Monday, December 30, 2013

Parent University

     Before we left for winter break, my co-teacher and I hosted a Parent Professional Development event on technology in our Special Education classroom. The students we teach have moderate to severe disabilities. One of our challenges is that our students struggle with communicating the various lessons and activities, including technology programs and social media sites that we use and implement in the classroom. With the help from one of our District Technology iCoaches +Shannon Soger , we were able to plan for the event and provide many resources for our parents to help participate in their child’s learning.
  A month before hosting the event we sent out a flyer, in both English and Spanish, to invite the families to join us. Find flyer here: Parent Tech Flyer.
Our principal donated a Target gift card to our event as an incentive to families to participate, which we raffled off at the end of our event. We created handouts, some in both English and Spanish, that would provide them support at home for what we taught at the event. The handouts included instructions for setting up Gmail, Twitter and Facebook account. Find instructions here:Gmail and FB InstructionsTwitter Instructions. Our classroom is on social media to keep parents and families up to date with what is happening in both our classroom, school and district (you can “like” us on Facebook: Komensky DLP or follow us on Twitter: @KomenskyDLP-SM). We created charts for each parent to take home that included their child's username and passwords for the technology programs we use in the classroom including IXL Math, Lexia and myOn. During the event we traveled through each program showing parents how to login and how we hoped our students could practice various content at home. Our Speech and Language Pathologist, +Elizabeth Arenas joined us to help translate our event in Spanish to families who attended. We also introduced an accessibility setting, Guided Access that our parents could also use to lock their child into a program or application on the iPad at home. Guided Access will be my next blog! 

Teaching parents how to use Guided Access with our SLP!

Our Parent Tech Event was a huge success! The parents feedback we received was extremely positive and motivating. We plan on hosting these events throughout the rest of the school year as well as years to come. This is one more way to continue to involve parents in the classroom!  

The parents eager to take home what they learned at our event!