Parent Coffee and Adult Micro Professional Development

  • SumoMe

I wrote last week about why I feel change is slow going in k-12 education in my post, “Why Some Schools Choose Not to Change”. While this post in no way tries to pretend to be an answer to some of the questions in my last post, I think it is an example of something small and easily done to persuade parents to get thinking about what is and should be happening in schools.

Today was another parent coffee here in the ES on the Puxi Campus. I have been showing short videos at all the parent coffees I have done this year. The first two I did I focused on internet safety and what parents can do to keep their kids safe. I always like to give parents something to think about when they go away from these meetings. Something that will hopefully spur them on to have conversations with their children and or teacher regarding technology at home and/or in school. Today, I did the same but I did a mini lesson on Wikis. I have some of the 3rd grade teachers doing a country study project in wikispaces. Their pages can be viewed here and here. 3JK is going further and having kids use the discussion tab on each of their pages to generate student conversations on each other’s pages. This is where the power comes in-the conversations, the collaborations.

I believe adult tech “professional (read personal in this case) development” has to be relevant to their personal lives. I opened the session by asking how many people have to coordinate holiday shopping with family and friends scattered around China or in other countries. Lots of heads started bobbing up and down. “Good”, I replied, this lesson is for you. I showed the parents the video Wikis in Plain English to introduce them to how wikis work. The video talks about multi-user organization of a camping trip, I followed the video up discussing how they could start a holiday wiki with family and friends and all put gift ideas, holiday decorating ideas/pics/links, etc, etc. right on their wiki and allow everyone to edit and add information. More heads bobbing. Then I asked, “Could we use this in business?” Would this be useful if you have managers in different parts of China? Partners in the U.S. or other countries? More heads bobbing. Smiles.

If the parents (stakeholders) start to get it, then real pressure will come from them to our school leaders and teachers demanding that their children be given the same opportunities. Small parent PD sessions like this, while far from perfect, are a step in that direction.

This post is cross posted from Puxi Es Tech Bytes

This entry was posted in community, professional development, rebuilding schools, Web 2.0 and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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