Recently I read this blog post about how teachers/schools can use technology to increase parent engagement. I found this useful because in my own school experience parental involvement was minimal right from elementary school. It was 2000 and at the very beginning of the push for schools to go paperless which is great; what wasn’t so great was that the tech hadn’t really caught up and many homes didn’t have computers quite yet. Rather than finding other ways to communicate with parents they relied on having students writing notes about school events in their agendas and hoping parents remembered to check them. The article goes over 5 tech that can be used to connect with parents including social network accounts, iTunes U, Remind HQ, Seesaw, and Blippar.
I use remind HQ currently to get updates about #Saskedchat and love the system. I have known for awhile that I want to use it as a tool to remind my students of homework or just for class/school updates, as I know as a university student there have been a few times where I could’ve used a reminder about assignments, room switches, or even if a class is cancelled. I also love that it is a safe and secure system with no students receiving your number and that students can get the reminders as texts to their phones. The idea of using remind for parents is one I had never thought of before but would be great when needing parent signatures, snow days, and big homework assignments, and would allow parents a glimpse into their child’s school life.
I also like the idea of a class social network account, and would probably go with a class blog and Twitter account. I like the idea of parents getting to see what their child is working on in real time. And as a student at Globe Theatre School seeing snippets of our classes on their youtube channel was always really exciting.
Posting short videos like this of drama students rehearsing a scene or English students giving a presentation would both be beneficial for students who could watch their rehearsal back and learn from it and to parents who can see their child’s learning in progress. A class blog would also allow parents to come to you with any questions or concerns they may have about the lessons rather than hearing something from their child.
The other three I can’t quite see myself using in my classroom as I think that too much tech may overwhelm parents who do not have as much experience in using technology. iTunes U, Seesaw, and Blippar are also less common and thus there would be more of a learning curve for both teacher and parents.