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Connect with our communities with - and about - ICTs

How does your school talk with and involve its community of families and whānau? There will, no doubt, be a range of ways that you inform, discuss and share the learning in your school, from newsletters to parents' evenings.

  • To what extent are you able to extend these conversations using technologies? Why would you?
  • And to what extent do you also need to deliberately involve your community when you talk about how we can use ICTs for learning?

This forum aims to explore ways to make connections with your community using different technologies, and the benefits provided by these connections. Commentators include: Moana Timoko, Janelle Riki and Togi Lemanu (National Blended e-Learning facilitators for Māori and Pasifika).

Until then, check out this snapshot from Enabling e-Learning, in which Principal Dave McShane, teacher Susan Lee, and kaumatua from Te Kura o Kutarere discuss how technologies have helped to engage the local community to support and share students' learning.

Source: Enabling e-Learning: Leadership - Beyond the Classroom


  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 03 Sep 2012 2:35pm ()

    Kia ora tatou and welcome to this week’s newest online forum on ways to connect with our wider community – through and about ICTs. It is my pleasure to introduce several key mentors to this discussion, Moana Timoko, Janelle Riki and Togi Lemanu, who are national facilitators for the Blended e-Learning PLD programme - with a particular interest in engaging whānau and Pasifika families.

    Son with parents

    Joining us in this discussion is also Susan Lee, principal of Te Kura o Kutarere, Jane Danielson, principal of Hingaia Penisula School and Valay Raman, senior IT specialist from Finlayson Park School.

    We’d love to hear how you engage, inform and encourage participation with your parents - through the use of technologies, so stop by, introduce yourselves and share a story or two.

    Tess Smile

  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 04 Sep 2012 3:11pm ()

    Kia ora and thank you Moana and Janelle, there is loads to think about here - when engaging with family and whānau.

    I see Facebook and Twitter has been mentioned already. Perfect timing >> Edtalks have just uploaded this video of Rachel Boyd (DP and elearning leader at Waiuku Primary School) talking about using Facebook and Twitter to Build community relationships with social media


  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 07 Sep 2012 1:18pm ()

    Thank you Valay, your school has obviously been proactive about finding ways to connect with your wider community - beyond ‘computers in homes’. Inviting parents into school as well as the radio station are innovative strategies, to positively engage with parents.

    How long has it taken you to set these systems and ideas in place and what have been the parent’s reactions? 

    Sometimes it’s just so hard to get parents into school.....

  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 12 Sep 2012 4:53pm ()

    Thanks Jane, for sharing which e-tools you use to connect with parents. As a parent, I would really appreciate this on-going contact. As you’ve noticed some schools prefer to block Facebook, whereas you’re harnessing its potential to connect.

    I’ve just been in the today's LIVE Enabling e-Learning event: Social media and ethics for teachers working online with the Teachers Council (which was fantastic, recording available) and was wondering how you set up protocols and expectations for your teachers - when using these tools?



    Related links:

  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 13 Sep 2012 9:49am ()

    That's a lovely story Diane, I could really visualise this happening. It also reminds me of the 'flipped classrooms' or 'inverted instruction' method as mentioned in the Home and Authentic Learning thread.

  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 19 Sep 2012 11:00am ()

    Thank you for sharing your examples here Amy. From your story, as well as the scenarios shared by Diane and Valay, its clear to see how important it is to make F2F connections with parents too. Providing in-school opportunities to inform and upskill family/whānau about e-learning, no doubt has long-term benefits for the families involved.

    I’m just wondering how many parents/caregivers have access to mobile phones and how we can harness the potential for group text messages and feeds from social media sites (Facebook, Twitter). Is anyone doing this already? I’m also wondering how many whānau have smart/android phones - which can read QR codes?

    Allanah King has bookmarked iPad Activity: Open House Scavenger Hunt where one teacher created a sheet that had instructions for a scavenger hunt around the school– using QR codes. The purpose was to give the parents and kids the information needed to begin the new school year. This idea could be incorporated into school visits, report evenings, trips away perhaps? This could be a great way to entice parents to engage with their children on a mobile device -  that is both educational and fun.

    Interested in more?  Janette Hoggard has bookmarked a generator that creates the QR codes for your treasure hunt. You must put in at least 5 questions and answers and click create!


    QR code

  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 01 Feb 2013 3:08pm ()

    Merivale School are doing some exciting things to connect with the local community. Their radio station (107.5 FM) has been going out live on air for two years now.

    They’ve set up their station with the radio bundle from Sitec, with four microphones in a small, dedicated space off from the library. They’re also licensed to play music through Apra.

     Merivale DJs at work

    Students get skilled in the art of on-air production and designate themselves roles – lead DJ, helper, interviewees etc. They korero in both English and Māori, sharing their mihi and sometimes even singing along to their own school song. The rush to get into the station at breaktimes, is a testimony to how much these students love this.

    They have a vested interest in involving their parents and some ring home to ask for song requests. Responses have come as far a-field as Auckland. The feedback from the community is incredibly encouraging and teachers have noticed improvements to oral literacy skills, as well as self-confidence and self-managing skills.

    Merivale School welcomes visitors if you want to know more.

    Anyone else connecting with their community via radio waves? If so, how is this working for you?

  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 01 Feb 2013 3:17pm ()

    Thanks for the feedback Nathaniel Smile I was pretty impressed when I visited yesterday. They were literally rushing in through the door at break time. Their professionalism was something to be proud of too Smile

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Beyond the Classroom

Beyond the Classroom

Beyond the classroom - Connecting school to the wider community with and about technologies.