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#PTchat is turning three this summer. It’s been humbling to see the community grow and how people around the world leverage this tag to share ideas, questions, resources and engage transparent dialogue, even outside of the Wednesday night chat. This year, we partnered with the Institute for Educational Leadership (@IELconnects) in a continued effort to expose these invigorating conversations out to policymakers, researchers, faculty and those holding leadership positions in our field of education. The focus has been to provide an open space where your ideas, passions and collaboration matters regardless of your title or role in working for kids. It’s been the work of a strong and dedicated moderating team that has helped the #ptchat community flourish.
Tomorrow night, April 8th, the U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will co-moderate #ptchat during the National Family-Community Engagement Conference held in Cincinnati, Ohio. A special thank you to Cameron Brenchley at the DOE, who has been working behind the scenes to make all of this happen. You can see the eight questions we’ll be discussing on this special TUESDAY night edition of #ptchat here. A goal of the chat will not only be to help the Department of Education roll out the NEW National Framework for Family & Community Engagement (a guiding resource for teachers & leaders we have never had to work with), but also to expose this connected community to over 1,000 family engagement researchers, practitioners and FCE leaders from all over the country. Personally, I’ve set a goal of getting 100 new people on #ptchat by the end of the week. Here’s more of what you can expect to be shared this week from the national conference.
The conference is entitled Engaging Families & Expanding Opportunities: Partnership. Leadership. Inclusion. It will focus on four areas of quality practice:
- Early Learning and Literacy: High quality and integrated early childhood and family engagement practices support families and young children to make the most of early school and life experiences and enable educators and parents to ensure that children are reading on level by 3rd grade. To see conference highlights, click here.
- Parent-Teacher Partnership: High quality relationships where adults share perspectives, build cross cultural understanding and develop mutual goals are supportive to children’s academic achievement. Effective parent-teacher partnerships work to ensure that educators and families co-develop their capacity to scale up innovative practices. To see conference highlights, click here.
- Parent Leadership and Advocacy for School Improvement: Parent leadership enables families to take on a variety of roles for systems change from community organizing to advocacy to facilitating learning. As parent leadership is harnessed, families are able to enhance the quality of education in their community. To see conference highlights, click here.
- Families and Inclusion: Inclusive schools value family and child diversity and work towards educational equity. A climate of inclusiveness enhances opportunities for family partnership across all cultural groups and ensures access and opportunity for people with and without disabilities. To see conference highlights, click here.
Follow the Learning Now Matter Where You Are
Normally, #ptchat is where you’d find the most inspiring and applicable parent-teacher-leader sharing in terms of family and community engagement. Not this week. You can follow all conference learning by clicking the conference hashtag #FCEconf14 or if not yet on Twitter, visiting the Twubs conference page. #PTchat moderators Sherri Wilson (@ptaswilson), Andrea Lawful-Trainer (@lawfultrainer), Kwesi Rollins (@kwesibaby58), IEL (@IELconnects) and me (@joe_mazza) throughout the week.
Conference Website/Download Conference App
Using Social Media to Provide a Menu of Communication Offerings
Location: Duke Convention Center Room 200
When: Wednesday, April 9, 2:15pm-3:30pm EDT
Description: Using technologies like e-mail and webpages to connect with families is quickly becoming “old news” with the introduction of social media tools—mobile school apps, Google+ Hangouts, Facebook, Twitter, Skype and blogs. Come learn how your organization can safely leverage these social media tools and how their use affects communication between schools and parents. Participants will leave with a “menu” of low and high tech communications to infuse into their own schools and organizations.
LIVE Unplugged #PTchat Session Component: One of the best parts about being connected is that you have daily access to great people and educators around the world. During my session I’ll hosting a LIVE Voxer conversation with connected educators who embrace social media to meet families where they are including Jimmy Casas (IA), Jeff Zoul (IL) , Tony Sinanis (NY), Joe Sanfelippo (WI), Ben Gilpin (MI), Tom Murray (PA), Tom Whitford (WI) and Aaron Becker (IA). Each of them has participate in the #ptchat community over the years and I as well as many others continue to count on them for support and daily inspiration. So I’m trying something new and will “Vox” them into out session for LIVE sharing!
Following #FCEconf14 (4/8-4/9), The National Community Schools Forum round out the rest of the week in Cincinnati. You can follow the Community Schools Forum later this week using the hashtag #opp4all or at Twubs here. The official Community Forum website can be found here.