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Engaging parents using communication technologies


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Seminar from Schools Network "Effective Parental Engagement" Conference @ BSCS on 16th Nov 2011. Seminar by Iain Williams, Deputy Headteacher

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Engaging parents using communication technologies

  1. 1. Engaging ParEnts:using communication tEchnologiEsI a i n W i l l i a m s – B r a d l e y S t o k e C o m m u n i t y S c h o o l
  2. 2. Session fociWhat we’re most likely to cover…o Principles of engaging parents – the WHYo Reasons to engage parents – the fringe benefitso Methods to engage parents – the HOWo Choosing your battles – the WHENo Practical tips – keeping it REAL
  3. 3. Current Y6 parents coming into Y7 ORTHINK ABOUT SO… what is the balance of timePre-school parents coming into YR and effort invested in Many of them will stay connected to your school your parent body compared to longer than a significant proportion that of your colleagues… ? of your staff body
  4. 4. Contextual InformationBradley Stoke Community School (BSCS)o New secondary school in Sept 2005 – now 1020 studentso Community school – a key drivero Oldest students now in Y12o Judged as outstanding by OfSTED in 2009o Culture of innovationo SSAT Consultant Schoolo PEQS Gold Award – first school nationallyo Ethos crucial and often commented upono Stakeholder voice central to developmento Inclusive: low exclusions, high attendanceo Comprehensive intake – full age and ability
  5. 5. Our journey with technology 2010 2005 2009 Digital 24hr school PEP Signage 2009 2011 2007/8 Website PEP/online EPRA review booking 2011 2009 2009 Online event FROG Texting management
  6. 6. A paradigm shift?What does the research tell us?
  7. 7. Shift Happens…Are you ready for a challenge?
  8. 8. How manyeducationalists does ittake to change a light bulb?
  9. 9. CHANGE ?!
  10. 10. No longer a 19 th Century model Welcome to the… 21 st Century
  11. 11. How ?!
  12. 12. Stop focusing on your model for ICT…
  13. 13. and start focusingon your model for learning and teaching…
  14. 14. ICT is a means to an endNOT the end in itself
  15. 15. WinningHearts andMinds…
  16. 16. People expect technology to failIt’s YOU they need confidence in
  17. 17. What technologies? Be strategic about…o Your outcomes • what do you want to achieve using ICT? • what will the impact be? • how will you know?o Your skills • what can YOU actually do? • what can you get/buy/beg/bribe someone else to do?o Your buy-in from others • how can you get others involved? • what are the incentives? Use them! • how can you make sense of it for them? Initiative overload or seeing the joined up thinking?
  18. 18. Examples of ICT engagement tools8 key areas Area Cost1. Website small2. Email small - medium3. Texting medium4. Slideshare n/a5. Drop Box n/a6. Online booking facilities small7. Learning Platform high8. Social Media n/a
  19. 19. ICT – parental engagement toolsWebsite & Digital Signage Simple and fresh Updating – anyone? Bottlenecks QA/QC systems Open Source? Link to other info systems
  20. 20. ICT – parental engagement toolsEmailo Develop a Communications Policy and an email policy (alongside Complaints Policy)o Electronic communication is our STANDARD methodo Parents need to request a paper copy of correspondenceo One colleague co-ordinates most mass parent emailso Important to check integrity of MIS data (in our case, SIMS)o Caution about over-reliance on email to communicate emotive issueso Use it carefully for staff to parent communicationo Have a few generic email addresses:    This helps to filter lots of emails
  21. 21. ICT – parental engagement toolsTextingo Cost SAVINGS!!!!o Really useful for quick contacto Limited number of characterso Great for info on: detentions, trip letters, meeting reminders etco Does Email tooo You WILL get a reaction! (mostly ours have been positive)o Make sure someone oversees and develops good systems!
  22. 22. ICT – parental engagement tools 9th most visited website in 2009 Free online repository for all your online presentations Basic analytics in free version Can link to your website via a really simple widget Inspiration for your own presentations – any theme Loads of other features: MP3, video, webinar, PDF/MS Office share
  23. 23. ICT – parental engagement toolso Free 2GB online storageo Syncs with ALL your PC/MAC/Mobile deviceso Lost your memory stick?o Memory stick too small?o Want to share files with parents?o Private and public fileso Go mobile and still connect?o Untapped potential
  24. 24. ICT – parental engagement toolsOnline Booking FacilitiesBooking Appointments - appointments with staff was a problemo Reliant on forgetful studentso Office taking too many calls about bookingso Confusion over what had been bookedManaging tickets - Free if event is freeo Manages booking, communication, sales and generates badgeso Links via a URLo Also manages most admin (e.g. name badges, contact lists etc)
  25. 25. ICT – parental engagement toolsLearning Platform Learning focused Fully owned by you Fully controlled by you Fully developed by you
  26. 26. ICT – parental engagement toolsLearning Platform
  27. 27. ICT – parental engagement toolsLessons learnt with Learning Platformso Remember ‘Measure twice, cut once…’o Only launch when ready and confident – you get one shot!o It’s not just about information (e.g. data) exchangeo Your learning platform and parent portal must link – remember learning is central!o MUST be simple and user friendlyo Can an idiot use it?o Designed by parents, for parents…o Think about the total cost of ownership. Don’t forget things like: • Reduced printing costs (e.g. exam/SATs papers) • Extra network storage • Streamlining communications (integral email)
  28. 28. How do parents GET your info? PULL Vs PUSH
  29. 29. The ‘S’ wordSocial Networkingo FACEBOOK - 30 billion pieces of content shared each montho UK  51M internet users in June 2010  82% population online  48.5%% of population are on FBo 25% of UK FB users in 13 – 19 age rangeo TWITTER – 300,00 new users per day, 3 billion requests per day by 180M unique visitorso 75% of Twitter’s visitors use third party apps!o UK = 5th / 10 for Twitter traffic  18% of US Tweets are from teenagerso YOU TUBE  every minute 24h of video uploadedo 2 billion viewers per day, 50% are under 20 years oldo Today, You Tube occupies the same amount of bandwidth the entire internet used in 2000o 90% of internet users use at least 1 social networking site…
  30. 30. The ‘S’ wordSocial Networking & Mobile /Smart Technologyo Soon, we will not be able to ignore its implications (limited resources/funds and student trends)o If such technologies are used, fear of ‘what might happen’ drives uso The possibilities of how we MIGHT engage them are overlooked – calculated risks are not takeno POLICY/PRACTICE, CONSISTENCY and EXPECTATIONS are essentialo No different to a uniform policy in terms of the WAY you work with students – rewards and sanctionso ENGAGEMENT with the REAL issueso Better managed and in the open than wanton misuse behind closed doors – EDUCATE userso Costello Technology College – Google them (School Facebook site and YouTube channel)o PUSH technology is the key (Twitter client or RSS feed)o Start with TWITTER  1) CPD for yourself 2) Learning and Teaching
  31. 31. By 2014, South Korea plans to digitize all elementary level materials. By 2015, the entire curriculum will bedelivered via an online device. A cloud-based system will host all software and content… MIT Technology Review
  32. 32. Useful Resourceso Parents: Do they know they matter? o o Bradley Stoke Consultant School o Useful Tools o 100 top tools for eLearning o o o o o o
  33. 33. Useful Resourceso Useful Tools (cont.) o www.dropbox.como Useful websites o o Feel free to contact me on… o o o o o