A year ago at the SAAM conference in May, I listened to Devon Caldwell speak about 21st century learners and the ways that she has infused technology into her junior and senior kindergarten classroom. Having a child in kindergarten myself, I often wonder how I might be more informed and connected to my son's educational world. I am fortunate enough to have a son that loves to talk and shares many aspects of his day with me when I pick him up after work. For many parents, that may not be the case.
I recently read through Devon's blog and came across an interesting read in one of her posts. Devon discusses the use of Facebook as a tool to connect parents to the world in which their children spend 5.5 hours a day. When I was a classroom teacher in a multi-age setting, one of my own priorities was keeping parents involved and connected with what was going on in the classroom. I sent out a monthly, full-page newsletter with descriptions of field-trips, special school activities and birthday announcements. I hosted parent multi-age information evenings and volunteered at many school nights such as our Family Math Night, and Families and Schools Together Program. In this digital age, Devon offers an alternative to the old hard copy newsletter- connecting through Facebook. In her post, she details all the considerations she thought through before deciding to offer a digital connection to her kindergarten classroom. With many educators using Edmodo to connect with students, this might be another way to open the lines of communication and strengthen community-to-classroom ties. You can read Devon's post here.