Engaged and informed parents play a vital role in a student’s education. But all too often, parents are bombarded with different requests from teachers regarding academic issues, after-school programs, and sports clubs. It becomes challenging for both the parent and the student to stay on top of things and genuinely understand whether they need help or guidance.
We know that parents can profoundly influence student outcomes. If a student receives more support at home, there will be a higher chance of that student becoming successful. Also, school officials have also realized the value of participative parents. Parents and teachers who can seamlessly communicate with each other form a strong team that can help overcome obstacles and leads to student success.
Communicating with Parents Using Technology
The traditional method of communicating with parents has always been through notes, newsletters or even phone calls. The integration of digital technology tools has changed the way that we’re able to communicate with parents to help drive educational outcomes.
One of the best ways to keep parents informed about academic events is through a blended platform that enhances communication. Ideally, this platform becomes a one-stop-shop for teachers to communicate with parents, and for parents to have a bird’s eye view of how their child is doing in school. For example, if there was a student who had a sporting event that they needed to attend, their parents might receive a notification about it which allows them to keep track of student activity.
In the past, teachers would send notes home with the student if they wanted to talk with a parent. Often, parents end up being bombarded with slips of paper about field trips, the sports calendar, and the school’s writing workshop. On top of that, there is a high potential that these notes either end up in the trash or end up getting lost because the student forgets. Digital technology has moved us away from the paper classroom and into a classroom that’s almost paperless. Technology has helped bridge the gap between parents and teachers.
Parents who are using digital technology to communicate with students and staff need to be mindful of the attention span of others when sending messages. It is good practice to keep information short and to the point. The ability to communicate with teachers and parents online has changed the way parents are engaging with their children.
Keeping Parents Informed
Many parents have experienced positive outcomes when working with current technology that helps to keep students engaged and parents informed. In addition to keeping parents in the loop, digital technology has helped teachers to create efficient and effective processes. For example, teachers can send out mass text messages to students rather than asking each student to deliver a note. This saves the teacher time and energy, and it’s an efficient way to communicate with both parents and students.
Teachers can use technology to set up a digital classroom calendar as well so that parents will always have access to the most current events. Teachers can also post homework assignments, and class updates within the calendar, which allows parents to maximize their participation.
Enhanced Parent Engagement
Digital technology tools can help bridge the gap between parents and teachers. These types of tools can be used to keep parents informed regarding student grades or activities. In order to keep parents engaged, communication between the parent and the teacher must be consistent. Primarily though, communication is key to any type of engagement structure, and when parents feel connected to their school, their child feels engaged also.
Teachers can also use digital technology to schedule parent/teacher conferences. Some parents are a bit anxious when it comes to parent/teacher conferences, but that anxiousness can disappear if there are open lines of communication. Digital tools allow parents to get a 360-holistic view of their child as well which can also help to ease any worries a parent might have about a parent/teacher conference. In addition to communicating with parents and squashing any worry, the teacher can also use digital tools to build portfolios for each student. This allows the teachers to stay organized, and give them something they can share with a parent.
As technology continues to evolve, the role of parents in education will become more critical. Schools and teachers can leverage technology tools by making sure that teachers, students, and parents understand the benefits of using technology to improve communication and the partnership between parents and teachers.