Using Kidblog for Parent Communication

Parents play a significant role in student achievement. In order to guide student success, ​it is important to ensure a reliable means of communication with parents has been established.  Teachers want ways to share the news and happenings in the classroom. Regular communication to keep parents informed about upcoming events such as assessments and class or school activities is important. Opportunities for sharing student work, so that parents see the learning experiences of students, is crucial.

There are many ways to do this – phone calls, email, and even by using some of the different messaging apps available. While these all work well, the most productive and creative way to do this is through Kidblog.

Using Kidblog as a platform for parental communication can take the place of those traditional emails or newsletters and creates a more interactive way for parents to engage in the conversation with teachers, their children, and with one another. It is also helps parents understand the use of student blogging and serves as a good model for students, demonstrating the benefits for communication and collaboration.

First, create your Kidblog class used for parent communication and share the link with parents. Be sure to send home an initial letter with details about how to access the blog, how it will be used, and other important details to get them started. The first post can act as a welcome message and provide enough links and information for them upon their first visit to the site.  

Here are three ideas for creating open communication with parents through Kidblog:

1) The Latest News: Promote more parent involvement by publishing blog posts regularly (this can be daily or on specific days you set forth in your initial letter) to inform parents on the happenings of your classroom. Instead of creating a class newsletter, simply write a post about the latest classroom news. Be sure to provide access – links, images, videos, etc – to all of the resources they will need in order to help their children. For example, post details about upcoming projects or assessments, list daily activities,  provide helpful links the parents can use to help their children review content material.

2) Parent questions and concerns: Why not use Kidblog as a place where parents can post their questions. It can become a great way for parents to get answers to some of their common questions, and provide an easy way for them to access the information they need when they need it. It also promotes interactions between parents, as they can respond to one another and provide support as well.

3) Careers, PBL and guest posts: Depending on the content area and grade level you teach, Kidblog could also be used as a way to encourage parents to post blogs. This can be especially beneficial if you have students working on something like project-based learning, or want students to learn about careers or complete a job study. It can be an easy way to share this information and provide more resources for students, as well as, build some relationships within your learning community.

These are only three of the several possibilities for using the blog to supplement additional forms of communication. A blogging space is also capable of being a representation of your classroom in the virtual space. It provides parents with a peek into where the students are learning and connects the home and school, in ways which promote collaboration and keeps parents involved and informed.

About the Author
I am a Spanish and STEAM: What’s nExT in Emerging Technology Teacher at Riverview Junior Senior High School in Oakmont, PA. I am also an attorney and earned my Juris Doctor Degree from Duquesne University School of Law and have a Master’s Degree in Instructional Technology. I am the Communications Chair for the ISTE Mobile Learning Network, the President-Elect and Innovations and Resources Co-Chair for the Teacher Education Network and the PAECT Historian. I was selected as the 2017 Outstanding Teacher of the Year by PAECT (the Pennsylvania Association for Educational Communications in Technology, the PA affiliate of ISTE) and by the NSBA as one of the "20 to watch" educators. I am proud to be involved in several communities including being a Common Sense Media Educator, an Ambassador for BloxelsEDU, Buncee, CoSpaces, Flipgrid, Hoonuit, and an Edmodo Certified Trainer, Nearpod PioNear, Recap Pioneer, TES Ambassador and Ambassador for several other networks. I wrote chapter 3 of the Edumatch book “Snapshot in Education 2016”, and I am a contributing author to “Gamify Literacy” from ISTE. I enjoy blogging and writing for Kidblog and I am always looking for new learning opportunities to benefit my students. You can connect with me on Twitter @rdene915.

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