In an era where children are growing up “online,” and schools embrace distance learning, teachers should engage the student’s families to go digital. But connecting with parents proves to be trickier because – unfortunately, parents are not digital natives.
For this reason, teachers can help raise digital parents by helping them learn healthy concepts about digital use. It includes exposing them to digital tools that encourage and prepare guardians to take on the responsibility for their children’s education and support their social, emotional, and academic growth.
Here are easy ways of encouraging parents to go digital.
Ways of Encouraging Parents to Go Digital
1. Expand classroom communication using multiple channels
Institutions should understand that no single communication platform works for every parent. Therefore, tutors should use new channels to pass information to parents. For instance, instead of the regular in-person meetings or emails, you can employ websites, e-newsletters, specialized apps to let parents and teachers communicate effectively.
Since implementing these strategies require significant staff effort, institutions can start small, like adding one or two methods to their current approach meanwhile. Or, conduct surveys and use metrics such as response rates to know the popular channels to use.
2. Hold parent’s meetings through video conferencing
With most guardians working remotely or traveling often, it can be hard for them to physically come to school for their kids’ academic matters.
However, you can engage them in their children’s classroom activities while in remote places through video conferencing channels like Skype, FaceTime, or Google Hangouts.
You can also host virtual events and have every parent participate in school tours and parent meetings through video conferencing.
3. Communicate often using texts
Text-based apps have effectively broken communication barriers between schools and parents more than calls and formal meetings. It is possible to frequently share a student’s progress through text messages, especially if they can’t get time to attend formal gatherings or call back.
A simple text about day-to-day school activities can be a game-changer that keeps parents involved in their kids’ academic lives. And, the fact that messaging and replying is instant allows faster communication between both parties.
4. Strengthen social media presence
Guardians are spending more time on social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp. For this reason, schools should take stock of their online presence or beef up their existing channels through constant and frequent academic content uploads.
You can engage in discussions, and conversations send alerts online for parents to access. Another way to boost social media presence is by using paid adverts or elevating the institution’s search engine optimization on browsers.
5. Establish parent ambassadors
Well, some parents resonate more with information coming from their fellow parents other than school staff.
Therefore, a teacher can establish parent ambassadors to help engage and show solidarity with other parents by encouraging communication channels like social media groups amongst parents.
6. Let parents help in designing your communication tactics
Do you want to encourage your parents to go digital? If yes, allow parents to figure out the most convenient channels they feel more comfortable using or let them know the methods you’ll use for communication beforehand.
You can help achieve this by engaging the guardians via multiple platforms, online surveys, and advising parents on participating in their children’s education.
7. Use data to show students progress
Instead of making parents wait for their student’s academic assessment reports at the end of the learning period, teachers can use data tools to show students’ learning progress during the learning session.
Teachers can show parents where their children excelled, where they need to improve, and this allows them to understand classroom activities.
Other Digital Tools Parents Can Use to Support Their Children’s Learning
Remind is a powerful tool that allows teachers to bridge a gap to parents who feel disconnected in their kids’ school progress. Tutors can share files, videos, links, remind parents and students about assignments or organize school trips with both parents and students on the platform.
This tool offers teachers a free service and has excellent features that allow parties to read receipts, create groups, add co-teachers, schedule meetings, and set office hours. Better still, parents can get near-daily communication from teachers, and there are 70 language options.
Spotlight is a digital solution that fosters group work in a child’s learning process. It allows teachers to involve parents and update them on classroom activities.
The teachers send parents links to personalized video report cards covering the student’s performance history in individual subjects, growth areas, and improvements.
Apart from that, parents can sign up to be secret readers and trade places with teachers to volunteer to teach some parts or read stories to the learners.
Spotlight can also translate the video news and progress reports into the receiver’s native language-such as Spanish, Arabic, Vietnamese, and Mandarin Chinese.
Class Dojo helps parents, teachers, and students build a close-knit community by sharing classroom activities through videos, photos, and texts.
It provides guardians a deeper incitement into their kid’s day-to-day academic progress and helps students improve their behaviors and build character strengths.
This tool is free for users and can translate information into 35 languages-helping bridge the communication gap between non-English speaking parents and teachers.
SeeSaw is a platform where learners can demonstrate their learning, store, and share their work with their parents and get feedback immediately.
For instance, learners can record a video of their activities and their thought about them or take a photo and attach audio about the action for their guardians’ comments. And, teachers can encourage, give constructive criticism and suggest improvements before sending them to parents.
The parents can then reply to the learner with a question or an encouragement. It also allows teachers to review the comments and replies before the parents post them to ensure that the feedback is appropriate and constructive.
Letting parents into their children’s classroom through digital platforms not only molds a child’s classroom behavior but also allows them to witness their kin’s participation in their lives in multiple ways.
Well, engaging parents in their children’s academic life is a crucial responsibility for teachers. Thankfully, this responsibility doesn’t have to be problematic with technology.
Digital tools are a fun way of encouraging family involvement in a classroom. They allow real and focused conversations about the child, with both sides listening. Try one today!