At this moment, I’m sitting at the Burlington Airport, having a burger in the restaurant filling time before my 7:00 PM flight to Washington. Then is a short wait for the final leg to Raleigh and a full Saturday at home.
It was an excellent day in Burlington, working with educators from the Northwest region of the state. Vermont is an interesting place with very interesting people, and the workshop ended out being a lot of conversation and sharing of ideas. It was one of those days I wish somebody had recorded — everything.
One of the best stories I heard was told by a school librarian, Kathy Gallagher. Her daughter is a senior in high school and is currently shopping for colleges. Kathy said that all of the schools her daughter is considering have their own Facebook groups — except for one, a fairly small liberal arts school. …So her daughter set up the the group for the school. She said, “In just a couple of days, the group grew to over 300.”
This was very impressive — to all of us. But hoping to learn more, I asked, “So why did she set up the group?”
Gallagher looked at me, as if I had completely missed the point. I had completely missed the point. She said that her daughter was visiting the Facebook groups to get answers to questions about student life at the schools from the perspective of students. She wanted to ask the same questions about the small liberal arts school, so she created the community for the school, grew the community, and then had over 300 sources for answers to her questions.
This was, hands down, one of the most interesting and resourceful strategies for finding information on the Internet that I have ever heard. It has as muct to do with working the environment as it does with using Google.