Has your school already implemented a 1:1 program? If yes, is your parent community invested in the program? If your school hasn’t gone 1:1, have you thought of how you’ll involve your parent community in the implementation of your 1:1 program?
Your parent community is critical to the success of your school’s 1:1 program. The great thing is, you can start to build this kind of community anytime! You can get it going before you start your 1:1 implementation – in fact, you can have parents heavily engaged in the design of your 1:1 program.
Or, if you’re already in an established 1:1 school and you realize the need for this kind of learning opportunity for parents, you can get started as soon as you’re ready!
Where do I start?
If your first thought after reading that sentence was, “Where do I start,” you’re not alone! It can be difficult to know where to start if there’s not already a plan in place, but it can be fairly simple to get parents excited about your 1:1 program. Our three tips for engaging your parent community are a great place to begin.
1. Start a Parent Education Program
Parents often feel like they’re experts on schooling. It’s the one thing we’ve all been through, so we feel like we know what it should look like. But, learning looks different today – and that’s often because of all the opportunities that technology has to offer. Start by educating parents on what their children will be learning, how learning will be different, and what technology their child will be learning with as early as possible.
2. Communicate the Vision
Bringing more technology into the classroom can be extremely stressful for parents simply because learning looks different. Engaging with questions and concerns early on in a positive and supportive environment can help many parents better understand your 1:1 learning vision.
If you receive pushback, it’s likely due to a parent not knowing how technology will benefit their child’s learning experience. This is a great opportunity to talk about how technology in the classroom will allow their child to learn in new ways and how it will set their child up for success in the future.
3. Have Open and Honest Conversations
Having open and honest conversations involving representatives from all stakeholder groups help ensure that any initiative truly meets the needs of the school community. Focus groups or roundtable discussions can be created anytime and for any purpose. The more you build a culture of active involvement in the learning process, the more engaged your parent community will be.
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