Blog Technology that supports parental engagement a ‘top priority’ for schools By James Leckie Throughout extended periods of remote learning, many schools embraced real-time collaboration tools – such as Microsoft Teams or Google Classroom – as a way of communicating with students and conducting live online learning. As schools make a return to the physical classroom, these systems have continued to play a role in facilitating learning collaboration with student groups. However, as parents return to the workplace, the connection between parents and students that necessitated parental engagement during remote learning has changed. Schools who rely on parents accessing their child’s Google classroom or Microsoft Teams account to engage in student learning directly, are finding parent engagement is not as effective. Schools wanting to educate in partnership with parents are seeking ways to leverage momentum in technology adoption, looking for purpose built tools to engage parents in student learning. Make it easier for parents to engage in their child’s learning Parental engagement in student learning is key, with research showing a positive correlation between parent involvement and students’ learning outcomes. So, how can schools make it easier for parents to engage – without increasing administrative burden? Sometimes the simplest solutions are right in front of us; for instance, imagine having one platform that parents could login to, that provides all of the relevant information in one location? It sounds so obvious, but what many schools are realising is that the multitude of tools being used across the school community are not making it easy for parents to access relevant information. Schoolbox solves this by providing parents with their own identity and access permissions, through a unique parent dashboard. This gives parents visibility over their child’s learning progress, teacher feedback, and wellbeing information, as well as the ability to see school notices and news, plus student calendars and timetables. Schools can control who can publish information to parent dashboards in the school roles and permissions, making it easier for schools to control the sharing of information. Most importantly, centralising all communication makes it easier for parents, students, and school staff to connect. The power of learning data to engage + connect Schools are increasingly looking at ways to harness the power of data and analytics, to assess student development, as well as keep parents informed of their child’s progression. By providing continuous feedback and learning progression, parents can engage in their child’s learning, but for this to be effective, we need to ensure parents are able to easily access the information they need. Through the power and convenience of the Schoolbox LMS and Portal solution, parents are able to access real time updates on their child’s progress, including feedback on assessments, and wellbeing information. Whilst Google Classroom + Microsoft Teams are effective live collaboration tools, they don’t collect data in a consistent way, meaning schools can’t easily share or communicate student achievements, showing student progression over time. However, Schoolbox provides educators with analytics and insights across the diverse attributes of assessment and student wellbeing, providing important insights into a student’s progress, as well as areas of support that may be required. Keeping parents in the loop Recognising the importance of timely communication and parental engagement, Schoolbox is configured to be device responsive and send push notifications to a parent’s mobile phone, or email account, when information becomes available. As parents are busily going about their day-to-day activities, Schoolbox will automatically send a notification via their mobile phone or via email, whenever something pertinent happens – e.g. a new piece of feedback has been given, a new assignment has been set, or a student hasn’t handed their work in on time. Providing even more convenience, these notifications can be configured within Schoolbox to go out automatically to notify parents – the teacher doesn’t have to do anything (saving them time and reducing administrative overheads). This level of parental engagement is not achievable when using Google Classroom or Microsoft Teams, alone. However, with a platform such as Schoolbox, communication to parents can be personalised and centralised – providing access to a variety of resources and feedback, ensuring maximum visibility and convenience for parents. Systems such as Microsoft Teams or the Google Apps for Education suite continue to provide value in today’s learning environment. By augmenting these technologies with Schoolbox, educators are given the features they need to be true leaders in education. Bringing everything together in one place, the Schoolbox platform supports schools to achieve an enhanced learning experience that connects the entire school community, ensuring parents are active participants in their child’s learning. To find out how your school can achieve a greater level of connection and engagement across the whole school community …request a Schoolbox demo, today.