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Learning at Home


Just as with most teachers, the workday doesn’t end when students when students leave their classrooms in the afternoon. Students head off in various directions to continue their learning through a wide array of activities, some healthy, others perhaps not. Families play a pivotal role in whether or not student learning time after school hours is fruitful or not. Families influence the learning opportunities students have access to.  They also play a major role in shaping students attitudes toward those opportunities. That role is greatly complicated in a 1:1 context. The work teachers ask of their students departs dramatically from parents’ memories of what homework looks like. Frequently the line between “work” and “play” gets blurred at the same time families are struggling with whether online “play” is healthy at all. As teachers explore “flipping the classroom” and “gamification” those lines get blurrier still. Effective teams take proactive steps to update how parents think about learning at home and equip them with the new skills needed to make them partners in teaching and learning.


Think:

  1. Read the Learning at Home section in Epstein and Hutchins’ Family Involvement chapter.
  2. Review the Family Engagement Field and What Kinds of Family Engagement are Most Effective summaries.
Discuss:

  1. Read this advice from a teacher and parent Blessed are the Innovators Who Help Us  and talk with your teammates about ways you can help empower parents rather than confuse them.

Act: 
  1. In your Family Involvement/Engagement folder, create a “Learning at Home” Google Doc and add to it a brainstormed list of goals/objectives/to-dos regarding the new ways you’re students will be learning in your 1:1 environment, such as your new workflow strategy, the guidelines for device use, and the new resources pages for your team and classes, and how families can effectively support learning at home to include for instance how to  set up a homework space conducive to learning.
  2. Design into your overall family involvement plan how families will be introduced to these new ways of learning. Consider a parent night at which students introduce families to the tools they are using in class, how they retrieve homework assignments, how they’ve integrated gaming, multimedia, and social media into their 24/7 learning.


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