Around The Clock EdTech: Early Years and Primary Pt.1
Category: Before Class
by Nicole Ponsford
Today’s tech allows us all immediate, around the clock EdTech services and support. The majority of us use smart phones to help spin the immediate demands of our lives, laptops and desktops for our more in depth work and then switch off by switching on another screen for our moving image addictions of the small screen or our digital reading devices.
It can sometimes feel that the devices are making us work harder. So let’s press pause.
How can we make the machines make our lives easier? Surely the school day is busy enough, right? Here is my brief around the clock round up, for Early Years and Primary School teachers, to help you timetable your detect better.
The Education Endowment Foundation recognise that research into parent engagement in schools is ‘challenging’. My experience in schools has taught me that you need to engage rather than involve. To help this process, schools need to ask parents what information they want and how they wish to be contacted. Here is how to start the day right.
Before your parents turn up at the gates, try engaging them at breakfast. Ensure your school website has all of their immediate needs on the home page, noting what needs to be in school that day and a heads up for the term’s upcoming events (or even the year ahead!).
If you prefer an app to make you ‘appy (sorry), there is a growing and competitive market when it comes to home/school apps. Make sure you do your homework first – and try a few out before you commit your school community to one app – and ask parents to try them out. Can they access these across devices, anytime, whatever their life styles or work patterns?
The pick of the bunch for me are Kinderly for Early Years (allowing you to record naps and meals, as well as the usual early years information) and SeeSaw for Primary Schools (which can be extended as far as their entire school lifetime).
Nic’s TIP: Make sure that the frequent and child-specific communication goes both ways – between home and school. There is nothing worse than a school who uses these apps as an irregular texting service reminding ‘all’ parents ‘not to forget’ things. Make sure you use these apps to celebrate success, use images so parents can ‘see’ into the classroom, and make sure parents get a say in what you send them!
[Continued in Around The Clock EdTech: Early Years and Primary Pt.2]