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Involving Parents in Children's Learning


Year level - Primary
Cluster Type - 2010-2012 Traditional ICTPD Cluster
Context - Progress towards National Goal 4
National Goal
Family and Whanau to actively participate in their child’s learning
Cluster Goals
1. Schools will educate families and whanau about the importance of e-learning as a means of participating in their child’s learning
To make better connections with our parent community about the implementation of e-learning at each school in the cluster.
As the emphasis is being placed on creating, connecting and collaborating across the Cluster for both students and teachers it is essential that parents and whanau have an understanding of what that will mean for their children’s learning.
"Research shows that parents who are involved in their children’s learning, and encourage their children to be the best they can be, make a real and positive difference to how their children learn.  The influence and involvement of parents and whanau, in addition to effective teachers, has a significant positive impact on how well students achieve." 
Schools need to work with families, whanau, and their communities to foster understanding of how to use ICT effectively in learning. ICT provides new possibilities for following students’ progress and engagement…

From 'Enabling the 21st Century Learner: An e-Learning Action Plans for Schools'

What did you do?
  • Some schools have had parent information evenings regarding the implementation of e-learning in their school. While numbers have not been high, the responses from those attending have been positive.
  • Regular communication is happening with parents through school websites, class blogs and wikis, with some parents contributing feedback (this is an area that schools have targeted to address at parent meetings).
  • E-portfolios are being trialed in a number of schools and these are being used to share learning at parent/teacher conferences. See story on VLN for Goal 3.
Havelock North Primary 
  • Regular communication with parents regarding ways that parents can support their children’s learning through e-learning has occurred. 
  • All classes at Havelock Primary either have a blog or wiki which means that parents and children are encouraged to share and continue their learning at home. 
  • The Board of Trustees are extremely interested in the use of  e-learning and are supporting all endeavours by the staff and students and want to keep moving forward.
  • Right at this moment the school is switching to Google Apps for Education so that students can embark on more collaborative work and make their learning anywhere, anytime opportunities. 
  • Parents at Havelock Primary are hugely supportive with their children’s homework so the school sees this as another way of including parents in the learning process.
  • Teachers have been encouraged to send letters home to parents outlining how they can be involved in their child’s learning through e-learning.
  • The Junior School teachers are making a great effort in creating learning opportunities for their students where they can connect, create and collaborate by establishing and working on class blogs. There are links to their blogs from the school website class pages. 
  • Here is an example of communication between one of the classes and a student and parent who was up from Christchurch during the aftermath of the quake.
  • The Junior school are implementing e-learning programs at Discovery time and this is helping to get the message across to new parents at the school about the importance and relevance of e-learning to their child's learning.
  • The community has been surveyed to find out what internet access is available in homes, how many computers homes have and whether they would like their children involved in a digital classroom.  
  • We received more than  287 surveys back out of 320 which has been a great response.  
  • It has also given us a direction for strategic planning and knowing what access children at our school have to computers enables our teachers to be able implement programmes of work that can then be carried on at home - making first steps to anytime, anywhere learning.  
  • As far as administration for the school goes the information we have received means that we can use the technology to help with better communication with parents.
  • Many classes have blogs which we know parents are visiting, but our challenge is now to get parents to give feedback and feed forward.  
  • We plan to have a parent meeting to address this along with education on cyber safety and digital citizenship.
  • Google Forms was a great way to collect this information and we were able to embed the form into our website for parents to complete.  Here are some of the results.


What happened?

  • As we implement more learning around the use of Google Apps for Education in our schools (3 so far and 1 more coming on board in the next few weeks) the need to have greater communication with our parent community is obvious. 
  • Students are now sharing their learning with parents during the day and are wanting to continue their learning projects at home so parents are being asked to contribute by providing feedback to the student learning as it happens. 
  • Boards of Trustees in the 2 Google Apps schools are taking an active interest in the development of e-learning and are particularly supportive in providing the necessary equipment and infrastructure to make this happen. 
  • One BOT has established its own wiki to provide an area for shared information and another Board has requested more information around the use of portable devices and how they would be used in the hands of their children in order to support their learning. 

Next Steps:

  • All schools are planning to have parent meetings on digital citizenship / cybersafety and making e-learning connections with their children either this Term or next.
  • All teachers in the above schools to make the most of opportunities to educate their parents in the use of making appropriate comments in order to provide feedback on their child’s learning. eg. “kind, thoughtful, helpful” (advice given from Dorothy’s Lead Teacher Workshop)
  • Encourage teachers who are using e-portfolios with their students to model effective commenting and feedback by parents and peers
  • A continued emphasis at Lead teacher meetings to discuss and explore ways of engaging with parents and assisting them to participate in their children’s learning.