Parents, School, and Technology

Good news!  From a review of several recent studies, it appears that parent-involvement in their child’s schooling is on an increase.  Along-side this, it also appears that attitudes about technology, devices, and uses for schooling are shifting.

Some stats reported by Project Tomorrow included the following:

70% of parents (of high school students) were likely to purchase a mobile device for their child to use at school.  This trailed only slightly for parents of younger students (69% for middle school and 63% for elementary).

12-14% of parents think that providing devices are solely the school’s responsibility

Only 8-11% of parents indicate that it is “unlikely” they will provide devices, while 7-10% remain “unsure”.

Couple these stats with what we already know about gamily engagement being “a key driver in education reform” it seems that using technology is another way to broaden and deepen parent and family engagement in their child’s education.  Regardless, we must continue the up-tick in family member engagement in schools.

Some ideas:

1.  establish a BYOD (bring your own device) for students and family members as part of learning and meeting.

2.  Use the various social media and student information system features to engage parents and family members

3.  Every teacher ought to have their own web page to communicate assignments, after-hours support, etc. for their student and parents and guardians.

4.  Vary the hours of parent meetings and parent development sessions to accommodate a wide diversity of parent and guardian work demands.

5.  Know the parents and guardians who have personal or attitudinal barriers to full-involvement in their child’s school and flex to meet their needs.

6.  Help (don’t squelch) parents and guardians to advocate for their child’s school and schooling.  This is a key correlate to student achievement.

7.  More and more we have active family members and parents are from so-called nontraditional circumstances (e.g. grandparents, aunts, and uncles as parents, same-gender, transgendered, and gay persons as parents, homeless parents, and more).  Family engagement strategies should meet their needs as well.  There is no shortage of loving, supportive, caring adults in many kids’ lives who hail from these nontraditional circumstances.  They need to be brought into the school engagement mix as equals, not as anomalies or novelties.

If these 7 ideas do nothing more than cause you to think about your own involvement and your own school’s approach to broadening and deepening family involvement, now is the time while the up-tick is there.  Better are the times when we can use technology to help.

What did I miss?

JW

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