Sunday, November 10, 2013

5 ideas to strengthen the home-school connection in the 1:1 classroom

This article originally appeared at Partners in Learning - 1:1 Hot Topics

Family involvement is important to student success in every classroom. In 1:1 classrooms, the traditional note home in the backpack can be replaced with new methods allowing innovative educators to access a whole new set of tools that can strengthen the home-school connection. If you’re still connecting with parents the way you always have, here are some ideas to update your practice.

1) Open Access  
  • Make sure you provide time for parents to access computers and the internet at your school. There are plenty of computers and they’re not always in use. Be creative. Work with the school’s PTA and provide access for parents who need it.

2) Student-led parent workshops 
  • Your students are learning some awesome new things in a 1-to-1 environment. Have them share with parents via student-led workshops showcasing their work.
3) Livestream
  • Invite parents into your child’s classroom via livestreaming using services like Google Hangout, UStream, and Livestream. Maybe a parent can help with a lesson or just watch some student presentations. Maybe you have parent volunteers work as tutors at certain times via livestream and set up a virtual tutoring station.
4) Facebook 
  • Start a Facebook group or page to give parents a window into their child’s classroom. Have students do the updates. Not only is this a great way for parents to stay in the loop about what is going on, it also gives students a chance to publish for a real audience. See how Ms. Schoening did this with her first-grade class here.
5) Twitter
  • Give parents a live ticker into what is happening in class via Twitter which can be embedded in any online space like a website, blog, or wiki or delivered right to their phone using Twitter Fast Follow.

    See how educators are using Twitter Fast Follow to stay connected with families here.
These are just some ideas for getting parents involved in their child’s education. Which of these ideas would you consider trying? Do you have some ideas that are not listed here? If so, please share.

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