Parent engagement has a positive impact in any child’s life. While the nature of the child and the company s/he stays in matters significantly, it is from home that young people derive lasting effects on their character, mindset and attainment.
It is no surprise that parents have an influential role in the education of their children. Parents are the first teacher to any child. Before they get into the formal education, it’s the parents who educate the child long before the formal education starts. Parents engagement is necessary and has a positive impact on the child. Parents can help their child most by having regular and meaningful conversations with them, by setting high aspirations and by demonstrating their own interest in and support of learning at home and at school.
Parent involvement is highly significant in the lives of children. “Ongoing research shows that family engagement in schools improves student achievement, reduces absenteeism, and restores parents’ confidence in their children’s education” (Garcia & Thornton, 2014). According to Garcia and Thornton, students with involved parents or other caregivers earn higher grades and test scores, have better social skills, and show improved behavior.
Using technology for various learning and teaching needs is what we have been seeing in the industry. And indeed, it is an effective way to communicate with parents. With technology being the norm in today’s society, it is not only being used to keep parents informed about their child’s grades, assignments, events, etc but also used to actively engage the parents in their child’s learning journey.
Following are some of the ways with which you can engage parents in the student learning with the help of education technology.
1. Classroom Communication Toolbox
Emails, messages are a thing of past. They are still used for direct information but to convey the small things, a crux of everything, just to keep parents informed about every small little thing related to their child or about other things that would help the parent or the child; it is essential to expand the toolbox. With latest apps and newsletter you can share all the information that you want to convey.
These tools not only help extend learning beyond the classroom but also give parents tips and ideas for learning activities they can do at home.
2. Include Parents Through Video Conferencing
Engaging parents through video conferencing in some of the classroom activities can be really helpful. Google Hangout, Skype and FaceTime let parents participate in class activities while being in a remote location. With many parents working, on travel away from the office or with other children at home it’s often hard to come to the school, so videoconference tools come in handy.
3. Incorporate Social Media
Parents, teachers and students all have presence across various social media platforms and to make use of that for engagement among the classroom and students can benefit beyond expectation. Also, communication needs can be fulfilled through social media efficiently. With Facebook groups, email chains and digital newsletters, they can stay more informed and offer more help and expertise during a time that’s more convenient for them.
4. Make Information Easy to Access With the Cloud
Digital portfolios create a place for teachers and students to store work in the cloud. For example, students can develop digital portfolios to access all of their college readiness work, resumes, informational interviews, essays for college and scholarship applications. And because the information resides on the cloud students can access it any place, any time. As more millennials become parents they will expect school districts to use technology to communicate with them and their students. While districts need to adjust, it’s not an insurmountable challenge because many of these technologies are in use already. Think of this list as a great way to get organized.
In what other ways do you use technology to engage parents? Share with us in the comment section below.