Building your technological "tribe"

Involving parents as much as possible in the deployment of technological tools for students is an important advantage in obtaining their support throughout the year. Here are some suggestions for doing this.

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Involving parents as much as possible in the deployment of technological tools for students is an important advantage in obtaining their support throughout the year. Here are some suggestions for doing this.

The key to a successful technological implementation is to involve all those who are closely or remotely linked to your establishment. It is very important to involve your teachers, but also the parents. Often, we forget to involve the parents, but they are very important since it is they who will have to support your students with these technologies at home.

I have had the opportunity to meet twice Holly clark, from San Diego. She wrote the very good article 5 Effective Ways To Build Your School Tribe on the subject. She wonders why speak of a “tribe” when one could use the word “community”. Indeed, the term community designates a group of individuals living together. Instead, we associate the word tribe to something small and local.

Thus, it rather takes into account the definition proposed by Seth godin, American entrepreneur, author and speaker, who is much more modern and current. According to his book Tribes: We need YOU to lead us, a tribe is a movement that is formed around a common interest in making a difference. We see more and more emerge this type of tribe on the Internet since it is a powerful means of communication. These tribes are each changing the world in their own way.

So how do you create a tribe that includes parents and wants to offer the best to children by empowering them to use the technology that will be omnipresent in their adult lives? Here are 5 suggestions for achieving this goal.

1) Technological meeting with parents
The information evening with parents on how the technology their children are going to use, but also on how to use it in the classroom, is a must. To an outsider, the use of technology in the classroom is still something abstract. Many parents do not understand the device their child has in their hands, so it can be academically useful. This is an opportunity to inform them and to exchange with them.

2) A techno summit for parents
Education professionals attend seminars and other events to open up to new ideas and discover new practices. Why not offer the same to the parents of the students? For example, the Collège Saint-Jean-Vianney organized in the fall of 2013 the Parent Symposium 3.0: Being a parent in the digital age. A conference and a few workshops can make a huge difference.

3) Transform your parent's night
At the start of the year, schools organize a parent's evening where each teacher explains their lesson. Does the parent really need an explanation of the course content? Wouldn't a written document, a web page or even a video be more effective in conveying this information? Why not use this opportunity to talk about the use of technology in the classroom and the changes in education in the age of connectivism?

4) A techno summer camp
The beginning of the year is always something difficult to set up. The device is returned to the student and, shortly after, lessons begin. Some schools donate the device and teachers have to find time in class to explain how it works. It is always possible to organize special days in the schedule, but it is never ideal. Why not consider a special day BEFORE the start of the school year, with students and their parents, to learn basic applications and to open the discussion on digital citizenship? This would allow families to start the year with a better understanding of the expectations of the school.

5) Create a keyword for your class or school
Social media is the future of the internet and this is not about to slow down. Almost all parents and students are on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Creating a keyword is a great way to create a sense of belonging to your tribe. The project #leydenpride, by director Jason Markey, is a perfect example of this type of approach.

In conclusion, Éditions Reynald Goulet has just published the book Home school technologies. It can certainly help parents with this arrival of technology in the classroom and, necessarily, at home.


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About the Author

Sébastien Wart
Sebastien wart
Director of teaching and educational innovation at Saint-Paul College. A specialist in technological integration, Sébastien was an IT and Web optimization consultant at the FÉEP as well as an educational consultant in technology integration and a teacher at the Collège de Montréal.

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