Connecting with Parents at Home
I was a little bit hesitant when I was first introduced to students online blogs and online portfolios. I see the wonderful innovations that technology has provided and the amazing learning engagements kids from all around the globe can participate in, but I am cautious to make sure we are using it in a way that enhances learning.
I wanted to share a little bit about how I found my student’s blog to be a great way to have open lines of communication with parents as well as a space to work on our positive online presence.
My first year with online student blogs focused mostly on a paperless portfolio and a way students could showcase their learning to their parents during student led conferences and at the end of the year, looking back and reflecting on everything they had done. I started to see the pride students took in their learning and the way they were able to share and talk about their own learning process.
Last year I was introduced to the online blog platform SeeSaw which allows parents to be involved and get instant notifications when their child has submitted a piece of learning. (The teacher can set a filter to view all posts before they get published). This added a layer of communication and involvement with parents in their child’s learning.
Through some great Teachers Teaching Teachers Session at my school I was given some tools to engage students in a positive online presence, using their blogs as a place to practice. I also chose to share the lessons with the parents and throughout the second half of the school year we used our blogs as place to communicate. I could ask clarifying questions directly onto students posts and parents would be able to see not only my question but their child’s answer; allowing them better insight into their child’s thought process.
I am excited to explore these possibilities further in the coming school year and exploring other educators ideas and innovative use of classroom blogs.