Sunday, October 7, 2012

Parent Power

I don't remember how I learnt to read, but I've been told that I could read before I started school and therefore I think that my parents must have played a significant role in this.  Neither of my parents had any formal training as a teacher, in fact my mother left school at the age of 13 as she grew up in London during the Second World War and her school was bombed.  Reading to me and having me follow along with stories was probably the way I learned to read, not going through any phonics or early reading scheme.

As I've been thinking about effective ways of prototyping a BYOD - Device 2 programme at school, I've considered the different ways that students may choose to use a second device and reading on a mobile device is certainly one of them.  For our secondary students I'm sure that electronic textbooks are something to consider, however in primary, and especially in early primary, I can see that interactive books on mobile devices will possibly provide a more engaging experience for students, encouraging and motivating them to read.  Many of these electronic devices are those that are already in their homes and there is a wealth of research that shows the importance of home reading in children's literacy development.

Parents in fact play such an important role in a child's education that it's important for teachers to build a positive home-school partnership and to empower parents.  My school runs weekly Parent Tech Connection sessions at school for parents and sends out an electronic newsletter to parents each week with articles about R&D, technology and online learning.   This coming week, one of our 2nd grade teachers is launching the Curiosity Project, which is a home learning project for students and their parents.  The idea is that parents will support their children in using their intellectual curiosity so that they initiate and pursue their own learning and so become continuous learners for life.   Parents and students will share the experience and learn together.  Perhaps parents will help the students to follow their interests, maybe giving them practical hands-on experiences at home.  Perhaps their role may be to help their children find resources or to read with them.  Perhaps parents may talk with their children about the questions that they have, or will type the questions that the students have onto the project's discussion board.

This is what Scot has said the role of parents is:
Your role in this project is to support your child to success. You’ll be learning alongside your child in the passenger seat, while they have the steering wheel.
My parents, as mentioned before, taught or encouraged me to read before I ever went to school and they did it without any support from anyone.  How much more will these students be able to do, with their parents involved in the project and with their class teacher empowering their parents. I predict that this will also develop parents' intellectual curiosities and will also encourage them to be continuous lifelong learners.

Photo Credit:  Reading by Simon Blackley,  2009 AttributionNo Derivative Works 

1 comment:

  1. Learning to read, that is the key to learning so much. There is now a fascinating experiment going on in remote part of Ethiopia

    Children in a village where most are illiterate have been given iPads with no teachers! Will they learn to read? Can't wait to find out!