5 ideas to strengthen the home-school connection in the 1:1 classroom

This article originally appeared at Partners in Learning - 1:1 Hot Topics. Family involvement is important to student success in every classroom. In1:1classrooms, the traditional note home in the backpack can be replaced with new methods allowing innovative educators to access a whole new set of tools that can strengthen the home-school connection. If you’re still connecting with parents the way you always have, here are some ideas to update your practice.

1) Open Access

  • Make sure you provide time for parents to access computers and the internet at your school. There are plenty of computers and they’re not always in use. Be creative. Work with the school’s PTA and provide access for parents who need it.

2) Student-led parent workshops

  • Your students are learning some awesome new things in a1-to-1 environment. Have them share with parents via student-led workshops showcasing their work.

3) Livestream

  • Invite parents into your child’s classroom via livestreaming using services like Google Hangout, UStream, and Livestream. Maybe a parent can help with a lesson or just watch some student presentations. Maybe you have parent volunteers work as tutors at certain times via livestream and set up a virtual tutoring station.

4) Facebook

  • Start a Facebook group or page to give parents a window into their child’s classroom. Have students do the updates. Not only is this a great way for parents to stay in the loop about what is going on, it also gives students a chance to publish for a real audience. See how Ms. Schoening did this with her first-grade class here.

5) Twitter

  • Give parents a live ticker into what is happening in class via Twitter which can be embedded in any online space like a website, blog, or wiki or delivered right to their phone using Twitter Fast Follow. See how educators are using Twitter Fast Follow to stay connected with families here.

These are just some ideas for getting parents involved in their child’s education. Which of these ideas would you consider trying? Do you have some ideas that are not listed here? If so, please share.

Lisa Nielsen writes for and speaks to audiences across the globe about learning innovatively and is frequently covered by local and national media for her views on “Passion (not data) Driven Learning,” "Thinking Outside the Ban" to harness the power of technology for learning, and using the power of social media to provide a voice to educators and students. Ms. Nielsen has worked for more than a decade in various capacities to support learning in real and innovative ways that will prepare students for success. In addition to her award-winning blog, The Innovative Educator, Ms. Nielsen’s writing is featured in places such as Huffington Post, Tech & Learning, ISTE Connects, ASCD Wholechild, MindShift, Leading & Learning, The Unplugged Mom, and is the author the book Teaching Generation Text.

Disclaimer: The information shared here is strictly that of the author and does not reflect the opinions or endorsement of her employer.

Lisa Nielsen (@InnovativeEdu) has worked as a public-school educator and administrator since 1997. She is a prolific writer best known for her award-winning blog, The Innovative Educator. Nielsen is the author of several books and her writing has been featured in media outlets such as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Tech & Learning.  

Disclaimer: The information shared here is strictly that of the author and does not reflect the opinions or endorsement of her employer.