Parents as Partners in learning

I wrote in an earlier post about involving parents. I believe we need to do more to help parents understand why we are using technology in our schools, that technology is not the end in itself but a means to an end. The skills that we want the students to learn are the important focus in our teaching and the fact that we can use technology to create a range of interesting, real-world and authentic learning experiences, that engage our students, is a great bonus.

I am thinking about having a section on our intranet that allows parents to obtain information they require and/or an understanding of the technological skills that their sons are developing. After completing a version of the “23 Things” program, my idea would be to create something similar for our parents. We currently have 3 technology evenings for parents of our year 7 students and these could continue and exist alongside the on-line information. I would not have to “reinvent the wheel”, there are many existing models available,  just modify the information to meet the needs of our parents. The information does not have to be in the form of a tutorial but designed to answer questions, as they may occur to parents. Graham Wegner had some interesting ideas on his blog, now called Open Education, about helping parents understand about technology use in schools. We are also working on some cyber safety information for teachers, students and parents. This is a real concern for many parents, and it seems the media outlets think it that it more commercially beneficial to emphasise only the bad, rather than a more balanced and holistic view.

There are many sites that I will try to bring together and utilise. One of the first might be the following: “How to understand your kid’s text messages” on Mahalo ( they have a parenting how-to category where they are putting up all sorts of information.) This is a  good guide to texting language. It gets into reasons for abbreviations and is much more than just a list of “net words”. Good for both parents and teachers alike.

We now have a two week break from classes and I will think more about how this might work.

To finish this, from CoolCatTeacher (2007):

 “American Education continues to be afraid of technology and ignore its importance to our future as a nation and the future of our children. We must move ahead and use technology to teach and to keep our kids safe. Wisely used technology can be a friend of education. Ignorance is the enemy.”