Hillcrest Normal School teacher, Michelle Macintyre shares how technology has enabled parents to be involved in different ways with students' learning. She explains, at their classroom learning celebrations they have been engaging parents with technology in practical ways. Creating video of learning experiences facilitates discussion between students and parents, particularly for English as a second language families. The class blog has become a portal for parents to interact with. It's become an e-portfolio where student progress is shared.
Our parents are really engaged in our classroom. We believe in involving our parent community but the technology has enabled the parents to be involved in a different way and we have been trying to teach our parents as well. We have learning celebrations, at one of our last ones we gave our parents the iPads, we gave them a small demo on how to video and how to take photos and they took the record of our learning celebration. We collated it at the end but we got so many different perspectives from doing that and we also know when it goes up on the blog we have parents who watch and look and they know that they have contributed to that process and they are beginning to leave us more comments and we are encouraging them and finding ways to continue to include them in that process.
My mum came to the learning celebration she watched the movie about milk. My mum thought it was really good.
We took photos of when we went on our farm trip and we wrote pieces of writing to go with it. We put them on our blog.
We found that the use of the ipads has engaged a lot of our parent community particularly our English as a second language families because they have found that the door has been opened so that they can come in and they can so some further talking with their children. They look at a little video clip of where there children have been, for instance to the dairy farm, when we went to the dairy farm. A lot of our children had never been to a dairy farm before and the pictures we captured and put on the blog enabled the parents to come in and share that experience so the language was more in-depth because talking in your own language is very, very powerful so they could go deeper into some of the concepts because of the picture prompts that the were there.
We found that our blog has become a portal for parents to interact with and its not just a showcase of steps of their learning its become a real e-portfolio where we’re showing progress, they can come and they build on it so if you’ve taken a photo later they can go back and add another comment to it that it’s a process and it’s a work in progress.