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FORUM: Engaging parents/whānau with and through technologies | An Enabling e-Learning event

Wecome to our latest FORUM: Engaging parents/whānau with and through technologies - what does it look like?

STUDENT: "I reckon it’s very important for our parents to get involved with schoolwork that the kids have been doing, because then we can talk about it at home, so it’s learning at school and at home."

More and more schools are using technology to engage with parents/whānau and the wider community about their children’s learning. Some schools have also initiated programmes to teach parents/whānau about technologies, as well as the benefits for using these. 

In this video, Engaging parents in learning through technology Hillcrest Normal School shares how they have created a portal for parents using iPads and blogs. This has encouraged parents to engage with their children's learning - in any language. They've even gone one step further and provided opportunities for parents to use e-tools during learning celebrations, so they can better understand the process themselves.

Culturally responsive practice

TEACHER"We can get a whole new perspective on things when we get to know and understand the whānau and the child a bit better."

So, what does it look like, if we're being culturally responsive to the needs of our Māori and Pasifika communities?

In this interview (Duration: 10.21)  Jason Ruakere (LwDT facilitator, CORE Education), talks about how he connects with his learners and their whānau, in school, at the Marae as well as in their own homes. He does this in person as well as using technologies, such as iPads and through their blog.


Manu Faaea-Semeatu

2.When schools try to engage with parents/fanau of Pasifika learners, they may discover this can be a challenge (in the traditional sense). In this current thread, Manu Faaea-Semeatu and community members discuss, What is the best "communication tool" to engage with Pasifika parents? 

3. image Tui Yeager Engaging with whānau and the wider community - a kura perspective (June 2014). In this webinar recording, Tui Yeager (Tumuaki of Te Kura o Matapihi) shared her story about keeping whānau and iwi connected, informed and encouraged to participate with school - both face to face and via digital technologies. This is webinar is also supported by a blog post.


What do the parents think?

WHĀNAU: "You have to have a relationship with the teacher and the school, so you can help."

So, what are the benefits of using technologies to improve communication between school and home? In this video, Using mobile devices to improve communication parents from Holy Cross Catholic School, share the benefits of having access to school-based information via school websites and newsletters and are delighted with the ability to interact with their child's learning through text messages, a Facebook account and Google docs. Using these technologies has opened up a 'whole new world' between school and home.

What does this look like for other schools?

Just starting out engaging with the community using information and communication technologies? Why not try some of the Discussion starters and Practical steps in, Enabling e-Learning - Beyond the classroom | Engaging with the community.

If you've already been trialing strategies to engage with your whānau and wider community (with and through technologies), we'd love to hear more. Smile If we collect enough stories, we can create a shared document, to help give others ideas on how to inform/ consult/engage in partnership with parents/whānau using a variety of e-tools.

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  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 06 Jun 2014 10:27am ()

    imageAs parents who are teachers, we can't always make it to our own children’s school events to celebrate assemblies, sports or class trips.

    So how can we still get to access these special moments, without missing out as working parents?

    Image sourced from Flickr 

  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 06 Jun 2014 5:55pm ()

    Woops it would help if the shared Google presentation was shared so everyone could edit. Undecided All fixed now, go for it!

  • Nathaniel Louwrens (View all users posts) 11 Jun 2014 4:00pm ()

    This has reminded me of a NZ teacher (I can't remember who!) either earlier this year or late last year who live blogged a class trip and also shared it on Twitter. I thought this was a great idea and it connects instantly back to parents and the wider school community.

    I came across another teacher after doing a quick search who did the same thing a few years ago and wrote a blog post about it. He live blogged from his iPhone using the Wordpress app (Blogger also has an app), and captured photos of the students on their camp, and shared them quickly and easily to the blog.

    I think that one of the important things to consider when reaching the community is simplicity. The way you share with the community must be relatively straight forward for the teacher to do, and simple for parents/whānau/wider community to access.

  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 18 Jun 2014 9:23am ()

    Wow, thank you everybody, we now have several slides in our shared Google presentation sharing how schools are connecting, communicating and sharing learning with parents/whānau through technologies.

    We'd love to hear more! What do you and your teachers do to engage with parents/whānau? Come add your own ideas Smile

  • Moana Timoko (View all users posts) 18 Jun 2014 10:17pm ()

    Great ideas in the shared doc!  Ka pai!  I have added a slide about NCEA Student Tracking docs - Students tracking their own NCEA progress with assessments via a Google spreadsheet and then sharing the doc on with whānau.  It's really simple, and can be adapted to add any relevant NCEA info/Academic Tracking info.

  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 19 Jun 2014 9:26am ()

    Kia ora and thanks Moana, I can see how aggregating students' data like this, would be useful for whānau and teachers across a secondary school. He tino pai Cool

  • Tessa Gray (View all users posts) 19 Jun 2014 9:39am ()

    I have to say...as well as Moana's top tips for using technologies to engage with parents, there's some more wonderful examples from Allanah King, Catriona Pene, including 'gold' in Allanah's Google site on Home School Partnerships. Happy viewing everyone. 

  • Catriona Pene (View all users posts) 08 Jul 2014 9:24am ()

    Just saw this article in my rss feed  - thought I would add it to the discussion. 

    Schools Smarten Up on Parent Contact

    “With schools beginning to use their own custom smartphone apps, staying in touch with parents is easier than ever. Read more in this Stuff article by Alisa Yong, originally featured on the Dominion Post.”

    I think a key idea is that this school, like many others, is going to where the parents are already communicating and not forcing another space for them to be in. 

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Beyond the Classroom

Beyond the Classroom

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