LPS Goes Digital for Q & A

By: Bill Schammert

Lincoln Public Schools is experimenting with a question and answer session for the digital age.  It's their new live online event, Connect-LPS.

It's a superintendent, a camera, and the world-wide-web.  This newest LPS event was designed to give anyone a chance to ask superintendent Dr. Steve Joel a question.

“The theory behind this is to engage,” Dr. Joel said.  “You engage by invoking two-way conversation.”

The questions ran the gamut, from the fairness of open enrollment, to the reasoning behind some recent low district-wide test scores.

“Measure us by how we respond to bad numbers,” Dr. Joel responded during the thirty-minute live webcast.  “That's the mark of education quality today, more than a poor score.”

Dr. Joel says it's vital for the district and its administrators to understand the pulse of the community.

“People want to know that their dollars are going to the right thing to help educate kids in the community.”

The online subscribers were fairly minimal for the first-time event, peaking at about 30.  Although, dozens of questions came via E-mail and Twitter prior to the live webcast.

“This is a good first start,” Dr. Joel said.  “We'll see what it morphs into, but my guess is, like everything else, we'll get better at it.”

Dr. Joel is expected to answer any questions he didn't get to during the Connect-LPS event, on his blog in the near future.