Parent Engagement in Student’s Learning

I had the opportunity to attend ConnectED Canada on the weekend. It was hosted by the Calgary Science School – truly an inspiration in Inquiry Based learning and student accountability in their own learning. While CSS students blew me away with their insightful and proud reflections on their learning, I was also pleased to see CSS parents included in the conference. In fact, some of the parents even presented a session on parent engagement in the school.

I firmly believe that language and technology are not just learned at school – they are learned at home as well. How many parents read with their children? Help their kids finish their homework? Work on “projects” with their kids?

The next step is making that connection with your child by “observing” and becoming aware of their interaction in Social Media. While it may seem like the most difficult thing that you have ever done – you want to know what your kids are doing and who they are connected with.

This blog post by Royan Lee really gives you a visual of how and why you need to connect with your kids about what they are leanring at home through social media. http://spicylearning.wordpress.com/2012/05/31/parents-as-partners/

Blog Post 3 – eBooks

How are eBooks influencing my child at school?

An eBook is any electronic book that can be read on a piece of computer hardware. This could include any eBook that could be read on a tablet, iPad, computer, laptop or any mobile device.

These are some of the advantages eBooks for parents:

1. You can read them anywhere on almost any device. If your child, “forgets their book at school” you can access the eBook and they have no excuse not to complete their reading homework.

2.Sometimes your child’s reading can be “tracked” by the teacher using software through the eBook. eBooks can make it difficult to lie about doing your reading.

3.eBooks can be written by teachers. If you have an amazing teacher who has already written a lot of their own course content, you can encourage them to create their own eBook and then you can access it from home for your child.

4. eBooks are more solid and are not as likely to become lost. How many times have your children lost pieces of paper that have come home from school? eBooks would offer students an opportunity to get rid of paper and use online resources.

5. eBooks are faster to make and often have more current, up to date content and information. What is the publishing date of your child’s current textbook?

6. eBooks are cheaper to buy and make. School districts could offer eBooks as alternatives and you would not be responsible to pay a “rental fee” for textbooks. Nor would you  be responsible for lost textbooks.

7. eBooks are searchable. Your child can look up quotes and details much more easily than using a regular book. This should reduce plagiarism as there is no reason not to quote and present direct source information.

8. Many eBooks are free. The Project Gutenburg offers a wide variety of classic books online – for free!

9.eBooks can read aloud to you. If your child is having problems reading, then they can have teh text read to them. Reading aloud would also helps with diction and pronunciation.

10. eBooks offer a new “cool” way of reading and have reached a different “type” of reader.
According to theonlinemom.com, “There’s something I’m not sure is entirely replaceable about having a stack of inviting books, just waiting for your kids to grab,” said Eryn Garcia, mother of two young children. “But I’m an avid believer that you need to find what excites your child about reading. So I’m all for it.”

eBooks can be integrated into the regular classroom and into online courses. They are less expensive and offer more flexibility than regualr books.  Ask your child if they have read an eBook. What did they read it on, and what was it about?

Verena Roberts BEd, MA, TESL, MET – in progress
CEO- Chief Education Officer, www.GlobalEd.ca