I posted already about doing ed tech sessions for other teachers in my school. I am also hosting a short technology session for parents of high schoolers (about 20 minutes... but three sessions back to back) during our open house night. What topics do you think are important to share with parents? What would you include in the informational sessions? I was thinking of having a web survey or a blog set up so that the parents could answer/ask questions after the presentations. Anyone have nifty ideas for this one? :-) TIA!!

Tags: parents, secondary

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Give them the stats on how many kids are now online--and the actual stats on how many young girls are murdered by people they meet online. Give them suggestions on how to keep their kiddos safe. Try to allay their fears.
Session suggestions:
• District web site overview
• School website overview
• Lib Media Center Research Portal (including the catalog, pathfinders, etc.)
• State Database (Ebscohost, Infotrac, Sirs, etc.) and their importance over “Google” due to refereed, authoritative content
• Internet Safety for Teens and/or children (w/ a parent perspective)
• Basic searching techniques
• Video production studio
• If any teachers are using a CMS like Drupal, Moddle, Blackboard, or others, perhaps a session or two that shows parents the interface and how to see the class would be helpful
• If there are any teachers using blogs or wikis, showcase those
• Last, and to me most important, have STUDENTS present these topics. I know your audience is parents, but how powerful would it be for the students to “teach” their parents? Great opportunity to get students involved, and parents will come out in droves for their kids.

I like the last and most important suggestion--something that probably wouldn't have occured to me.

As a parent, I would probably be most interested in finding out how teachers at the school are using technology in the classroom so I would want to see examples from various classrooms of technology in use. You should also include handouts displaying any school URL's of interest such as a school webpage or blog.
I think an introduction to myspace would be a big draw-I'm sure a lot of parent's are not very clear about the range of experiences (positive and negative) that are available there. Like it or not, myspace is a big part of teenagers' social interactions nowadays. Finally, a brief survey of websites high schoolers could use to get homework assistance or use for research for assignments might be of interest.
As shocking as this sounds, some parents don't even know how to check their child's grades online. My school had an online grade database for each and every student, and my parents only learned about it my Senior year... much to my chigrin.

It's sad to say, but start with the basics. Start with how to contact the teacher, how to contact the principle, how to view grades (if your school offers all of that of course).

From there I would move up to simple websites, like how to ask questions on your blog, and how to check answers for those questions. If you can, have a system on your site that is more private. Something where they can message you with concerns they don't nescessarly want the whole community to see.

Finally, I would add a little something on your page about what the kids are talking about at home in regards to your class. Do they like the class? What don't they like about the class? What could make the experience better for them? Stuff like that.
We have actually had parents come in with their child and actually complete a project that is similar to what their child would be doing in class. For instance, last year are first one was a Tech Academy creating podcasts and the second was over digital storytelling. These nights have been very successful because the children help their parents understand what they are doing in class and they love to show how much they know!

Our school has also held a Tech Awards Night in which we recognize outstanding student technology projects in front of the entire school, parents, school board and other teachers. We treated it as an "academy awards" red carpet night and the students seemed to have a great time! This just gives the school another way to get parents and the community involved.
I love the Tech Awards Night idea! I was wondering what sort of parameters you set for your students, as well as what type of projects were shown off.
We had the following categories for the HS students: Video, digital storytelling, podcast informative, podcast musical, multimedia presentation, web page and poster.

We limited the JH students to: video, podcast poster and powerpoint.

If you are interested in getting the rubrics for each category let me know and I would be more than happy to share!
Wow! I'm so interested in expanding what were doing at our school, it's great to have people to bounce ideas off of and gather info. I would be definitely interested in the rubrics for the JH students.
I am also in charge of a tech night for parents and I find it very resourceful for the parents and for myself. I take surveys of technology available for the families from home, give a show and tell time for technology used at school, go over expectations of the students at school and at home (internet safety for parents to be aware of), and a question/answer section. It only takes about half an hour and the parents have no excuses for lack of knowledge. I believe that we must help parents catch up to the technology that is being used everyday with their child in order for them to encourage growth in their own homes. GREAT IDEA!
Here are some topics that parents might like to hear about or learn about:
*how to access teacher websites
*logging in and out of our school website
*sharing websites that students use for practice and test prep
*going over safety precautions for student use of internet at home
*information about the technologies that the students are using in the building, for example: smart boards, clickers, laptop carts, etc...
*how to access grades online
*how to access lunch accounts
*how to email school and teachers
I hope this helps!! Please let me know how the sessions go, because we are thinking of doing something like this in our building. THANK YOU!!
when you talk about teacher websites, does every teacher have a website? The ones that do, what do they use to get it started? Do they link them to the schools home page? I guess how do you make it work at your school for teacher websites??

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