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Engaging Parents/Whanau/Community

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By Jacqui Frost

This year has seen a large change in the way that we are communicating with families as our new principal has instigated the use of Facebook and updated our school website to make these mediums a source of up to date information and celebration.  Some families have engaged eagerly through Facebook/website and see this as the way to share. Other families still struggle with the concept of using these mediums.  To enable participate from all families there is still a lot of information that is passed on via the newsletter but there is much more collaborative participation from those using the Facebook/website pages.  As a great deal of photos and successes and learning examples are posted on the internet, more families are seeking to access the information in this manner.

Our community assemblies (1 per term) are now a much more multi-media affair and our goal is to show families how the learning taking place with the use of computers is valuable. It is vital that we as teachers continue to show strong links between what we learning and the tools that we use to get there. In our recent community assembly we were able to showcase some of the digi-award entries and some other ways that students add value to their writing using multimedia applications.  The authentic learning contexts for these coupled with the student’s eagerness to contribute using these digital avenues was yet another push into that direction.

Next term, we are planning to have a student led e-learning evening where students will be showing how using computers, etc aren’t replacing good old fashioned learning but is enhancing it. We hope that this will further engage some families.   

Through the digital citizenship PD teachers have had a lot of discussion about how to involve and inform our families and we hope to touch on this at next term’s e-learning evening, but a lot more development is going to be needed around this.  As part of our developing charter we will be addressing this and other ICT manners in a more in-depth manner.