteachers.com's purpose is for parents and students to rate and give opinions about teachers in their schools. I recently looked at both sites for my school and the reviews on Greatschools.net was not good and alot of teachers were reviewed on Ratemyteachers.com. I am sure not too many of these teachers know what is being said about them on the Internet.

Again, you may ask so what? Probably some disgruntled parent or student venting about not getting a grade they felt they deserved or some discipline matter so it shouldn't matter. Well remember, as these sites become more popular more people will be writing in them and worse, reading them. A bad review in one of these sites could mean the difference between getting a student who actually do well in your school and parents who could be an assest or having them go to another school. A local newspaper has a very active blog section. One of the topics that gets the most activity is schools. Also, people who are considering moving to the community will get on the blog and ask about the quality of the schools.

Do you know the answer?

Forrester Research CEO George Colony says today's boss can't afford to remain clueless about the burgeoning world of Web 2.0.

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