Involving parents in school improvement is an ongoing challenge for schools. They continue to
struggle with defining meaningful parent involvement. The definition of successful parent
involvement should be active and ongoing (not occasional) participation in their child’s education.
ASB continues to build a very strong culture of parent engagement especially in relation to
addressing the technology skill needs of our parent community.
At ASB, all of our communications and school information is now online. Our challenge is ensuring
that the parent community shifts from a passive to a more active role and that they read and
respond to the online school communications to stay updated. We linked this challenge to the
growing disconnect between the parent community’s digital fluency and our students’ native digital
literacy. Both the transient nature of our international school and the digital nature of all our
communications make it critically important for parents to be digitally fluent. As a parent myself, I
believe it is essential for us to learn about new technologies so we continue to remain connected
and engaged with our children.
We need to be empowered with the confidence
and skills to support our child’s learning. By
providing parents with these skills, we gain
credibility in the eyes of our children which in
turn helps facilitate meaningful conversations at
home. It takes a certain amount of fearlessness
and confidence for some parents to venture into
the realms of 21st Century technology; an
appropriate learning environment and support
are critical when it comes to offering parents
this opportunity to learn. Our children may be
considered ‘Digital Natives’ but the guidance and
support of an appropriate and well-informed
adult is crucial as they offer the life skills that
children do not yet possess and that are necessary in order to guide our youngsters to ensure an
appropriate and well managed online life.
A busy hands-on parent technology tutorial
held on campus.
ASB is at a crucial point in this journey. In this chapter, we will share ASB’s journey thus far. As a
member of ASB’s parent community, I will share my own journey together with ideas for managing
parent tech education, promoting parent responsibility, and useful tools and tips for integrating
parents into a digital school community.
ONE PARENT’S JOURNEY
My journey with ASB began in March 2008 when my family and I moved to Mumbai and joined ASB.
By the time our first day at ASB arrived, I was already very familiar with ASB’s website having read
much of the information many times prior to making our application. Upon joining we were
welcomed with an orientation pack and email communication that included details of login
information for the two main systems: Veracross and The Portal. I remember feeling overwhelmed
about how much information we had to find online. Suddenly, I was expected to find out what was
going on in the classroom by checking the class website; dates and activities were shared this way
as well as homework and assignments and any school news updates. I began receiving different
emails with links to important information in them but didn’t understand them enough in order to
prioritise and figure out what I should be looking at first. Add this change in approach and
expectations for me to the fact that my life was already up the air from moving over 4000 plus miles
Evolutions : Tech Integration Stories from the American School of Bombay 20