I attended six parent/teacher interviews yesterday via Skype and it led me to thinking. It was so easy. The teachers were very receptive to the idea. Why aren’t more parents doing this?
I spoke with my husband at the end of his day and he had one parent come to see him for a parent/teacher interview. How do we increase the numbers?
1. Make parents aware they are happening. I do realize that there are autodialers in schools that phone out that parent/teacher interviews are happening. I received one of those calls. I think it came when I was heading out the door or in the middle of supper. I completely forgot to write it down and the call is somewhat of a blur.
Remind101, for example, gives the ability to text or e-mail safely the parent. Texts and e-mails serve as a reminder to make the appointment.
2. Connect with technology! Some parents may not be able to take time off their busy schedules for parent/teacher interviews. There is driving time, and waiting time to be factored into this.
Skype, Facetime and Google Hangouts are a few examples of how to accommodate parents. It would all depend what access teachers have to this technology within the school. There are, also, blended family issues that prevent or deter parents from attending these interviews. This is where parents connecting using technology increases parent involvement.
Not only can one parent attend but both parents can attend from different locations via a Google Hangout.
Being away during the week is posing challenges to staying connected with my children’s lives. It was exciting yesterday to have these phenomenal teachers open their classrooms to technology so I could be part of these interviews. I hope opportunities will be increased for parents to be connected to their children’s learning through the use of technology. There is the old saying, “It takes a village to raise a child.” Today, it takes a glocal community to raise a child.
Where is our education system going? There have been so many changes in the direction schools are going over the past 20 years and they are moving into a realm that impresses me. As a parent, I have had a wide array of experiences with the education system. My experiences have all depended on the personalities, learning styles and intelligences of each different child. The focus on finding the right educational structure needs to be about all children. It needs to focus on the “leave no child behind” mentality. This new direction is more child-oriented, and geared towards the learner. As a future educator, the future looks exciting!
Sir Ken Robinson addresses some of the problems with our education system in his Changing Education Paradigms. I can say that some of the children who I know have benefited from the older models of education while some have not thrived in this environment.
The idea that our youth can receive instruction based on their academic level, not based on their age-to-grade placement intrigues me. Students can be challenged to a higher level of education or they can receive differentiated instruction that helps them address areas that need special attention.
Heidi Hayes Jacobs discusses the future structure for classrooms and schools. She not only addresses the types of school structure but also the future of technology within schools. Heidi addresses the roles of teachers and the need for them to be proficient in technology. There is the need for schools to find ways to embrace this technology while protecting themselves from any legal repercussions. It is finding the balance. Effective education includes teaching our youth how to be good digital citizens, so they can benefit from the global atmosphere they are in every day.
As we proceed into this new educational structure, the focus on classroom management is important to implement these changes in an organized and productive way. It is determining how we will meet the needs of the 21st Century student and how we as educators will progress through that transformation.
How will online education shape the future of our youth?
Online education is no longer only a vision of the future but a reality of today. The generations to follow may spend more time being educated online than in a classroom. Currently, online education is something that many students see as a last resort. As future students come through the education with more technology, online courses may be more desirable.
What are the pros and cons of online education?
Some students cannot fit courses they would like to take into their schedules due to school timetables. Online education gives these students the ability to incorporate those courses into their schedules. One girl, for example, was unable to incorporate Grade 12 Pre-Calculus into her schedule. She wanted to take it and decided to teach herself. With more online education, doors will be opened for students to study the courses that are of interest without having barriers to their education.
Students who struggle adhering to morning schedules and operate on a different time schedule may be able to take courses that are more conducive to their internal time clock. Some students may struggle with the current schedule of school or may need to work at their own pace. Online education may focus more on learner-centered approaches which will benefit a student
Students who are homeschooled can have the option of taking online courses to supplement their education.
Online education needs to recognize the different multiple intelligences of students when lessons are being prepared and implemented. For lessons to be delivered effectively, educators need to reach a multitude of student’s needs. Therefore, educators need to be trained on efficient delivery of online lessons.
Another negative with online education is who pays for these courses? If one school division has a teacher who is responsible for delivering a course, and other school divisions sign up students for that course, which school division gets the funding for the student taking that course? How does the funding get back to the school division funding the teacher? Compensation needs to be considered to keep it rewarding for the division employing those educators.
The opportunities are increasing for the best and most accommodating education for our students. Online education is at the forefront of this change.