By Yvonne Blinde
Technology has changed the way we live our lives and how we connect with one another. In the education community, it’s become an invaluable tool that not only enhances teaching and learning outcomes, but also helps schools create beneficial and supportive relationships between teachers, administrators, parents and students.
At Triad School, technology plays an essential role in the teaching and learning process for teachers and students. It also keeps our administrators active in the classroom and serves as an effective way to enhance parent engagement and communication. As a result, our technology solutions make the entire learning process deeply personal, and support the needs of parents when questions or concerns arise.
Community is featured prominently in our technology plan and ensures our teachers and staff can engage in thoughtful communication with parents, administrators and students to foster a culture of collaboration and equity. Here are a few strategies to consider when building a school community through technology:
1. Use Technology To Your Advantage
It’s important for schools to be flexible with the kind of tools they implement in the classroom. There are myriad factors to consider when deploying new tools, but most importantly schools need to keep in mind how the technology will ultimately benefit everyone in its community. Two considerations include ensuring student and teacher success, as well as providing a strong communication system.
At Triad School, we use Twine, a modern learning management system (LMS) to build a bridge between the school, students and parents. The LMS enables our students to proactively check grades, schedules and assignments, all while augmenting the way they communicate with their teachers and relay information to their parents. The platform provides a strong communication hub for our school community to connect with each other and develop online conversations.
2. Embrace Mobile
We live in a day and age where mobile devices dominate our daily lives. With parents, teachers, administrators and students constantly busy and on the go, communicating through a mobile device is often the quickest and most convenient way to check email, grades, assignments and more.
At Triad, parents often text teachers and administrators, and students use our LMS more frequently on their mobile devices than on their laptop. The mobile version of the LMS provides an easy way for students to communicate and receive immediate feedback.
3. Give Students a Voice
Far too often, schools focus on building their relationships with the administrators, teachers and parents and leave out one of the most important groups–the students. Whether it be through our LMS or mobile apps, technology gives our students a voice in their school, classroom and overall education.
Technology gives students a platform to connect with their teachers to ask questions or voice their concerns, and encourages open lines of communication. By empowering our students to make choices and giving them the opportunity to take control of their own education through technology, we’re ensuring that they have what they need to be successful in each of their classes.
Triad School spends a considerable amount of time and energy building strong relationships with our community–both with students outside the classroom and when connecting with parents. By using modern tools to encourage and open up communication, we’re creating a strong community among teachers, parents and students that ensures everyone has the tools they need to be successful.
Yvonne Blinde is the director at the Triad School, a social emotional and academic private school in Reno, Nevada.
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