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.
Educational technology is an effective way to communicate with parents. With technology being the norm in today’s society, why not use it as a way to keep parents informed about their child’s grades, assignments, events, etc.
I used educational technology to communicate and support my families every year when I was a classroom teacher. There are countless digital tools available, you just have to find the one that works for you and your families. What may have worked one year, may not be effective the next year.
Below is a list of educational technology I have used myself or suggest:
Teachers can send announcements, individual or group messages, create events that will allow parents to RSVP, photos, etc. with using Remind.
Digital portfolios of student work where comments can be made, communication among parents and teachers, student work can be pushed out as well as assignments to flip lessons or individual instruction on Seesaw.
Teachers can send class updates, videos, reminders, photos, create student portfolios, manage behavior, and even schedule parent-teacher conferences with Bloomz.
With ClassDojo, teachers can send photos, videos, create student portfolios, and manage behavior.
Teachers can create a page or a private group where parents can join. Videos, photos, updates, events, and more can be shared with parents through this avenue.
Teachers can create a profile for themselves or a class page for parents to follow. Characters are limited when posting updates, photos, videos, etc.
If you use Google Classroom, you can have parents sign up for notifications (emails) about whether or not assignments have been completed by their child.
Blogs (Weebly, WordPress, Blogger)
Blogs are a creative and fun way to get information out to parents. You can post lessons, photos, calendar availability, link surveys using Google Forms, and much more.
You can always send emails to parents with videos, photos, etc. attached. Creating contact lists makes this easier.
There are apps for the suggestions above in iTunes and Google Play, which makes communication easier and faster. I am an advocate for building and nurturing relationships with families. Without effective and purposeful communication among teachers and families, students have the possibility of falling behind in their studies, show no interest in academics, or become early dropouts. It not only takes a village to raise a child; it also takes a village to educate a child.
Garcia, L. E., & Thornton, O. (2014, November 14). The Enduring Importance of Parent Involvement. Retrieved from National Education Association: http://neatoday.org/2014/11/18/the-enduring-importance-of-parental-involvement-2/
Instructional Technology Coach
Tuscaloosa City Schools