One of the most persuasive reasons to host a class or school blog is that it’s a great way to encourage and increase parental engagement. A blog is a tool which enables you to share learning beyond your classroom, invite comments and feedback and empowers children to become writers wherever they are, but especially at home. These are all compelling reasons to blog and all very closely associated with parental engagement. So get a blog and your parents will be more engaged in their child’s learning, right?
That’s what I thought when I began my blogging journey 5 years ago. However, the reality was and still is somewhat different. At the outset, the best case scenario is that you will get engagement from some parents, but not all. There are many reasons for this, some of which (as a technology enthusiast) I find difficult to understand. Some parents will distrust it, seeing it as a form of social networking, some will not understand it and some will be apathetic – if some parents are prepared to turn up to a parents evening, why would they bother to leave a comment on a blog.
As a teacher there are several things you can do as you can see in the list below. But, before I go into those the key message is don’t give up, and I mean that in two ways. Don’t give up trying to engage parents, it’s part of your job, and even though the results might not be instant or spectacular, if you keep trying you will see improvements. Also, don’t give up on blogging altogether. Even without the benefits of parental engagement, there are still so many reasons why blogging is great for teaching and learning.
With all that in mind, here are some of the things you can try:
– Raise awareness through parent workshops
– Cross publicise your blog on other platforms such as SMS, Twitter or Facebook
– Send home links to posts, QR codes are great for this
– Get some ‘I blogged today’ stickers with your classes blog address on them
– Post relevant and useful info, e.g. help with homework or links to help with spelling or times tables
– Make sure your blog address is on all school correspondence