DOWNEY - To kick off the new school year and inform more students about current events at school, Downey High School has started using social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr.Although social networking has been popular for several years now, this is the first time Downey High School has used it to connect to students and provide a more accessible form of interaction. The idea was created a few months ago by senior John Franco, Associated Student Body Commissioner of Publicity. When appointed to his job, he wanted to figure out a way to reach students more easily about school news and attract teenagers. "I knew there had to be a way to target students and get them to know what's going on at school," said Franco. "I knew everyone was on Facebook and that a lot of people were blogging [on Tumblr] so why not be there when everyone else is?" Before, the students relied on the school website and morning announcements for upcoming events; however, this was sometimes troublesome considering many students do not make it a habit to check the school website and because classrooms may be too loud to hear announcements on a speaker. "Not everyone listens to the announcements because sometimes you can hear, but you can't listen," said Franco. "This is different because kids go on Facebook and it's easier for them to see what's going on." Ever since the introduction of the new websites a few months ago, there has been a strong response from the student body. There are already close to 350 members in the "Downey High School" Facebook group and the "following" base on Tumblr and Twitter is growing. "The response has been great," said Franco. "Of course, there have been a few problems, but it is working really well and way better than I expected." One of the many benefits of the Facebook group is that it allows for interaction between ASB and the rest of the student body who may have questions about this year's registration, class schedules, and even construction of the cafeteria. To learn more about Downey High school's use of social networking and see regular updates, be sure to check out twitter.com/DowneyHigh, downeyhighschool.tumblr.com, and the "Downey High School" Facebook group.
********** Published: August 19, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 18