Explore how e-docs and e-signatures can get parents more engaged in education.
You can increase the chance of student success with greater parental involvement. E-signatures and other digital tools can help make family involvement easier.
Why parental involvement is so important.
In the same way that lower student-teacher ratios are associated with better classroom results, students do better when their parents and communities play an active role in their education. And it’s easier for parents and guardians to stay involved if they know what their child is learning in school.
Give parents opportunities to get involved.
Curious, knowledge-seeking parents can ultimately raise curious, knowledge-seeking children in the classroom and beyond. As an educator, you know that type of parent-child interaction is key to child development, but busy schedules make it hard for parents to stay informed on everything that goes on in a classroom.
Look for ways to prompt interaction between children and their parents. Sending home curriculum information to keep parents aware of lesson plans is an easy way to keep them looped in. Projects about family history or careers can give parents and their students an opportunity to talk. By supplying information to parents, you increase the chance they can demonstrate curiosity to their children and stay in the conversation.
Give parents insight to help them be more supportive.
Ask any parent about the response they get when they ask what their children learned at school and they’ll be familiar with the all-too-familiar “Nothing.”
Even parents that want to be involved need help drawing information out of their children, and sharing information on what’s being covered in class can be a great conversation starter. Plus, when educators are in touch with parents, parents are better at supplementing the learning that happens at school. With tools to help communicate more about what students are learning, teachers can give parents insight into a curriculum that they can use at home to start discussions on everything from dinosaurs to algebra.
Keep all communications in one place:
Teachers can take the guesswork out of whether it’s best to call or email with learning management systems. An LMS (learning management system) is a virtual space where teachers can post syllabi, assignments, classroom updates, and other necessary information for their students. They often have apps so parents can access regular updates from anywhere, helping teachers foster ongoing partnerships.
Go digital to meet parents where they are:
With busy schedules to consider on both ends, electronic documents make it easier for both parents and school staff to leave comments, feedback, and questions for each other. While a call or a conversation on the next parent-teacher night is great, open channels that allow for more regular communication can boost parental involvement. Easy ways to review and approve documents (like signing documents on a phone) and intuitive record-keeping of those forms all help with the educational process by ensuring parents can easily be involved anytime, anywhere.
Make sure your message gets through:
Sending paper documents home with students leads to a lot of crumpled forms lost at the bottom of backpacks. Using electronic documents to communicate with parents ensures direct contact. Plus, e-signatures allow teachers and administrators to see when parents receive, read, and acknowledge documents. What’s more, electronic documentation means that parents will always have a copy of their own, so they can see their child’s progress over time.