When I met with the SPC in January, we discussed how technology is being used to support achievement of our school goal, "To improve students' proficiency in writing". One of the parents on the Council wondered if a workshop might be useful for parents who want to support their child in the digital world. What is a student Dashboard and how is it being used? What are the advantages of blogging? What is 'blogging'? As educators, we become immersed in the digital world, continually exploring ways of using technology to broadcast ideas and information, deepen students' understanding of issues or concepts, or simply to communicate. Using technology has become the norm, the expectation, the way we 'do business'. Yet we forget sometimes that our parents may be feeling left out, or even left behind. To address these concerns, a parent workshop was held on March 29th. Vice-principal Tara Zielinski and Digital Literacy Expert Chris Young set the context and provided background information on the Dashboards, blogging and wikis. But can you tell by looking at the photos below who really facilitated the learning that morning?
Our Grade 6/7 students navigated their Dashboards, explaining to parents the many ways they are used as educational tools. They shared how their teachers post a video or article and how it is their responsibility to analyze and make thoughtful, meaningful responses. Students also help each other by sending links and suggesting articles that may support their classmates' research.
What did our parents say about their lesson that morning?
"I will admit that I prefer to remain narrow-minded in my knowledge of technology as it's so overwhelming. But as a parent, I cannot ignore and most certainly appreciate, the efforts and advancements that our school is providing to our children. This session was not only informative, but in seeing how well the students navigated their Student Dashbords, I'm more confident in encouraging my son to start using his Dashboard more. Keeping parents in the proverbial 'loop' is just another reason why West Bay is a community school." Deanne Ouellette, Grade 4 parent
"It was so intriguing to be shown how to utilize the Dashboards by the Gr. 6/7 students. They truly are the 'experts' in this digital age. Tara Zielinski and Chris Young helped us to understand the evolving role of technology in the classroom and how the teachers are supporting the process." Karen Zen, Grade 4 and 6 parent
"The more I learn, the less I know." Grade 4 parent Cecily Heras admits. She adds,"It will be quite a job just to keep up with these guys."
Thank you to Carly, Mattias, Alexa, Bill, Marc, and ChiChi for leading the learning. You demonstrated how you are wonderful IB communicators by sharing your expertise with confidence and enthusiasm.