A lot of young parents become intimidated by formal conferences or can’t get time off work to attend. Curtiss Strietelmeier is a K–12 analyst for CDW•G. Working parents can sometimes feel left out if they’re not able to volunteer regularly. Websites, emails, e-newsletters, specialized apps and other digital media let parents see the work their students do in class. These tools help extend learning beyond the classroom and give parents enrichment tips and ideas for learning activities they can do at home. . If you’d like more advice on parental engagement strategy and how Weduc can help you deliver it. Educational research group Pearson reports that there’s increasing awareness and recognition among teachers and administrators that traditional parent-teacher conferences yield limited results, particularly for traditionally marginalized student populations. Text. Using technology to power your parental communication is a step towards better engagement, visibility and less administration. Using a tool like a dedicated communication app, you can use in-app messaging to start a two-way conversation with parents, where you and them can review the entire messaging history quickly and easily. Want to Enter a School Building? Don’t forget – it’s all about backing up the capabilities of this technology with the right strategy. In reality though, to really get the most out of parental engagement, you need to not just think about the what – you need to think about how you’re going to use technology, and why. One of the advantages of using technology to drive parental communication is that with the right tools, you can use automation to help you keep up engagement with less investment in time and resource. An engaging way for parents to be a ‘fly on the wall’ in the classroom. Whether that’s a percentage response rate, an increase in attendance of activities, or a reduction of calls to your school reception, a technology-based approach is a great way to do this easily. This article is part of the "Connect IT: Bridging the Gap Between Education and Technology" series. Using technology to power your parental communication is a step towards better engagement, visibility and less administration. Many teachers have found that the ability to text parents has made communicating with them much easier. Sending out a newsletter or adding an announcement to your website is also more of a broadcast approach than a conversational one. All it takes is a bit of forward planning and set up at the start, and you can have a whole campaign of automated messages going out to parents, keeping a steady stream of regular communication. Pearson offers eight points that specify how digital tools can improve parent engagement: SIGN UP: Get more news from the EdTech newsletter in your inbox every two weeks! The best way to monitor the success of parental engagement is to put in place some goals and measure performance against them. And because the information resides on the cloud students can access it any place, any time. Students … Teachers can now use data tools to show parents where their students excel and where they need improvement. Effective parental communication and engagement nowadays isn’t just about launching a new website, working up some pretty email templates or deploying a shiny new app. Minimize parent entitlement. If you really want to go to town, you can also use app-based messaging to share multimedia, such as images and video, to make your communication more engaging generally. where paper-based just can’t compete, is interactivity. While districts need to adjust, it’s not an insurmountable challenge because many of these technologies are in use already. Create a project or a portfolio assignment for students to complete. 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. Expand Your Classroom Communications Toolbox. Think of this list as a great way to get organized. And how can you leverage the capabilities of the technology to improve this communication? Google Hangout, Skype and FaceTime let parents participate in class activities while being in a remote location. How many responded? Technology lets schools and teachers more easily communicate … Courtesy of Kent Maslin Some teachers send a weekly Remind message to parents about what their kids are learning in class. 30 K–12 IT Influencers Worth a Follow in 2020, 8 Tips to Strengthen Parent Involvement With Digital Tools, How New Features in Collaboration Suites Power Classrooms, Survey: Education Among Top Industries for AR/VR Investments, 3 Ways to Configure Windows 10 for a Distraction-Free Experience, Modern Classrooms and Personalized Learning Are the Perfect Pair, 5 Steps to a Successful K–12 STEM Program Design, Modern Classrooms Energize Students and Teachers, The 6 C’s of Cybersafety: How to Keep Students Safe Online, The Do’s and Don’ts of Cleaning School-Issued Devices, #ISTE20 Live: Sessions on Equity and Online Learning Top Agenda, How IT Teams Can Better Manage Devices for Remote Learning, 3 Ways to Achieve a Successful School Improvement Initiative. In the first weeks of school, some teachers engage with parents via email and online surveys to figure out the best way to communicate and give parents advice on how they can be involved with their students’ learning. Harnessing technology to measure your communication can help you answer these questions and make the adjustments you need to take engagement to the next level. From podcasters to bloggers and speakers, these influential figures are helping school leaders, IT decision-makers and educators navigate today’s uncertain educational landscape. And how can you leverage the capabilities of the technology to improve this communication? . . Technology (or at least, the right technology) gives you the opportunity to get instant feedback from parents who receive your messages. This can be very handy when it comes to things like permission slips, event invitations, and inviting feedback on school activities and policies. As more millennials become parents they will expect school districts to use technology to communicate with them and their students. The application allows educators to send one-on-one, class-wide, and school-wide text updates to parents. Don’t forget – it’s all about backing up the capabilities of this technology with the right strategy. What kind of communication is going to get the best response, the most engagement, inspire the most parents to attend your event? Here are a few ideas on how to effectively communicate with parents using technology. Reinforce student responsibility. Digital portfolios create a place for teachers and students to store work in the cloud. Technology can also eliminate common barriers between schools and families. Technology mediated communications tools such as videoconferencing, phone conferencing, online chats,and emails are already being discovered as efficient mediums to enhance school/home communication that allow teachers, parents, and students to stay connected and informed. 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. During focus group discussions, teachers have told us they find that communicating with parents is now possible “24/7-anytime, anywhere.” Technologies like email, texts, websites, electronic portfolios, online surveys and video chat applications like Skype and Google Hangout … It’d be great if it was, wouldn’t it? A limitation of the majority of school communication at the moment is that a lot of it is one-way, or not truly two-way. Apps such as Remind are great for this and parents will appreciate being more connected. Do you need to make the messages more engaging? It means that messages don’t get missed, and communication is generally more engaging and responsive. Teachers and administrators at K–12 schools recognize the positive impact of parent engagement on student achievement, so many schools and districts now leverage technology to power better and more meaningful relationships with parents and families. He spent two years as an elementary teacher, two years as an educational trainer, 10 years as a director of technology and six years as a school superintendent. If you use a dedicated communication app, you may be able to set up auto-responses to certain types of messages from parents, or schedule a series of reminder messages on an event or activity to keep the receiver engaged.

ways to communicate with parents using technology

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