I have been so excited about my new job at IS Bangkok since I was hired waaaay back in January that it’s hard to believe only three weeks have gone by since school started. For the past eight months I’ve been planning and thinking about what I can do with a brand new library and super cool job responsibilities (my job title is 21st Century Literacy Specialist, my role is to bring new and emerging literacies to all areas of the elementary school) that I almost feel like I’ve been working at ISB for months instead of weeks.
So, I suppose it’s not really surprising to see that I’m functioning on fast forward pretty much all the time. The projects that I’ve started in the last couple of weeks are finding a life of their own and I’m becoming busier and busier at school. Every morning when I arrive I have a line of people (and/or an inbox full of mail) requesting meeting time to start planning and implementing new projects in the classroom. It’s all very exciting, but I realized last week that I was forgetting about one really important group: the parents.
The teachers and administrators at ISB are so ready, excited, enthusiastic and anxious to get these kinds of projects going, that I must admit, I made the same assumption about the parents. Although many of them are totally on board, there is no excuse for forgetting about the ones that are nervous, concerned or unsure about having their child contribute to the overwhelming wealth of information available online.
So, this week I spent some time compiling all sorts of information about the benefits of blogging for our elementary students, mostly articles and websites that describe the future of learning, and how parents can understand and support their children at home while they utilize these tools. I’m going to start posting informative entries on my new Learning Hub blog, Connect 2.0, to keep the entire ISB community up to date on which exciting new things we are doing in class and why they are important for our students. Fortunately we have a great infrastructure in place for sharing news, so my posts on the blog will be fed into our weekly bulletin and linked as “latest news” on our school website.
I’m also planning to run regular “Coffee Morning” sessions for our parents to actually show them some of the new tools that their children are learning about and to give them a chance to test them out in our Technology Zone with the guidance and support of an “experienced user” (that would be me). Similar to the Coffee Morning, the whole Ed Tech team is going to run several technology training sessions as part of our PTA continuing education offerings.
I want to make sure that our parents are as informed and excited about technology as our staff! For now, this is all I can think of, but I’m sure there are more ideas out there. What do you do to keep your parent population educated, informed and ahead of the curve?