In today’s day and age, everything’s so digital like online learning and so technologically centered! Everyone and their mother are learning how to code; more and more people are looking into Web3 and blockchain technology; cloud gaming is on the rise — and all of these are just surface-level. These are just a few of the things at the very tip of the iceberg.
This digital and technological revolution is seen in the field of education. Online learning has transformed how students learn, how educators teach, and how parents and teachers interact. Not so long ago, a global pandemic forced schools and universities to shift to remote learning. Hence, online learning has become (and continues to be) a popular mode of education.
With it came significant changes, one of which is how parents and teachers communicate nowadays. In this blog post, we will discuss the key online learning impacts on parent-teacher communication, how it’s currently changing the traditional dynamics of this relationship, and how teachers can ensure better parent-teacher communication in the online space.
With the onset of a global COVID-19 Pandemic, families have adjusted to a rapid move to online education. According to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Household Pulse Survey, 93% of households with school-age children have had experience with some form of socially distant learning during the pandemic. A majority of those households use some form of online learning.
How Online Learning Classroom Impacts Parent-Teacher Communication
When schools and businesses began shutting down in the early days of the Coronavirus, parents hastily transformed rooms in their homes into classrooms and offices. One child may work at a desk in a bedroom while another may use a table in the dining room for online classes. A parent may also be trying to work remotely from other rooms in the home.
Parents have not only shifted the space in their homes but also taken on new roles as remote learning leaders or virtual learning teachers. According to a Learning Heroes survey, parents estimate that they spend an average of 2.5 hours each day helping their children with schoolwork, but this can vary based on the number and ages of children.
What’s more, some parents have even left their jobs to devote time to supporting their children during online learning or supplementing school-provided lessons. These drastic changes have stressed families already frazzled about health and financial security. However, many families are still focused on the bright side.
Such positives include the following:
- One: parents may feel more connected to their children’s day-to-day education.
- Two: parents may better understand what their children are learning.
- Three: parents may have a stronger understanding of their children’s academic strengths and weaknesses.
- Four: parents may have a closer relationship with their children’s teachers.
That said, for many families, the COVID-19 shift has been difficult. Issues of accessibility have impacted lower-incomers disproportionally as they may not have access to two requirements for online learning: high-speed internet connection and a computer. An NEA report estimates that 13.5 million children ages 5-17 don’t have access to these technologies.
On the same note, most families have also struggled to understand how online learning impacts the education and development of their children and overall family dynamics. As educators and parents have had some time to adjust to the upheaval that the pandemic has caused, both the advantages and disadvantages are becoming clearer.
A. Online Learning Increases Accessibility
Among online learning’s most notable effects is the greater accessibility that it offers. With online platforms, teachers can reach out to parents and children from anywhere, at any time, making communication easier, more convenient, and more comfortable for all parties involved.
Working parents who might not have the time to attend teacher-parent conferences during regular school hours will particularly benefit from this setup. Plus, teachers can use tools like email, instant messaging, or virtual meetings to keep parents updated on their children, share assignments/assessments, and respond to any questions or concerns they may have.
B. Online Learning Enhances Organization
Compared to traditional learning methods, online learning provides a more structured and organized approach to communication between teachers and parents. Teachers can now use digital tools to keep tabs on students’ assignments, grades, and progress rather than digging through piles of paper.
They can even use these tools to give parents and students thorough feedback, which will make it easier for everyone to stay on top of what’s happening in the classroom. Furthermore, most online platforms often include built-in scheduling tools — that let teachers schedule virtual meetings with parents at a time that is most convenient for everyone involved.
C. Online Learning Increases Engagement
With online platforms, teachers can create interactive multimedia lessons that students can access from home. Using this method not only keeps students interested and motivated but also helps parents monitor what their children are learning and how they are progressing.
Additionally, online tools like chat rooms and discussion forums can give parents, students, and teachers a place to interact, exchange ideas, and talk about schoolwork.
D. Online Learning Promotes Better Communication
By removing barriers and reducing the stigma attached to parent-teacher relationships, online learning has also helped enhance communication between parents and teachers.
Through the use of online platforms, teachers can communicate with parents in a more casual and approachable manner, promoting a sense of community and collaboration. This type of communication can help build trust between parents and teachers, which can even improve outcomes for the students in the long run.
E. Online Learning Provides an Opportunity for Growth
A majority of parents are very concerned about the long-term effects of online learning on their children. The transition has disrupted education for children, as well as affected their social, emotional, and mental well-being.
Parents are justifiably concerned about the negative effects of online learning, but there have also been some positive takeaways. Unfortunately, most parents, teachers, and students were blindsided when the pandemic forced schools across the country to close. Even as some schools have begun to reopen, others have remained closed.
Millions of students are still learning remotely to some degree. However, as the impact of online education becomes more apparent, families and educators can learn valuable information and use this as an opportunity to grow.
Video Guide: How To Ensure Better Parent-Teacher Communication
If you want to keep the lines of communication open and provide your students with the best chance of success, it’s best to approach your teacher-parent relationships in a strategic yet meaningful way. Here’re a few ways to go about it:
1. Explain Your Goals And Strategies
If you haven’t done so already, give your student’s parents or guardians a detailed explanation of your goals. Let them know the ways they can help keep their children engaged so that they can progress. Perse, try to start by telling them how you hope the online learning experience will work when they can expect to hear from you, and how they can get in touch with you.
Additionally, you should inform the parents of the tools and technology you’ll be using to facilitate learning. Give them explanations of what you will use them for, how they work, and your expectations for the students as they use them.
2. Have An Open-Door Policy
Parents might need help creating a productive online learning environment, but they might not know how to get in touch or simply don’t feel comfortable doing so.
Establish a “remote” open-door policy to remove any communication barriers. This lets the parents of your students know that they are welcome to contact you if they have any queries or worries regarding their children’s remote learning. Just let them know you’re available by email and don’t forget to remind those you don’t hear from.
3. Hold Virtual Events Every Now And Then
Parent-teacher conferences are the lifeblood of parent-teacher relationships. Consider hosting online gatherings, virtual PTA meetings, and Q&A forums once in a while. This will give parents and guardians an outlet to feel supported.
Additionally, it provides parents with a platform where they can discuss strategies for keeping their kids engaged, inspired, and eager to learn despite changes to their environment.
4. Gather More Resourceful References
Parents are doing the best they can to manage a situation that remains uncertain and disruptive. Families want their children to succeed during remote learning, and some resources can help them achieve this. Parents should explore other key resources for useful tips and creative tricks on navigating online learning.
Of course, considering the popularity and effectiveness of visual content like Infographics in marketing today, you can’t just afford to throw in the towel. It’s time to ensure your student’s success in the online learning classroom with better parent-teacher communication. Basically, online learning has the power to transform the way we think about education.
In addition to our general view of parent-teacher communication. A joint study from the NEA and National PTA on the impact of online education found that most students feel they are getting a good education, despite feeling pressure from learning, emotional, economic, and health stressors. We can make learning more engaging, effective, and accessible for all.
Especially, between teachers, students, parents, and families by embracing cutting-edge tools and technologies and creating innovative strategies and approaches. For more insightful articles on technology, you can visit the Web Tech Experts’ blog to gather more! And, if you’ll need more support, you can Contact Us at any time and let us know how we can sort you out.