Every parent desires a bright future for their children, which can only be achieved through good education. But, how do parents gain insights into whether their children are benefiting from education? Parent-teacher meets can offer only limited information, giving parents an overview of how their children are doing at school. However, research shows that parental involvement in their children’s education can actually lead to improved school performance.
Why Parental Engagement?
The benefits of parental engagement don’t end there. With better involvement, parents can gain an insight into areas that their children might be struggling it and be in a better position to help, rather than waiting for a parent-teacher conference to hear about it. It has also been found that attendance and participation in school activities improves for children who have enthusiastic and involved parents. Most importantly, it can have positive impacts on the parent-child bond, which is always a good thing.
Another key research finding, this time by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is that when parents are more involved, students are less likely to engage in high-risk behaviors, such as drug use or smoking. The school and the teachers cannot single-handedly mold a better future for every child. Parental engagement is needed. And, the way to ensure engagement is through regular and consistent communication.
Parents and the Every Student Succeeds Act
The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) has replaced the No Child Left Behind initiative, to become the primary law for K-12 public education in the US. This new law not only holds schools accountable for the way students learn and achieve, it also gives parents a role to play in the education system.
Parental involvement is a key requirement under ESSA, requiring schools to include parents in the accountability process, such that parents can provide their inputs on how their child’s school, school district and state addresses the goals of accountability, student achievement and helping struggling students, as well as those with special needs.
However, parental involvement should not be a goal only fulfilled to be in compliance with the law. It has proven to be beneficial for the academic performance of children, so schools can actually benefit from keeping parents in the loop. Many states have already put measures in place to achieve parental involvement. What is needed is an effective solution to make parental engagement smooth and beneficial.
Advances in educational technology and digital learning have made it possible to ensure just such communication, enabling learning platform to keep parents in the loop regarding various aspects of schooling and education. Here’s a look.
Parent Accounts on EdTech Platforms
The use of educational technology is not new. However, tools designed to include parents in the loop are the most recent advancement on digital learning platforms. Parent account include tools designed specifically to help parents stay updated on their children’s activities in school. Of course, older students, such as those in the college-going age, might want more independence, but at the K-12 level, parent accounts can do a world of good.
For instance, one of the many offerings of Magic EdTech is a learning experience platform, Magic Box that is designed to cater to the needs of K-12 education, to which the parental account function has recently been added. Through this, parents can gain access to a dashboard that helps them track their child’s progress in . With this, parents can be actively involved in their children’s education, while keeping regular track of academic progress through different reports, assessment scores and more.
Access to Real-Time Data
With access to real-time information on their children, parents can take steps early to help students before they fall behind their peers in their classwork or assignments. Rather than waiting till the end of the year for a complete report, regular reports can offer parents greater insight into the everyday performance of their children, as well as areas that need more work. The focus can then shift from only exam performance to building concrete skills, including effective learning skills.
Effective Communication with Parents
Neither teachers nor parents need be tech-savvy to use such educational technology. These tools tend to be very intuitive and easy-to-use. There are options for messaging, chatting and receiving notifications. Groups can be created so that parents have support on key common concerns. And, it saves time and effort for both the school faculty and the parents in keeping track of individual students. Being compatible across devices, even the busiest parents can simply check in on their children even on the go. In addition, if there are more serious issues, video conferencing can be arranged with the parents, leading to early intervention.
Technology Offers Benefits for Engaging Parents
A working paper by Harvard University reveals that text messages between teachers and parents, focused on educational goals, can boost academic performance among students. Another research, published in the National Communication Association Journal, found that students whose parents and teachers exchanged emails were able to get more homework done than other students.
Although these studies don’t take into account the advances in education technology to engage parents, they do highlight the need for parental engagement. EdTech can offer great options for clear and consistent communication, setting of expectations and also efficient conflict resolution. It is time schools looked at the right EdTech tools to garner such benefits. After all, the primary goal of any education system is to support students through their learning journey.
Discover the ways in which the K-12 solutions offered by Magic EdTech can help with parental engagement and better tracking and assessment of students’ academic progress.