Leadership in Digital Learning (4)

Leadership in Digital Learning (4)

ENGAGEMENT WITH YOUR PARENTS

During digital learning, parental involvement has evolved beyond simply wanting to know how the child is progressing, parents are also fulfilling the role of teacher or teaching assistant, so it is more important than ever for schools to be in close contact with parents and families. The most common way most schools keep in contact with parents is mainly by email or LMS but with their increased involvement parental engagement must be improved upon and managed properly.
Generally, parents want to know What is my child doing?… How is my child doing?… and What do I need to do? The under-listed help to serve as a guide for parental engagement:

1. Ensure Regular Communication is not Burdensome …This has got to be rule number 1!
Schools need to ensure that regular communication doesn’t become a burden for everyone involved. In this period, most people are already inundated with all sorts of information and emails. Emails should, therefore, be limited to particularly important updates. This is even more important as teachers who are already grappling with an added workload will be required to respond to the responses from the emails your school sends. Teachers should not be spending inordinate amounts of time emailing updates to families and of course, parents should not be ‘spammed’ with emails.

2. Provide Visibility of Work to Parents: In addition to generic school information, Parents will also be particularly interested in the work students are doing and the resources they are using. To reassure parents, all of the necessary information can be easily shared through an LMS platform or the school app. For example, schools can send out updates and announcements in the form of newsletters and blogs, as well as provide access to student timetables and learning resources,
making it easier for parents to manage their child’s day.

3. Share Learning Support Materials: As well as providing access to the child’s learning resources, it can also be helpful to share learning support materials. For many parents, this will be the first time they will be assisting with homeschooling and they may require some advice as well as a refresher course of key topics. If schools can ensure parents get this information regularly, Parents will become more engaged and empowered to support their child’s learning. To make a real difference, these communications need to be easy to access, relevant to each family and timely – so that parents can act upon the information before it’s too late. e.g. a Friday ‘newsletter’ detailing the following week’s activities, the resources needed and a section that gives parents adequate background information that can be useful in their role as teacher’s assistant. No parent wants to look bad.

4. Reassure Parents: Not every parent is tech-savvy and the provision of a dedicated phone number or email address parents can contact if they are struggling can be very helpful both for the parent and teachers who may busy teaching when the parent attempts to contact them. Parent survey’ when regularly and correctly administered, can also be an excellent source of timely feedback for school leaders and when the feedback is used as a developmental tool, it conveys the message we are listening’ and is immensely reassuring to parents and school leaders. Your checklist for leading learning in a digital school

Prepare
1. Consider access to resources -make sure it’s easy
2. Plan for a blend of synchronous and asynchronous activities
3. Reduce the workload by using prepared content, subscribe to a
4. Use EdTech tools to create interactive activities

Share
1. Combine learning content with video conferencing
2. Develop clear policies/ guidelines for teaching/ learning in the digital space
3. Centralise all your tools and resources for easy access
4. Ensure students, teachers and parents can collaborate

Assess
1. Create evidence-based activities
2. Find a simple way to collate all your assessment data
3. Consider using audio as a feedback tool
4. Think about assessment authenticity

Engage
1. Provide visibility of learning and assessment to Parents
2. Avoid flooding Parents with lots of emails
3. Share learning support materials
4. Keep parents reassured.

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