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One of the best parts of my job is interacting with families and helping them achieve and maintain a high level of engagement with their child’s teachers and the school activities in general. Our school has a Family Engagement Wiki (http://www.knappwiki.wikispaces.com) in which the teaching staff and our Home and School Association share information out to the 531 contacts on our google distribution list. Last April, hosted our first ever webcasted Home & School Meeting in hopes of engaging more families who couldn’t leave their home for one reason or another to make the meeting. We used CoverItLive.com and uStream.com to broadcast this meeting. Other means of technology we are using to engage our families include Youtube.com and Twitter.com. The district has just begun using Facebook, but our school does not have a site set up at this time.
By combining a passion for family engagement and technology background, my current focus lies in learning which social networking tools enhance family engagement efforts. Blanchard (1997) explains how technology can serve the family-school connection: (1) communication and information, (2) learning and instruction, (3) interest and motivation, and (4) resources and costs.
- Blanchard, J. (1997). The family-school connection and technology. In Proceedings of the Families, Technology, and Education Conference. (ERIC Document Reproduction Service No. ED 425 018)