Have any of you got some neat ways to introduce or lure families into joining the 2.0 loop? I'm putting school musical photos into a bubbleshare album and suggesting my head share them with our community. I think that if parents start to learn a bit, opportunities for parent/child interaction over online and school activities will increase. Plus, the "this is cool" factor may lead them back to us for more.

How would you target limited energy (my to do list is overwhelmed already) to engage families? Any of you working on this already, how did it work out? Was it a good way to spend some precious time?

Thanks everyone!

Tags: family, parent, school

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Hi Sue,
VoiceThread could be another "cool" tool to get parents to join in. While I haven't tried it with parents yet, my elementary students found it very easy to use and a lot of fun. You can see an example on my page here on classroom20 http://www.classroom20.com/profile/tsairi
Susan, thanks for the link. This looks like it might be fun--I am going to take a closer look tomorrow. I wonder if we could do a geneology project using this...
Thanks for pointing it out!
What a great idea! A family tree/album where members of the family can add to their own stories vocally.
There are a couple of fairly new web 20 sites for geneology http://www.geni.com/tree/start which is in open beta and http://www.famillions.com which is in private beta.
Another site is http://scrapblog.com - which enables users to create an online scrapbook (upload photos add, text, stamps, choose a template). The scrapblogs can be embedded in other websites and shared privately or publicly. Visitors can leave comments.
(From the flip side) How I WISH! My daughter's teacher sends me home at least 2 pages of paper every day. If she had a blog for parents who used 2.0, she could save so much money in copies. I understand that not everyone has access to computers, but man, would I love to not be a paper wrangler anymore. So, please ASK parents any chance you get if they would like to have paperless communication.
What I hear from my school administration is that not all students and families will check online, so they haven't tried to go that way. I think being paperless would be something we could ask parents to sign up for, though, like you suggest, and will bring that forward. Asking that they would subscribe to an rss feed or check daily--a green thing for our environmentally conscious families--if they sign on! I anticipate that the office staff will complain that they don't want to spend the time differentiating paper flyers for all the students in each classroom (it is faster for the office to copy all students in a classroom rather than try and label for each student). Perhaps this is where a committed classroom teacher can organize things...color coding mailboxes for paper copies or not? Thanks for pointing to this avenue, I will pursue it!
I've been thinking how cool it would be to get the teachers in my school to use a blog instead of a service like SchoolNotes (which they are required by the principal to use at the moment) to post homework. Then parents could use aggregator to subscribe to each of their children's homework feeds...and they be aggregated into one place. Does anyone know of a service other than a blog that would do this?
I'm checking out schoolnotes since you referred to it, but we are using a moodle site with a calendar for homework (actually, the intermediates are using it, since they are most willing to spend time administering it).
It's worth checking out MyHaikuClass.com learning management system. Take a look at their feature page, they are planning a big update with new features (discussions, homework drop box with RSS, messaging, and gradebook by late summer, quizzes in the fall) http://www.haikuls.com/php/features.php
At the moment you can build webpages, add messages, announcements, embed videos and photos and audio from flickr, odeo and google/youtube. The webpage builder is an easy to use drag and drop and their are some very attractive templates. Free for one class. You can see examples of classes linked from their wiki http://www.haikuls.com/wiki/pmwiki.php/ExamplesOfHaikuClasses/Class...
Oh wow! I hadn't seen haiku ls before. I'll spend some time playing with it this weekend! Thanks.
Wow. This blows me away. What a great way to approach this!

Were you picturing the showcase for student work, the "refrigerator door," in any particular venue?

I also appreciate the emphasis on getting volunteer help, it is a reminder I need to keep plastered to my bathroom mirror! But you would be surprised how little access, and thus experience, many of my countryside families have. For many, phone access is the best they can get, and the lines are not even good enough for 56K--thus they have no functional access or experience. I will try for volunteer help, and hope to find some wanting to come into the school to use our satellite access to experience the web. But, even if the site gets put up for friends and family who are in more urban areas, I am sure the feedback will be huge! I'm thinking slide shows of current events, pictures of student work, and sound recordings of young readers would all be wondrous. I'm also thinking I will start with one class, and then try and get the teachers from other classes to want to join in. That way, they might help out...

I have links to several ideas in the wiki Parent 2.0 http://parent20.wikispaces.com Please have a look, and hopefully there's something useful for you. If you have other suggestions please add them!



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