One positive result of the COVID-19 pandemic was that many schools and districts saw an uptick in parent involvement in their students’ day-to-day learning. In many cases that was unavoidable, as parents themselves were forced to work from home and coordinate workspaces, bandwidth demands, and other unforeseen logistical situations with their children.
But since virtually everyone found themselves having to manage new ways of communicating nearly all the time, schools and districts that could create consistent and accurate communication channels with parents regarding their student’s experience and progress under trying conditions clearly had an advantage. The added focus placed on the amount of time students were required to spend online just added to an already stressful situation.
Districts, schools, and teachers must determine best practices for keeping parents informed and involved, even if students have moved substantially away from remote learning situations and are now using their devices primarily at school. Regular, consistent communication is key to keeping parents in the loop, engaged with their own children’s specific status, and encouraging them to contribute constructively to delivering the best instruction for their students.
Beyond best practices, schools and districts should provide guidance for parents around how best to help their own students be successful, whether or not they’re learning online. Email tips and even live or recorded webinars are great ways to communicate thoroughly and consistently. School or district guidance is also extremely important for helping parents understand how to monitor and regulate their children’s at-home and after-hours access to and use of school-issued online devices.
Student online safety systems, such as Lightspeed Filter™, not only use artificial intelligence and years of online activity scanning to block access to inappropriate or dangerous online content, but the best of such systems offer portals for parent insight into their own students’ online experiences. These sophisticated systems provide parents with access to their students’ online activity dashboard, where they can see firsthand updated data regarding their child’s most frequent sites visited, the number of pages visited per day, and time spent online, with a weekly summary report sent directly to the parents’ inbox.
If you found this information helpful, download our FREE e-book Returning to Normal: What “Back to School” Really Means for IT Teams” for more on returning back to campus and adjusting digital learning plans to an in-person environment.