Helping Parents Understand Your Connected Classroom
As you build your connected classroom, you’ll have to plan how you will implement things. It can be intimidating to introduce your connected classroom to your students, and even more so to their parents. So, how can you make the introduction of the connected classroom to parents a smooth one?
Show Your Excitement
First of all, show your excitement about using technology to further student learning! While everything may not go 100% to plan each lesson, your students will be learning valuable skills that will help them throughout their school years and beyond! This attitude of excitement will transfer to your students and their parents.
Keep Parents Informed
Start the school year off by sending home a technology permission slip, or a letter to parents describing how you’ll be using technology to help students learn. These documents are used to give parents a deeper understanding of what technology their child will be using to demonstrate learning. If you’re looking for a starting point, our digital resource “Essential Documents for the Connected Classroom” includes a variety of templates, including a technology permission slip, to help you begin creating these documents for your classroom. Get it here.
To get buy-in from parents, it’s a good idea to emphasize that any technology used in the classroom has an authentic, purposeful reason behind it. Be open with parents about how your students will be using technology to learn. You can use examples of lessons that you’ll be teaching, and what students will learn. For example, if you’re having your students write blog posts, they will not only be improving their writing skills, they’ll be learning important digital citizenship skills.
It’s common for parents to be concerned about their child’s online safety. You’ll likely get a variety of questions about how you will keep your students safe online. Take this time to explain all of the critical digital citizenship skills you are including as you use technology for learning. Help parents understand that this kind of learning experience builds safe, responsible and respectful online habits and behavior that can be applied in a school setting (where there might already be filters or blocked websites in place) AND outside of school (like a friends house or a coffee shop, where there might not be any filters at all).
Highlight the Purpose for Learning
A key thing to share with parents is the purpose for learning in a connected classroom. It could be to teach the skills needed to communicate, collaborate and share whilst learning how to be safe, responsible and respectful in online spaces. Also, share the tools you’re going to use, why you’re going to use them and how you’re going to use them. Involve parents by showing them how they can help their children from home.
Lastly, be confident when discussing your connected classroom with parents. The connected classroom may be a new concept for parents, so being confident when explaining the types of technology that may be used and how much their child will learn from having access to tech will help them be more confident in the change in learning style.
Are you interested in connected your classroom? Registration is now open for the 2018 cohort of The Connected Teacher microcredential, a year-long mentorship program designed to help you connect yourself and your classroom to the world.
The Connected Teacher microcredential will help you build and maintain a connected classroom, transform student learning through local and global connections, and leverage the power of local and global connections as a teacher and a learner. The next cohort of The Connected Teacher begins November 12th! Learn more about this exciting opportunity here.