Why Parents and Teachers Should use Private Collaboration Tools

 

Busy Mom with Cellphone
As parents of young children my wife and I are in the midst of learning the details of early childhood education. Both of our children attend a preschool at a local church and we’ve also decided to stick with the Wake County Public School system for Elementary school (my wife and I both grew up in this system after all). One thing is becoming clear, parents have a huge impact on the effectiveness of a particular school and private collaboration tools can help make communication easy.

I recently read a post debating the use of social media in the classroom. He cited some interesting comments and discussion that was taking place on the New York Times website with regards to teachers and students using social media to communicate. I tend to agree with the author’s assertions but it really got me thinking about the importance of communication between teachers and parents and how technology should be used in that relationship.

Communication between teachers and parents is crucial. How much more important it seems for them to embrace social media and communication technologies…at least before the kids and teachers do! Communication channels need to be clear. Parents want to know how to reach the teachers quickly and they want to know what their kids are doing at school. Yes, I want to know that tomorrow is Wacky Wednesday and I also want to see pictures of them being wacky! More seriously, parents need to be able to contribute.

The more involved the parents, the greater chances of a program’s success. Parents need to communicate with each other. We need to signup for snacks, schedule carpools and share parenting tips. Technology makes this possible on the web and increasingly easier right on your phone! Parents need communication tools to connect with teachers and make sure they can contribute effectively in this fast-paced world.

“But I’m scared of what parents might do.”, you say? Just like the arguments against using social media with kids, there will certainly be backlash against using it for teachers and parents. It seems obvious that the teacher needs to know how to use the tools effectively and manage the conversations before implementing technology for their classes. But here’s the deal:

  • Parents are online and using social media tools just as much as kids are
  • Conversations are happening already
  • Parents have good ideas

I say bring these conversations into the light. 90% (if not more) of the communication between parents is logistics.  Of course you’ll have the outraged parent from time to time that has a grown-up temper tantrum and leashes out online. Here’s my response (not a shocker here)…don’t use Facebook, use MemberHub. It’s easier to control and you can kick the irate parent out if need be. But just keep in mind a complaint is always an opportunity to make your school better. So listen. Listening is what social media is all about about anyway.

Parents have thoughts all the time about school curriculum. Teachers have even more. Isn’t this the point of PTAs? Opening up those collaboration channels is what technology can do with great ease.

Question: What experience have you had using social media or group collaboration tools at your school?

 

[If you’d like to learn how your school can use private collaboration tools to enhance communication, give us a ring at 866-586-2080 or Start a FREE trial and we’ll be in touch!]