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FORUM: How are you using technologies to both report to parents and encourage them to engage with their students learning?

The advent of the school interviews site has allowed for parents to take control of setting their own interview times and has freed up teachers and admin staff to get on with other tasks. It is an efficient, time saving tool that puts the control firmly back into the hands of the parents and allows teachers to easily see who is attending and follow up with those who are missing.

What other tools are teachers and schools using to streamline their reporting processes?

Are you using google docs or learning management systems to share information instead of a traditional paper report?

Do your students share their progress through blogs or other online sites?

Mission Heights School reports online to parents using moodles on open source software (Linux and OpenOffice). More on TKI.

Waiuku Primary SchoolWillowbank School, and many others, are using facebook and twitter to engage with their parent community.

Rachel Boyd: Building community relationships with social media from EDtalks on Vimeo.

 

How are you using technologies to report to parents and to encourage them to engage with their students learning?

Share your ideas and experiences with us in this FORUM.


Replies

  • Tim Gander (View all users posts) 02 Sep 2013 9:29am ()

    Hi Catriona, some great tools there - has anyone had experience with using Remind101, I looked into it a while ago but found out that it is only available in the US - has it been updated to support NZ?  It looks like a really quick and easy way to communicate with parents and students!

    Here are some of my thoughts and experiences of reporting and assessing in secondary school which I expressed on my blog a couple of weeks ago;

    "Last week I sat in the school hall on a cold and stormy thursday night, in the middle of the hall, possibly the furthest point from any source of heat you could have found, for 2 and a half hours furiously marking yr 9 tests ready for the junior deadline next week - I saw 3 parents out of 79 potential.  I couldn't help thinking there must be a better way to do this......

    Later that evening I went home and had a look at some of the Edchatnz talk on twitter - the conversation topic was about what teachers spent most of their time on, and it echoed my feelings that we spend far too much time on assessing and reporting, at the moment I feel like that is our main emphasis - and not enough time on teaching and nurturing our students, over the past 3 weeks planning interesting and engaging lessons has had to take a bit of a back seat as I have been marking books/assessments and writing reports for my junior and senior classes for the second of four occasions this year.  I'm not saying that there is no need to assess students - but at the moment I feel like we are assessing for the sake of assessing, but this is a different issue all together!!
     
    So, a few thoughts that I had to make the process more effective for everyone involved.  Instead of having defined reporting dates and evenings, the teacher keeps an online mark book where students and teachers could actually see how they were getting on in real time, updated and amended live (like the one below in I keep in google drive - see this post to set one up).... PE is an internally assessed subject, and for the last 2 report rounds we have not had any internals to report on as they are ongoing, and results are collected in the form of homework and other tasks - this information could be kept in the online mark book and parents/students could drop in at anytime - from the start of the year until the student leaves school.
    image


    We could be more flexible with meeting parents - it is clear that the system at our school is not working at the moment, especially mid year/mid-winter - a 3 parent night is not a good show, some staff didn't see anyone - many parents are working and have other commitments,  I don't think it would be too hard to increase this ratio with Skype/google talk hangouts and a booking system that parents could sign up for using a shared google calendar, you could open up times which were convenient to you and also prepare more examples of work and methods to improve learning if you specifically knew which parents you would be talking to.  You would also keep an option to talk face to face with parents who would like to meet with you, I still believe that this is the most valuable way of communicating, but I think we need to take steps to use technology to involve more parents.  The more parents you can connect with and start a relationship regarding the education of their children the better, and if it means being more flexible in our use of available technology then we should be doing something about it now.  I'm not too sure what is happening in other schools at the moment, some of these things could be in place already - I'd be really interested to hear if anyone else had any other thoughts or ideas?"
     
    So in relation to this forum I can see there are some great ideas being used already - are they implemented schoolwide or is it down to the individual teacher?  Has anyone used online conferencing with parents - how did it go?
  • Tim Gander (View all users posts) 14 Nov 2013 11:06am ()

    I checked with 101 support and it is not available in NZ at this stage, which it a real shame.  I haven't looked for an alternative as I have stuck with email and encouraged students to install the gmail app on devices so they can see messages staight away.  Let me know if you find anything else which works well as I'd be keen to give it a go and see it as a really useful tool.  Thanks, Tim

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Beyond the Classroom

Beyond the Classroom

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