Chapter Nine

Modeling & Facilitating use of Digital Tools

Professional Communicating & Collaborating

Us as teachers will have to communicate to our students. Many of the planning, instructional, assessment, record-keeping and professional development tasks that teachers do require communication.

Effective ways to communicate are as follows:

  • communicate curricular requirements
  • create classroom websites
  • report and discuss student progress with students, parents, administrators, and other teachers
  • publish class newsletters
  • keep parents informed on class activities and schedules

Class websites

Include the following:

  • presentation slides
  • lecture notes
  • announcements
  • class calendar & due dates
  • homework assignments
  • online practice tests
  • links to resources used in class

Communicating with Parents and the Community

Be proactive
  • Get to know parents and community members. Don't let a problem be your first contact with them.
  • Encourage ongoing, two-way communication. Let parents and community members know that you welcome their ideas and input
  • Share information about local, state, and federal education initiatives that impact your teaching.
Be informed
  • Consider parents and community members as resources. Consult with them about particular problems or education issues.
  • Gather up-to-date information about issues from respected sources—newspapers, professional journals and texts, websites and so forth.
  • Consult with school and district administrators or resource personnel for information about school policies or preferred practices relevant to the issue at hand.
Be positive
  • Hold high expectations for learning and behavior. Let parents know exactly what is expected of their children, what you do to teach and reinforce these skills and behaviors in the classroom, and how they can support their children's learning at home.
  • Inform parents about their children's progress toward instructional and behavioral goals and let them know about nonacademic accomplishments as well.
Be prepared
  • When communicating about student concerns or needs, define and document the problem that impedes achieving educational goals.
  • Plan a strategy for next steps, soliciting input and support from parents and/or community members. Be ready to suggest concrete options for addressing a problem.
Be respectful
  • Treat people that way you want to be treated. All parents appreciate those who have their children's best interest at heart.
  • Respect cultural and ethnic differences, and try to see the parents' or community's perspective. Even if you disagree with how to approach a problem, seek common ground, assuming that people are doing the best they can with the knowledge and resources at hand to do what's right for the children and the community.

Social Media

Other than websites, online journals and blogs are also used in the same way. They are easy to create and update with even the minimum level of technology knowledge.

Another way schools and districts are using technology is through Social Media.

Some schools are turning to Facebook, Twitter and other social media sites to keep parents informed on schools activities and upcoming events. Although some schools may question whether this is the right move, schools that are using these sites say that since parents already use social media, it is a great way of convenience for them to hear about school news.

Virtual Fieldtrips

the use of audio, video or web-conferencing tools to tour or interact simultaneously with businesses, museums, galleries using images, animation, videos and websites.
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