Engaging with Gen Z parents more difficult, but necessary
- Solid school–parent communication is crucial to student success, but a lack of progress in how schools go about doing that can make connecting with parents of Generation Z students more difficult, Max Larsen Elementary Principal Dr. Shawn Bishop writes for eSchool News.
- Instead of relying on antiquated communication methods like weekly hard-copy newsletters, Bishop says schools and districts should take advantage of parent-teacher communication apps and smartphones to share a steady stream of information.
- This approach worked so well for Bishop's school that he saw parents for over 200 students arrive for the school's "2016 Data Night," which informed parents about curriculum and how to help their children progress, and parents for over 95% of students participated in parent-teacher conferences.
Today's parents are much more tech-savvy and, like their children, accustomed to receiving information almost instantaneously via their smartphones. As such, along with utilizing the many parent-teacher communication apps on the market, schools and districts should also take full advantage of social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook to keep parents informed.
Social media, however, comes with its own risks alongside the potential rewards, especially when taking a looser tone to put a human face on the school or district, so establishing best practices is essential. But social media can also provide a learning opportunity for responsible students, who can be placed in teams tasked with running the accounts. And in the case of some Twitter hashtags, it can provide peer networking and learning opportunities for educators, offering benefits for educators beyond parent and community engagement.
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