By Shaun Fagan
Did you know that two-thirds of teachers believe that students would perform better in school if their parents were more involved with their child’s education? Social media is a great tool to keep parents involved by sharing videos of students engaging with others during the school day. Imagine the dinner conversations if you saw a picture of your child planting flowers on school grounds on Earth Day.
While every school has its own unique way of promoting parent and community involvement, here are a few questions to get educators thinking about how they can bridge the gap between home and school:
1) What’s new with the student? While this should always be at the forefront of a teacher’s mind, it’s important to be ready to discuss the answer with parents. Rather than sitting down and having a conversation of moments you might remember, supplement it with video to display exactly what the student has been working on in the classroom. Remember how exciting that breakthrough moment was for a student during a course they struggled in? A video record of that lesson illustrates the student’s “a-ha” moment better than any verbal description could.
2) How can we (as teachers) stay engaged? When it comes to staying in touch with others online, Facebook and Twitter are on the top of the list. Social media provides an entirely new way to interact with teachers across the globe. Once a teacher has created a Facebook group, they can use it to share video of class adventures, teach students digital citizenship skills, and even create polls asking students a question like whether they want a pizza or ice cream party to celebrate a big win. Parents can join the conversation by viewing the classroom Facebook page and commenting on status updates.
3) Where does the community come into play? When you involve the community, you open the door to more resources, the chance to help others, and the opportunity to create a positive impact on the world around us. Reach out to parents and community members by showing a video of student engagement to describe how the classroom has improved with technology. Or use video to become involved with a program that supports education. “I Have a Dream” Oregon did this by focusing their efforts in the community on poverty-related challenges and providing students the tools they need to graduate.
It’s no secret that parental and community involvement has a positive impact on students’ learning. For schools looking to connect the classroom with parents and the wider community, a video is worth a thousand words.