“Parents’ needs are changing. Many schools are experiencing a growing demand from parents for greater reassurance about their child’s well-being, achievement an progress.” (http://bit.ly/dRNWm1) Engaging parents through technology could be an effective means to stay informed in their child’s learning. This allows parents more flexibility in the sense that they can access the teacher’s form of communication in their own time, and in whatever space they would like. Technology is simply a very convenient way to keep consistent communication with the parents of your students. According to the site: http://bit.ly/iczvgB the first step to start this “technological relationship” is to ask parents what is accessible to them, as well as what they are comfortable using. Then, you need to decide what would be the most efficient way to share your information.
There are several types of technology that I can see being useful to parents. Basic email is probably the most common way to communicate. Twitter would be an excellent tool to get students and parents mingling together on one unified program. In some instances, cell phones could be used as reminders or updates. If students or the teacher has a blog, parents can be informed of this and can keep up to date that way.
Challenges could occur such as those parents who do not have access to the forms of technology that every other family in the class has. What do you do for that one family who can’t participate in the same way as everyone else? Do you create an alternate method of communication? Another challenge is to keep parents up to date on checking regularly on their child’s learning progress. Some type of reminder would likely be a common solution to this. Finally, some parents might have the access to technology, but they don’t feel comfortable using it at all.
I would love to go above and beyond with the amount of technology that I’ve seen teachers use to communicate with parents. It wouldn’t be an easy task to begin, but very rewarding. At the start of the semester, I would offer a session for the parents to help them get familiar with different technology that I would use during the semester. This is where I would get feedback and discuss what their limitations are, and if they would like additional assistance.
Overall, I think that using more technology to engage parents with the school life of their child is the way to go. Parents can access it on their own time, they can show their kids that they are making an effort to stay connected with the school, and that they themselves can share their learning with their child. I think we should all make the effort to make this a regular practice in our classrooms.