This was an interesting one that came from Ofsted palace at the end of last week. I am not too sure how I would feel about basing my school’s possible need for intervention based on how many likes It has on Twitter or thumbs up on Facebook. The problem with using social media for this sort of exercise is that people tend to be overly negative about things, a parent is much more likely to highlight lousy practice than they would good practice. After all good practice is what you would expect, right?
I have always believed actions should be based on the evidence presented and not on hearsay, whichever way you look at social media, quite a lot of what is on there is hearsay. Of, course Ofsted did not go into any details of what this would involve, only that it was part of the “innovation and regulation plan”, and was working with the Department of Education on a “data science project”.
So, will anything come of it? I doubt it although it is always good fun to through ideas out there and possibly using near real-time feedback would be a great idea, I am just not sure that Facebook and Twitter is the way to do. As I mentioned earlier, it will probably give skewed judgement as most people go to social media to put a negative spin on things. Although I said getting near real-time feedback would be a great idea, one downside would be that people would be shooting from the hip rather than thinking about things. I guess that is social media though, a very reactionary medium.
Lots of schools are already using real-time data already; I am sure this could be expanded upon and improved over time, without having to go anywhere near social media for data. As things in this area year on year, it will become a vital way in which Ofsted can come to their decisions as to which are weak and which are strong schools and colleges.