I thought topic would a useful post for readers, and hope you’ll suggest other resources.
You can also see all my “The Best…” lists related to parent engagement here.
Here are my choices for A Beginning List Of The Best Resources On Using Technology To Help Engage Parents:
Joe Mazza, the coordinator of #PTchat on Twitter and a school principal in Philadelphia, has put all his parent presentations online in one place. He has many more resources on his site there, and should be the starting place for anybody interested in using social media to connect better with parents.
Tech May Have A Role, But Is Not Cure-All, For Parent Engagement is a post I wrote on the topic, and Myrdin Thompson wrote a response titled Did the Tech fail or was there a failure to connect to the Tech?
Lorna Costantini has developed an excellent presentation on how schools can use technology to connect with parents.
is how she describes it:
video some of the best practices of innovative teachers and parents who are using digital technology to form strong positive working relationships and give parents tools that they can use to support their child’s learning.
The Impact of Technology on Parental Involvement: Perceptions of teachers and guidance counselors regarding the impact of a parent portal component of a student information system on parental involvement at the high school level is a very long title for a potentially useful report.
‘Public Square’ Website Solicits Parents’ Insights is another good post from Michele Molnar over at Education Week. She reports on how a Florida school district is using social media in an ambitious effort to discuss and plan ways to increase parent involvement, and includes several good links.
Data Through Parent Portals: An Exploration of Parental Motivation, Data Use, and the Promise of Prolonged Parent Involvement is from The Harvard Family Research Project.
Here are a post on schools providing computers and home internet access to families:Home Computer Project Expansion & Assessment Results
“Flipping” classroom instruction is pretty popular these days, and Peter DeWitt has two posts over at Education Week suggesting ways to apply the concept to parent communication:
I thought readers might find it useful if I a handful of tech tools that might be helpful with teacher/parent communication.
Remind 101 is described by teacher Lisa Mims as “a safe way for teachers to text message students and parents without giving out your phone number or requiring theirs!” You can read more about it at her blog post.
Over at my other blog, I’ve posted a list of easy ways anyone can create their own website, including teachers and students.
However, there are also a few web tools out there specifically designed for creating class websites. I haven’t tried any of them, but they might be worth a look:
Let me know what tech tools I’m missing!
Ideas to Increase Parent Communication in Schools is a post by principal Eric Sheninger that includes a number of useful ideas.
How Should Schools and Parents Be Involved in Kids’ Online Lives? is a very useful post from MindShift that provides advice to parents on how to handle online access with their kids.
It doesn’t quite fit in list, but I’m adding it, anyway.
Teacher and blogger Vicki Davis highly recommends Celly for parent/teacher communication.
Here’s what she writes (followed by the video):
I love app. Here’s the video about how you set up a parent “cell” so you can communicate with them via cell phone WITHOUT giving all of them your cell phone number! LOVE IT! Awesome.
post by Jess Young at Edublogs discusses a parent survey and offers a useful “take” on using tech tools for parent involvement.
Two Easy Tools Teachers Can Use to Coordinate Parent Volunteers is a useful post by Richard Byrne.
Parents’ Top 12 Back-to-School Tech Questions is a useful article from Common Sense Media.
It answers to these questions:
What’s the right age for my kid to bring a cell phone to school?
What are the rules about using cell phones at school?
Should students and teachers be friends on Facebook?
Back-to-school shopping has gotten so commercial. How do I avoid ad overload?
Should I let my child bring an iPod (or other music device) to school?
Should I upgrade my kid’s iPod Touch — even though it works fine?
Does reading on the iPad or Kindle count toward my kids’ daily reading minutes, or would it just be considered screen time?
How do I make sure my kids are ready for learning when school starts?
What should students know about sending email to a teacher?
Should schools teach responsible online behavior?
What should I know about my school’s 1:1 device program?
Are there parental controls for schools’ 1:1 device programs?
How can I find the best educational programs to use at home with my kids?
How social media helps bridge the gap between home and school is an article in The Guardian.
Here’s an excerpt:
But there’s no point in shying away from changes, says Stewart. “The way that we communicate has changed dramatically over the past five to 10 years: why shouldn’t the way we communicate with parents reflect ?”
“Parent engagement is paramount,” adds Thomas. “The more parents are involved in children’s learning, the more children want to do better and the harder they work.”
Parental Involvement: A Neglected Resource is an ASCD post some ways to develop parent involvement with technology. I’ve got to say that I’ve got some questions about how effective the tools and strategy described there really are but, nevertheless, I’ll add it to list. I’ll let readers make the call.
Ways To Use Technology To Engage With Parents is a useful short article at EdTechReview.
Parents Look to Teachers for Help Using Educational Media at Home is a useful article from The National Writing Project.
It different ways schools are providing assistance to parents in helping them guide their child’s use of online sites.
DeWitt started documenting school events and introduced parents to the concept of flipped communication. Some of the videos he shared recapped the week’s activities (e.g., 11-26-13 and 11-18-13) and others chronicled bigger occasions such as Fire Prevention Day, which brought together fire departments from two communities (Poestenkill welcomed 100 new students when a nearby school closed, making the collaboration especially significant).
Bill Ferriter sent a tweet out about a site called Sign-Up Genius. It looks like a very easy tool to use to have volunteers sign-up for just about anything, including volunteering at school.
Talking to parents in 140 characters: how are schools using social media? is a useful article in the British newspaper, The Guardian.
SchoolCircle – Organize Your Communication to Parents is a post by Richard Bryne about a new online teacher/parent communication tool called… SchoolCircle.
Parent Communication Toolbox is a very useful post from Edutopia, written by Gwen Pescatore.
Using Scannable Technology to Reach Parents Year Round is from Edutopia.
Pinellas schools hope app engages parents is an article from a Florida newspaper about a large school district creating a smartphone app for students.
Here’s how it begins:
Pinellas County schools have launched a new smartphone application meant to encourage parents to play a more active role in their children’s education.
The “PCS Family Engagement Mobile App” has a link for every Pinellas school and gives parents information on academic standards, student scholarships and ways to get involved in their child’s education. Links in the app provide “How To” videos to help children be successful in school, parent workshops and support groups, information on upcoming events, ways to volunteer in the district and family engagement tips.
The free app, available for Apple and Android devices, allows users to message teachers and other school officials directly, sends users notifications and adds events to the phone’s calendar.
5 Ways to Engage Parents Using Google Drive is from Corkboard Connections.
Parent Communication: Easy and Convenient Tools that Keep Parents Informed is a useful blog post from teacher Rachel Lynette’s blog. She offers suggestions of how she uses tech to connect with parents and, most importantly, shares some concrete examples.
How using technology can keep parents in the loop is an article in eSchool News that shares several examples of how schools are using tech to connect with parents.
Homeroom lets teachers create private photo albums of classroom activities for their students’ parents.
You can read more about it at TechCrunch.
Connecting Parents With Common Core Through Remind & Twitter is a useful post at Education Week.
Here’s how it begins:
How often does this conversation happen for parents? “How was school today, what did you do?” We all know the response – “nothing, not sure, can’t remember, don’t know” etc.
At John Swett Elementary (@jseroadrunners), we’ve torn down the classroom walls and are connecting parents with school life and Common Core implementation on a daily, even hourly basis! Remind and Twitter have profoundly changed our communication flow from what’s happening in the classroom to directly connecting with parents, via their phone.
Is Facebook the New School Web Page? is an article appearing in Ed Tech Magazine.
Here’s its subtitle:
The popular social media site has revolutionized how some schools communicate with students and parents.