Parent Newsletter

Promoting Childhood Education Through Technology

Not all Technology is Evil....

Although people often view technology in a negative light, most parents are surprised to learn that various forms of social media and online learning platforms not only enhance their children's education but also assist teachers in their instruction. Pinterest, GroupMe, and Edmodo are just a few of the countless forms of online resources that provide students with the tools necessary to thrive in the classroom and at home. It is imperative that parents understand why and how technology is used as an educational tool. This flyer will discuss how your fourth grader can use technology for the betterment of his/her educational experience this year!

Pinterest

While Pinterest is a form of social media, it offers numerous tools that allow students to thrive in school. Using online "pinboards," students can organize thoughts and ideas for projects and major assignments. Students who have difficulty staying organized or keeping track of papers for projects will especially find this tool useful since their private Pinterest account can always be accessed online. Pinterest allows students to find inspiration from other people's boards and grow their ideas in nearly every area of life. Although Pinterest is primarily composed of pictures, students are able to click on each image in order to find links to the websites where they originated from. Students can search for pictures to use in actual projects like power points and then use the hyperlink for the website to find the citation information for the image. Some other useful features of Pinterest are the search suggestions and search categories that the homescreen offers and the ability for students to write comments under each picture. These features enable children to "take notes" underneath each picture and find information with ease. While Pinterest offers a wide array of images and website information, students are not limited to the pictures contained within Pinterest itself. Students can go to any website and then add it to a particular "pinboard." Overall, Pinterest promotes organization, creativity, and ease of research.

GroupMe

Another form of social media, GroupMe allows students to form group discussions and communicate in a setting that is different from texting. Through GroupMe, students can share pictures, messages, and like other people's messages as well. Although GroupMe seems similar to texting, it provides far greater benefits. First, GroupMe allows group project members to communicate without having to share phone numbers. Parents, this is a huge win for you since you usually want to protect your child's personal information. Second, GroupMe allows students to "mute" the conversation and turn off their notifications. This feature is very helpful because it allows students to not get distracted by the app if they need to focus on other things such as hw, or they wish to go to sleep without having their phone give alerts. Third, GroupMe assists students with android phones in receiving messages. Often, people with android phones who do not have access to iMessage, have difficulty receiving every text from Apple users. GroupMe allows students to organize their conversations too. Different clubs can form GroupMe's as well as school sports teams. Teachers can even create GroupMe's to use as a way to communicate with their students more efficiently.

Edmodo

Simple to use and understand, Edmodo is a digital learning platform that enables your children to stay up-to-date with classroom assignments and participate in online class discussions. Many children struggle with remembering details of assignments and due dates. It can also be challenging for them to remain caught up with the class when they are absent. Edmodo provides solutions to both of these issues. Teachers are able to use Edmodo as a personal blog and post daily lesson plans and assignment details on the group page. Students who are absent or confused about a certain activity can post comments and questions on the page and use Edmodo as an additional way to connect with their teacher besides e-mail. Through Edmodo, teachers are able to form an online group which their students can join by entering a specific "group code" and then creating a username and password. The group code ensures that your child's Edmodo group is safe and secure. Emodo is not only free, but it does not contain any ads, so it is a safe online environment. You can have peace of mind knowing that your child is free from distractions and online dangers when they are visiting Edmodo's website. For those students who are more technologically challenged, Edmodo comes fully equipped with a fact guide that explains both how to navigate the website and perform specific tasks. Most app stores carry the Edmodo app which enables your children to have easy access to classroom blog posts, discussions, and assignments.

How you can get Involved!

As the teacher of your fourth grade child, I want to promote parent involvement while still encouraging your child's independence. Through the school website, you can access my blog and keep track of each assignment I give to my students. I will also explain the day's activities in sufficient detail so that you will be aware of what your child is missing on days that he/she is absent. I plan to post important forms to my blog as well, such as the class syllabus and field trip release forms. While this blog is separate from the class Edmodo account, the exact same information will appear on both websites. Edmodo simply allows students to participate in discussions and ask me questions more directly. You will be have access to my school e-mail and may send me any questions or concerns that you may have regarding your child's learning in my class. I have also provided my twitter account username down below which you may use to follow my account and see daily tweets about important happenings in the classroom. While I will be explaining the basic workings of Pinterest, GroupMe, and Edmodo in class, you can help your child by offering them additional knowledge or tips that you may have regarding these forms of technology. Working with your children to teach them about the benefits of these different technological platforms will allow you and your child to share new experiences and grow together! Who knows? Your child may even teach you something new about technology!

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Let's Make This Year a Great One!!