I picked this cartoon because it seems as though everyone has a website.
What do we currently know about classroom websites in general?
In 1992 when Clinton took office…13,000 registered domains on the WebSome schools now require their teachers to have a class website
We will come back to this idea of “removing boundaries” in a bit.
Mitchel, Foulger & Wetzel (2009) , Lunts (2003), and Unal (2008) also suggest ways for making websites more engaging and family-friendly such as: secure, live broadcasts from the classroom where parents can drop-in during the day, audio & video lessons, and chat rooms for parents.
However, we know that parents and teachers do not always communicate very well. This cartoon depicts how some parents might feel about returning to the school environment.
Barriers do exist for parental engagement.
Unfortunately, sometimes with good students, parents do not feel they are needed…and sometimes with poor students, parents have no self-efficacy in their ability to change anything and lose hope.
And although much improvement has been made, there is still a “digital divide”DeBell & Chapman (2006) tell us that the less education a parent has, the less likely they are to have a computer at home with internet access…or even the less likely they are to have a personal computer
Sociologist, Joyce Epstein from Johns Hopkins University tells us that the “greatest impact on student achievement comes from family participation in well-designed-at-home activities, regardless of the family’s demographics. Students need interactive homework to share what they are learning in class with their parents.In particular, educators need to know if the content on their websites provides opportunities for parents to become engaged in their student’s learning.
In general, we know that parent involvement is important…there is tons of research to back this up. Well, Detroit public schools saw parent involvement as so important that this past October, a law was passed in the state that could put parents in jail for up to 3 days if they missed a parent-teacher conference.Although this is extreme, the high drop out rate in the area made officials feel forced to do something drastic.
In general, Wang (2001) says that the concept of motivation incorporates various learning theories along with the idea of intrinsic and extrinsic motivators.We definitely saw that he parents in Detroit are now feeling extrinsic motivation to keep them engaged.However, research by psychologists Ryan and Deci tell us that conditions supporting autonomy and competence increase intrinsic motivation and foster internalization and integration of new knowledge.This is definitely something to keep in mind when designing a class website or trying to increase parent involvement in general.Additionally,…
And so, because technology itself has the potential to increase parent motivation and engagement, we need to find out what website content is related to this phenomena.
In order to find these answers, I propose to begin my study locally at a K-12 private school.
Depending on the conclusions made from the study, it would then be interesting to update the teacher websites according to the findings to see if any improvement in parent motivation and engagement occurs.
Last but not least, I found this great cartoon about parent-teacher conferences for grad students while I was looking for resources.
Mc kenziew rdp-presentation
A Research Proposal<br />mcKenzie Weaver<br />The University of Georgia<br />Teacher Classroom Websites: What content engages parents in student learning?<br />http://techfortress.blogspot.com/2009/01/teacher-websites-required.html<br />
“Let’s put it this way, your Billy is the only kid in the class without his own website…”<br />
Background Information<br />What do we know?<br />
In 1992, there were only 50 pages on the Web (Maddux, 2001).<br />Today, there are over 13,000 individual school websites.<br />Schools are increasing their usage of websites as a primary means of communication with parents.<br />
Why do teachers use classroom websites?<br />Teachers view websites as effective communication tools with parents (Friedman, 2006, p. 4).<br />“Websites have the potential to remove boundaries by introducing parents to the curricula and teacher’s expectations, and by demonstrating to parents what their children learn and achieve” (Lunts, 2003 citing Flores & Karr-Kidwell, 2001).<br />
<ul><li>Parents may not become involved because student’s scholastic ability does not warrant it.</li></ul>(Stevens & Patel, 2009)<br />http://www.harrybliss.com/store/parentteacher-conference-p-322.html<br />
Barriers Specific to Parental Engagement with Classroom Websites<br />“Digital Divide”: lack of or slow Internet access<br />Language unknown<br />Non-intuitive website design<br />
Why is this important?<br />“It’s what parents do to support learning in the school and in the home that makes the difference to achievement” (Harris & Goodall, 2008)<br />Lunts (2003) suggests that educators need to know how parents are using technology to better understand how it affects their involvement.<br />
How does parental motivation relate?<br />Lunts (2003) argues that technology can “increase parental motivation to become more engaged in students’ learning and save them resources (financial, emotional, time, etc.) usually required for face-to-face interaction.”<br />
What do we want to know?<br />Purpose of this Study<br />
Specifically:<br />Which content motivates parents to access a teacher’s classroom website?<br />And<br />Does this content promote an increase in frequency of engaged access?<br />
A Qualitative case-study<br />Methodology<br />
A Qualitative Case-Study for a (K-12) Private School<br />
References<br />DeBell, M., & Chapman, C. (2006). Computer and internet use by students in 2003 (NCES 2006-065). U.S. Department of Education. Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved 3 December 2010 from http://nces.ed.gov/pubs2006/2006065.pdf<br /> <br />Flores, J., & Karr-Kidwell, PJ. (2001). An internet website to enhance communication with school personnel and parents. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 449789). <br /> <br />Friedman, Adam. (2006). K-12 teachers’ use of course websites. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education. <br /> <br />Harris, A., & Goodall, J. (2008). Do parents know they matter? Engaging all parents in learning. Educational Research, 50(3), 277-289.<br /> <br />Holcomb, L., Castek, J., and Johnson, P. (2007). Unlocking the potential of K-12 classroom websites to enhance learning. The NERA Journal, 43(1), 36-43.<br />Jones, R. (2001). Involving parents is a whole new game: be sure you win! American School Board Journal, September(188).<br /> <br />Lunts, Ellen. (2003). Motivating parents through class websites. Academic Exchange Quarterly.<br /> <br />Lunts, Ellen. (2003). Parental involvement in children’s education: connecting family and school by using telecommunication technologies. Meridian: A Middle School Computer Technologies Journal, 6(1). Retrieved 3 December 2010 from http://www.ncsu.edu/meridian/win2003/involvement/8.html<br /> <br />Maddux, C. (2001). Solving accessibility and other problems in school and classroom web sites. Rural Special Education Quarterly, 20(4), 11. Retrieved 3 December 2010 from Academic Search Complete database.<br /> <br />Mitchell, S., Foulger, T., and Wetzel, K. (2009). Ten tips for involving families through internet-based communication. Young Children,September(64), 46-49.<br /> <br />Ryan, R., & Deci, E. (2000). Self-determination theory and the facilitation of intrinsic motivation, social development, and well-being. American Psychologist. January 55(1), 68-78.<br /> <br />Stevens, S., and Patel, N. (2009). Parent and teacher perceptions of students’ general scholastic abilities: effects on involvement and communication. US-China Education Review, 6(9), 22-31.<br /> <br />Unal, Zafer. (2008). Going the extra step for parental involvement: connecting family and school with the power of teacher websites. Journal of College Teaching & Learning, 5(6), 43-50.<br /> <br />Wang, S. (2001). Motivation: General overview of theories. In M. Orey (Ed.), Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching, and technology. Retrieved 9 September 2010, from http://projects.coe.uga.edu/epltt/<br />