Parent involvement and communication is key to the idea of partnerships in learning. How many times has a student returned home from a day at school and been asked: “How was your day? What did you learn in class?” and merely replied, “Ok. Not much.” Our classrooms are bursting with exciting learning opportunities and terrific activities that support student growth and development—we simply need to find a way to share this from school to home.
Many educators are turning to class blog pages, wikis and Twitter accounts as new vehicles to deliver communication to the homes of our students. In some of our Simcoe County schools, printed classroom newsletters have been replaced by Dropbox folder invitations and tweets about the day’s learning. Technology is shaping the daily experiences of our students, and this should beckon us to join in and use the tools that matter to them when we communicate about them.
I recently held a “Twitter for Parents” workshop at my school (Orchard Park PS) during one of our Parent Engagement Nights. It was a success—and a great learning moment for me (as well as the parents who attended). We discussed the importance of knowing the scope of a child’s online activities, how we can ensure safety and responsible use when using Twitter, and of course, how Twitter could give our school one more tool to keep our parents (and school community) informed about important events and our student learning.
We have many technology tools that will allow us to stay connected and informed. Whether or not you think that tweeting is something for you, it could be a terrific opportunity to finally get to the bottom of the question, “What did you do at school today?”
If you want to have a look at a SCDSB School Twitter page, you can check out our Orchard Park account @OrchardParkPS.
Make sure you follow @SCDSB_Schools on Twitter for the latest updates and news about our board and schools.
Neil Finney is a teacher at Orchard Park Public School and a regular contributor to Sharing Simcoe. Read his bio here.