Use digital communication and collaboration tools to communicate locally and globally with students, parents, peers, and the larger community

In my post Collaboration with Parents, Student Motivation, and Success I was able to reflect on how much parent involvement can mean to student motivation. In addition to meaning a lot to students, involving parents in the process provides a path for students to continue their learning outside of school. Partnering with parents sends a consistent message about what is expected from students and shows what they are learning in the classroom. Establishing a solid partnership assures that learning happening at school is shared with parents because students do not always deliver that message. Of course, it also allows parents to opportunity to contribute to the classroom and I think that is a key point in this standard. Teachers now have the ability to easily communicate with parents through tools like Google Classroom or Remind. Tools that are approved and used in the classroom daily are developing features that aid in parent communication. A presentation like the one listed in my blog post is definitely a good way to involve parents, but they can be involved in daily or weekly activity through updates from Remind, Google Classroom or another Learning Management System used in the classroom.

The second post I want to reference for this indicator is Connecting PLCs to Local and Global PLNs. The focus of most of my post is on creating high quality professional learning at a school level through seeking input from staff members. In addition, I argue that when staff members are engaged in professional learning that they value, they will seek additional interactions and engagement with the content using digital tools like Twitter chats or Google+ groups. Continued learning through social media allows learning to happen beyond and outside of the work day. Connecting with social media allows teachers to connect with other educators from across the country and world.

One other great reason for educators to use social media is to be able to be a positive influence for students. Students using social media may talk to other students from across the country and world. Being familiar with social media as a teacher allows you to better plan for how you will instruct students around responsible use. A teacher who is comfortable with social media can integrate it into instruction. Teaching fourth grade didn’t allow me to integrate social media into my classroom because of COPPA, which protects children under 13 online, and requires parent permission for many websites. Social media wasn’t something I got permission from parents to integrate into my classroom, so i didn’t use it with students. Instead I chose to connect the students in my classroom to students in another state through video and collaborative documents. I wrote about this project in ISTE-C 5c but I want to highlight it here as well. Connecting with students in Denver through interactive letters and a video tour of our school really flattened the walls for my students. It was something that was relatively easy and had an impact on them as they saw students similar to themselves and learned about a new place.

For more information see my complete posts Collaboration with Parents, Student Motivation, and Success and Connecting PLCs to Local and Global PLNs

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