Online parent participation: involve parents digitally in education
Parents’ involvement doesn’t only improve their children’s learning success, but also the school’s overall quality. But not all parents have the time or opportunity to actively help the school or participate in the parents’ council. To involve as many parents as possible in the school and the education of their child, a school, or day care, or after-school care can choose to set up an online platform for parent participation.
Opportunities of ONLINE parent participation
With online participation, it’s possible to simply keep parent informed or even to actively involve them in developing plans and policy. A successful online parent-participation platform is always supplementary to offline communication and events, such as letters and parent-teacher conferences. That way, you increase the likelihood of involving all parents in the teaching and learning process.
The degree to which you as day care, school, or after-school care want to involve parents is entirely up to you. You determine the extent of participation. Do you only want to inform parents, or do you also want to gather ideas, and provide parents with the option to rate and comment on ideas? Can parents also vote on plans and policy, or do you want to go one step further and actively work together with parents and use the platform for co-creation?
Level 1: inform
Do you want to keep parents informed about their child’s experiences during the day using pictures, or would you rather share a weekly report? You can do both with Mett. Teachers can have a private group with a child’s parents and share information. This way, teachers can keep parents informed in a secure online environment.
At other times, it’s easier to give an update to all parents of a class of children. For instance, to discuss the class’ homework or suggestions for show and tell. That way, parents can better help their children at home. If you want to inform everyone, you can of course also do this with a public page. Consider, for instance, the school news or an agenda with upcoming events. When a new message is posted to the participation platform, all members automatically receive a notification. This way parents stay informed about what’s going on.
- Private groups: parent-teacher or entire class
- School news
Level 2: Make an inventory
Offer parents interested in the school the option to submit ideas for the school board or parents’ council, or make an inventory of ideas around a common theme. This gives parents with little time the opportunity to also contribute. Or give parents the option to comment in a private group with the child’s teacher or coach. Useful for those moments when a child is running late, or parents have specific questions for their child’s teacher.
- Online suggestion box
- Comment and ask questions in private groups
Level 3: rate and respond
Some highly-involved parents are mainly interested in their own child’s learning process, whereas others also care about the school in general. The latter group doesn’t always have time to go to parent-teacher conferences or join the parents’ council. To involve as many parents as possible in the school, a platform for parent participation may offer the solution. Share ideas or plans and let parents rate and respond. Quick and easy, from home or their office.
- Rate ideas
- Respond to ideas
Level 4: choose and vote
When plans for the school have reached an advanced stage, a school can offer parents the option to vote on the ideas and plans. You can even go a step further, and let parents choose. Clearly communicate what the plans are, what you expect of the parents, and what you plan to do with the votes and the outcome. Does it affect the board’s choice, or is it the deciding factor?
- Vote for plans
- Choose plans
Level 5: co-creation
With co-creation, unlike traditional forms of plan development, you involve parents from the first stages of planning. You can facilitate this process with ease online. Involve them from the start in determining goals and plans, balancing pros and cons, and making choices. This way, you can work together with parents and come up with creative and unexpected solutions. In short: create an online playground for parents! Read this blog for more tips on co-creation.
- Community for school policy and plans
- Conceive ideas, make plans, and organize together
- Private community for parents, teachers, and school management.
Mett for education
Besides a platform for online parent participation, you can use Mett in many other ways.
Examples are an interactive environment for students to learn and work, an intranet for management and teachers, or temporary project platform. You can easily tailor this online environment to meet your needs, whether it’s a participation platform, project platform, or intranet. You can do this yourself, but we can also help you. Curious to learn more about the opportunities Mett can offer your school? Visit our page on Mett for education, or request an informal demo.