Where Do We Go From Here?

Now that Paris Cooperative High School is a living, breathing entity, where do we go from here? What is needed to be done next to make PCHS a better school for all stakeholders? I have recently been reading the book What Would Google Do? The book’s author, Jeff Jarvis, argues that transparency and making decisions based on how to capitalize on the input of customers is paramount in a technologically linked world. Google has revolutionized the Internet by making everything searchable and because everything is searchable, Google learns a lot about human likes and dislikes simply by tracking what people search for and say about things using the Internet. In his book, the author relates how the web and in particular the participatory web or web 2.0 has managed to revolutionize many things. Print media is forever changed. Shopping malls are dying. Travel agents are becoming a thing of the past. The middle man, and all of the inefficiency associated with him, is disappearing. Those companies that are learning to use the participatory web to their advantage are prospering. Companies such as Dell and Amazon.com are using common everyday bloggers and web surfers to become their bests advertisements. They, along with Google, are doing everything they can to get the consumer to join with them in improving their services and products. A company can no longer ignore the common customer because on the Internet, they can communicate and start a movement. Companies must head the opinions of their customers and really concentrate on the dissatisfied customers to improve their products and services. How does this relate to schools and particularly PCHS? We need to engage all of our stakeholders: students, teachers, parents, alumni, community members, business and industry. We need to seek their input. Ask what they want from their high school. Seek out opinions and listen to the experiences of those that are not satisfied and learn from them. Those that are willing to let us know what they think is wrong are in reality trying to help us get better. We need to take them up on their offer. Listen. Act on the issues we can and make our institution as transparent as we can. Technology has taken knowledge and information that was once scarce and has made it abundant. Schools are no longer the repository of information, just like newspapers are no longer the repository of news. We must learn to adjust to this new reality or we are destined to become just as irrelevant as the card catalogue in a library. What do you think?

2 thoughts on “Where Do We Go From Here?

  1. As I read this, I started thinking about how we could get more feedback from those we serve, and I thought about having a web-based "suggestion box" through the school's website where students, parents, and community members can leave feedback for us. Most companies and products have this available for their customers, and I think it could be beneficial for us as well.

  2. Great idea Nathan! I will see what I can get set up. I was also thinking about sending a survey to those parents who have signed up for MMS. I would like some help with setting the survey up….anyone? anyone?

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