It takes a village to raise a child. This is a popular saying with a simple message. When a community rallies together for its youth, the return on investment will be positive.
Parental involvement is a challenge that many teachers face. Studies show that “parent involvement in education is crucial. No matter their income or background, students with involved parents are more likely to have higher grades and test scores, attend school regularly, have better social skills, show improved behavior, and adapt well to school.”
Conversely, it is important to remember that our students’ caretakers face their own obstacles. Language barriers, long work hours, transportation and medical issues can keep them from being involved. Lucky for us 21st Century teachers, there are ways we can meet our families half way. Through the use of tech, we enable and increase parental involvement.
Canvas: A learning management system for online and blended learning. Students can communicate with their teacher, access resources and assignments. Furthermore, parents can access this same information using their child’s login.
Genius Plaza : A learning platform that allows students to extend their learning by teaching others. Resources are available in different languages, and students show what they know using co-creation tools like ebooks, videos, and games. The platform allows teachers to send notifications to students and parents in over 25 languages. Coupled with parent accounts that allow access to resources to help support their child’s learning at home.
Class Dojo: A simple communication and behavior management tool. Class Dojo allows teachers to reward points to students, sending real-time data to their parents. The SMS tool allows parents to translate messages from the teacher into their native language. Teachers can share a glimpse of the students’ day through the Class Story feature.
Remind: A simple communication tool that allows texting between a teacher and families. Have privacy concerns? This is done without giving out your personal phone number. Teachers can set office hours, create group messages, send images, and broadcast important information. Your parents will appreciate the open line of communication.
In summary, using these tools in your classroom is a great first step. Opening the lines of communication and being transparent will increase appreciation, trust, and comfort. Therefore, empowering families to be active in their children’s education. The cost of these products are free, the effort is small, however, the outcomes will be priceless.