Rob Clarke, principal of Burnham School, explains the importance of face-to-face meetings in terms of successful whānau and community engagement with e-learning tools.
In terms of community engagement, one of the things that I believe is really important is that while e-learning can enhance that – it should supplement and complement how you engage with your community through other means. We’ve been using a number of different ideas for helping that along. We’re starting to use google forms for a whole range of different purposes. As I mentioned before we’re using them for our three wishes goal setting survey. We’re starting to use them for curriculum review and for learning area review where children can go round the school and the form is automatically linked from each class blog. The children are being the researchers and finding out about other children’s views on say, for example, writing. What works, what doesn't, what could be better, and that’s then feeding into our review process.
In terms of whānau and community engagement – one of the things that we’ve discovered that’s really critical is that if we only use e-learning tools for, say for example, surveying it won’t necessarily work and we have to have face-to-face and other means that we use. So we’ve looked at different times in our calendar throughout the year and one example would be, you know, when your community comes in at the very start of the year for a particular purpose and actually doing some of the face to face surveying then – either using children or using pen and paper and sometimes building in using a computer and using an online form for that.