I’ve been thinking quite a bit about how we engage with parents at classroom and board levels. I recently posted about how I seek to make a clear, direct path and link between parents and myself as Trustee.
I know many educators who use email, Twitter, class blogs, websites, Facebook, and other on-line platforms to share information with parents. I must make clear the distinction between using social media to merely transmit knowledge and using it to create, develop, and maintain dialogue. Colleague Lorna Costantini discusses this distinction:
Are teachers using SM to ask parents what they think? Is it being used to seek advice from parents? Are we using Facebook and twitter to maintain two-way communications? Are we providing training for parents on how to respond and engage using these tools? Is it the already engaged parents who are engaging now using SM? How many parents are connected with smart phones, computers the Internet? Is there any data to support how many parents know how to use these tools. I want to hear overwhelming that SM is being used successfully to engage parents but in general I don’t think it is. I need to be bang on in writing about tools for parents of teens so can you share your thoughts on how best to do it?
I believe we must
- Share information with parents using social media
- Train parents how to use social media
- Develop collaborative and transparent dialogue with parents using social media