At TIES#13 last week, George Couros presented an amazing session, “Involving Parents in the Process of Learning.” He just posted a blog post, “5 Ideas to Bring Parents into the Learning Process” that sort of summarizes his session.
I was too busy listening to take notes in the session, but am so impressed by what he has to say and by his attitude towards parents:
Parents are a great untapped resource in our schools…
George talks about how he communicates regularly with parents, how he invites and involves parents into the school on a regular basis. Five points from his blog:
- Use what the kids use: use communication tools the kids are using. He blogs regularly to communicate with parents.
- Have an open mind: he shared a story of a time he was explaining the plans for the tech rollout. He expected a pushback from parents — when instead they asked why he wasn’t moving faster!
- Tap into parent leadership: he encourages school leaders to bring parents in to honestly listen to the feedback and input, then work with these parent leaders to teach other parents.
- Focus on open communication: he shares what he’s learning and what he’s doing with parents as well as teachers.
- Create Learning Opportunities: Couros talks about modeling the tools, teaching parents how to use the communication tools the kids use.
I was so encouraged after Couros’s session. His attitude is certainly not the one I see from the administration at my kids’ schools. Parents are tolerated, but not really listened to. There is little openness, little embracing of trying new communication technologies.
In his session, Couros had an amazing way of stating the reasons why schools need to adopt digital tools — basically, you need to do what’s right for kids. Using examples like the need for a positive digital footprint, Couros shows why kids need to learn using digital tools. He gave incredible examples of the power of using blogs, Twitter, and more.
This post doesn’t do his session justice. I wish it had been recorded. I’m hoping he repeats it at ISTE so I can see it again.
And, he asked the question I’ve been asking for a couple of years — where are the parents at these tech conferences??