Future Ready Project
By Saul Duarte
Fletcher Drive Elementary
Nuestra Comunidad Digital: Family Distance Learning
to join us every Wednesday go to https://www.fletchermagnet.com/parents
In my current role as magnet coordinator, I have identified as a Problem of Practice (POP) in the few resources teachers have to deal with off-task behaviors during Zoom lesson/presentations (i.e. direct instruction). While this problem seems to be a problem of teaching and class management, I regard it as a problem of both teaching and parental/family concern. Distance learning is not easy. It also does not come naturally to students because of their lack of self-regulation, interpersonal skills, and intrapersonal skills required to work and collaborate through digital platforms. For parents, distance learning is also difficult because they have to become teachers even though they really do not know what that entitles as such teaching and learning at home is based on a curricular guidance and mapping from teachers and schools.
We as a community (educators and parents) must address the need to help families understand the impact and role of distance learning on their well-being and ability to promote learning because leading students to learning cognitive skills requires we also pay attention the inter-personal and intra-personal skills required to function adequately in a Distance Learning/blended classroom. A process to investigate what families need to support learning at home and to meet teacher/curricular expectations, it all starts with making ourselves (educators and leadership) aware of the cultural, linguistic, and pedagogical implications of entering students’ homes through our video conferencing and daily online learning activities.
We also need to assist families by helping parents learn the complexities of learning via distance learning platforms like video conferencing. Digital etiquette, motivational skills, life skills, socio-emotional learning, resilience, perseverance, and self-guided learning skills require we pay attention to daily home routines. Without parent training, education, and information dissemination, this problem will continue to exist. Teachers cannot teach children who are distracted, loud, or disengaged when at home. Parents may not understand that normal home activities are not those required for success in online digital learning. Transformative leadership must become culturally relevant by understanding what students’ home situations are, understand such situations, and accommodate educational practices to improve learning.
To start providing equity and access to all families, it is important we start by asking them to share what they want to know, what they want to ask. To do this effectively, I plan to have honest and sincere conversations by becoming vulnerable to explore topics and answers with parents.
Each week, the plan is to use parents interests to provide future topics of digital learning. In doing so, it is also important to know we plan to use ITSE standards to guide our conversations and ways to empower parents to become learners of digital concepts to help their children learn better through distance learning.
Project Objective: This project objective will be to provide parents, families weekly Video Conferencing opportunities to join a Digital Community Meeting (Junta Comunidad Digital) where they will have a venue to ask questions, provide feedback, gain access to information, to learn digital tools, and to learn new concepts/ideas relevant to distance learning. The main goal of this project will be to have informational, insight, and practical applications for parents to learn how to deal with distance learning at home.
Each weekly meeting is estimated to last 45 minutes.
Ten (10) minutes will be dedicated to provide/disseminate critical information about school/district, current events. This time will also bring guest visitors like parent representatives, non-profits, school principal, etc…
Ten (10) minutes will be dedicated to listen to parents! Knowing their concerns, questions, or requests for particular topics is important to follow up and provide individualized help.
Ten (10) minutes will be dedicated to introduce a new concept/idea that has been brought to surface by parents’ feedback or that is of importance to distance learning (one new topic a week)
Fifteen (15) minutes will be dedicated to present a practical tool and application of digital tools to help children learn or to help parents address a common known issue.
It has multiple resources to help parents know how to use zoom (spanish)
This site has great zoom etiquette tips from a parents’ point of view
Connection Academy has great resources for distance learning etiquette and behaviors
ITSE has 10 great strategies to help parents work via online learning effectively with kids. Possible Agenda/plan for Family Distance Learning Meetings
Has multiple resources for families to start learning about the use of digital tools, digital citizenship, academic subjects and distance learning
Future Ready Certification Materials/videos/articles.
Digital Platform to conduct Parent trainings:
ZOOM, LMS Video Conferencing, Google Hangouts Video Conferencing
Plan of Action:
Gather and secure access to platforms used by parents (via teachers Zooms, Facebook, twitter, websites, Class Dojo, Blackboard Connect) to share information of a school wide Zoom for families. To be done in the next 2 weeks before the end of the school year
Family distance learning Zooms will be guided by school principal’s initial information and sharing with the community
Followed by (me) presenting how to use digital tools and distance learning
Subsequent Zooms will be followed determined by topics of Family Distance Learning form Wide Open School and Common Sense online resources.
Topic zero (0): Have Honest and Sincere conversations to learn what parents want to learn, need to know, require answers about?
First topic: Daily Schedules for Pre-K to 5th
2nd topic: How does Tech makes you feel?
3rd topic: Finding a Media Balance
4th topic: Our Digital Citizenship Pledge
Every Zoom (bi-weekly) will present information and provide ways for parents to interact and provide feedback as well as a plan/suggestions/pledges to try new ideas for distance learning at home.
Comunidad Digital Zoom meeting #0:
Agenda (45 minutes max): link to actual annoucement and event. https://www.fletchermagnet.com/parents
Principal keynote introduction
Parent Center Representative introduction
Topic 0 (30 minutes): Honest and Sincere conversation: What parents want, need, ask?
Using the Future Ready Project Questionaire, we will start these regular meetings by asking parents to share how we can help. The goal is to ensure we hear what parents have to say and not us dictating what they should know.
The Future Ready Questions will help to moderate to learn about what interests, worries, or concerns parents. This would be a starting point for future meetings.
To end, I will use a NearPod to provide both Live and Self-guided topic/lesson explorations that highly interactive and allow users to provide feedback and insight into their own learning, needs, and experiences. Nearpod lessons will be use to explore Digital Life 101 lessons. This lesson is both in English and Spanish.
Link here: https://share.nearpod.com/Oez6F4MLJ5
The open ended questions and NearPod online interactivity will also provide us with feedback about how parents feel and want to know about digital/distance learning.
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