The purpose of this study is to examine the Twitter communication between school districts, superintendents, and the public. Content analysis of the tweets posted by the 100 largest U.S. school districts and those district superintendents was performed to investigate how the districts and the superintendents communicated with the public on Twitter. Next, paired sample f-tests were performed to compare the differences between public sentiment toward the districts and the superintendents. The findings suggest that the districts and their superintendents primarily used Twitter for one-way information broadcasting, leaving Twitter’s two-way communication functionality largely untapped. Further, the public expressed significantly less negative sentiment toward the superintendents than the districts, whereas no statistical difference existed in the public’s positive or neutral sentiment toward the districts and the superintendents. The findings provide novel insights into educational institutions’ and leaders’ Twitter communication. More importantly, the findings offer research-based guidance on districts’ and superintendents’ Twitter communication. Recommendations were provided for districts and leaders to use social media effectively and thus engage the public and garner social support for education.
Wang, Y. (2016). Getting personal! Twitter communication between school districts, superintendents, and the public. Journal of School Leadership, 26(5), 865-890.