As we begin our second semester at ISB, I’ve been reflecting on quite a number of things. One of which is how do you bring parents into your classroom (digitally speaking)? 

One of the things I really like about my position as ES Technology & Learning Coach is the opportunity to work with a wide variety of colleagues, all of whom are in different places in their own personal technology journey as well as different grade levels of students.

Every classroom in the ES has a class blog.  They are “windows into the classroom” and used in a variety of ways.  Here’s some of the things our teachers do to bring parents into the classroom digitally:

  • Newsletter posts (no more paper)
    Some teachers create a newsletter pdf for parents to download – some write the newsletter right in a post
  • Class Magazine (using Youblisher)
    Embeds in a post and turns pages just like a magazine.  G4-5 students take turns at creating the magazine rather than the teacher.
  • All links are in one place – the class blog!
    This requires the students & their parents to visit the blog to access information
  • Homework posted on the class blog
    Sometimes the student homework is to get their parents to comment on a post! Kids love it when their parents have to do some homework too!
  • Use the email subscription widget – (Especially excellent to have ready at Back to School Night)
    This handy plugin makes it easy for parents to sign up with their email account to receive an email whenever the class blog is updated.  As the teacher, you can also see who is signed up to receive this kind of notification
  • Facebook Page (Parents can “like” the page & receive status updates)
    Some teachers have trialed the use of a class facebook page as a “snapshot in time” into the class – due to our policy of discouraging our ES students having a facebook account – only the teacher logs in and updates this page – although wouldn’t it be great if it was a student’s class job to update the class facebook page 4 times a day with what was going on – images & reflections
  • Each class has a Collection on our school flickr account
    This collection URL does not change so it’s linked on the class blog – everytime a new set goes in the collection, the link automatically shows the latest images!

    There’s some of our ideas.  What things does your school/class do to digitally bring parents into the classroom?