“Parent Teacher Chat” On Twitter — Guest Post

For people who are not familiar with Twitter, there are many organized opportunities for discussion called “chats.” These are scheduled times when people with interest in a particular topic can communicate and share at the same time. One of these is called Parent Teacher Chat.

I’ve invited Joe Mazza, one of the chat’s organizers,  to write a short guest post describing it.  Joe Mazza is a doctoral candidate at the University of Pennsylvania, and Principal at Knapp Elementary School in suburban Philadelphia.  He is currently completing his dissertation working alongside international family engagement scholar Dr. Joyce Epstein studying social media’s impact on home-school partnerships. He writes a blog called eFACE Today where he shares electronic Family and Community Engagement strategies.  Follow him on Twitter @joe_mazza

You can read a longer post about this topic at his own blog.

On Wednesday night, 12/7 at 9EST, #ptchat (Parent-Teacher) returned to the schedule of much anticipated weekly education chats. Teachers, principals, parents, directors and others around the Twitterverse came together to discuss a popular topic here at the end of 2011: Which websites or mobile applications can help parents support classroom instruction. Questions were posed to teachers in elementary and secondary settings such as…If you had to bookmark 10 websites on your student’s home computer, which ten would you choose and why?

A great deal of resources were shared during the hour long chat, and I will be blogging about many of them in the coming days to lend a helping hand to parents looking to maximize online time for their children. Khan Academy, Study Island, Starfall and other sites were mentioned and described, but there were also some notable mobile/tablet apps recommended.

Aparna Vashisht (@Parentella) and I moderated the chat, and we plan to gauge the feedback of all who contributed during #ptchat with a poll to identify a topic for next week’s chat. Current ideas include what teachers would like their students to be focused on during winter break, as well as snow day activities and more targeted approaches for using sites like Khan Academy.

Opportunities to engage families and communities using technology (eFACE) are growing on a daily basis as educators around the world share what works for their respective settings. With more and more families gaining access to today’s technologies, the percentage of families in schools without access to technologies continues to decline. Using social media and other technologies are just another way schools are using to “differentiate for their families” in order to partner with as many as possible.

Just this evening, I used Twitter to share the archive of last night’s #ptchat as well as resources for Khan Academy and Kathy Schrock’s Bloom’s Taxonomy for iPad Apps.

Thanks, Joe!

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