Using Technology to Support Family Engagement

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Family engagement is a key factor in promoting student success and well-being. Research shows that when families are involved in their children’s education, they have higher academic achievement, better attendance, lower dropout rates, and more positive attitudes toward learning. However, engaging families can be challenging, especially in the context of remote or hybrid learning, diverse cultural backgrounds, and busy schedules. Technology can be a powerful tool to overcome these barriers and foster meaningful connections between schools and families.

Use Multiple and Accessible Communication Channels

Communicate with families through various platforms, such as email, text messages, phone calls, social media, video conferencing, and messaging platforms. These channels should be user-friendly, reliable, and secure, and they should respect the families’ preferences and privacy. Schools should also ensure that their communication is accessible to all families, regardless of their language, literacy, or disability status. For example, schools can use translation tools, captioning, and text-to-speech features to make their messages understandable and inclusive.

Smiling man talking on a cell phone

Share Relevant and Timely Information

Provide families with information that is relevant to their children’s learning and development, such as curriculum, assignments, grades, attendance, behavior, and feedback. Share information about school events, policies, resources, and opportunities for family involvement. This information should be timely, accurate, and consistent, and it should encourage families to monitor their children’s progress and support their learning at home.

Create Interactive and Collaborative Learning Experiences

Schools should use technology to create interactive and collaborative learning experiences that involve families and students. For example, schools can use online platforms to share student work, facilitate discussions, and solicit feedback from families. Schools can also use digital tools to create fun and engaging activities, games, and quizzes that families and students can do together. These experiences can help families understand what their children are learning, appreciate their strengths and challenges, and celebrate their achievements.

Build Trusting and Respectful Relationships

Use technology to build trusting and respectful relationships with families based on mutual understanding, appreciation, and support. Communicate not only about academic matters but also about personal and social issues, such as health, wellness, and culture. Technology is a tool to help schools listen to families’ voices, concerns, and suggestions and to involve them in decision-making processes. Then, use technology to recognize and acknowledge families’ contributions and express gratitude and appreciation.

Final Thoughts

Technology can be a valuable ally for schools in engaging families in their children’s education. By using technology effectively and strategically, schools can enhance their communication, collaboration, and relationship with families and, ultimately, improve student outcomes and well-being.

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