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D2L Supports Parents

A Guide to Brightspace and Supporting Learning at Home

Whether you are starting from scratch, or have experience teaching online, being able to pull together and share resources and content is important in these fast-moving times. Find a platform that allows you to gather resources in one place for your students to best support their at-home navigation of content. We know that many parents are now transitioning into facilitating learning at home, so we’ve put together this guide to help support parents with the resources they need to be successful.

Brightspace Parent & Guardian

Brightspace Parent & Guardian is a tool for authorized parents and guardians to see specific components of their child’s course, including the Activity Feed, shared Portfolio artifacts, graded assessments and feedback as well as upcoming Assignments and Quizzes. This helps parents engage with young learners and maintain awareness of upcoming work. It is not a parent-teacher communication tool—it’s a window into the classroom.

Brightspace Parent and Gaurdian App

The Brightspace Parent & Guardian tool is enabled on a school board or school district level.

Watch this video to learn more about the Brightspace Parent & Guardian tool.

This guide in the Brightspace Community contains details about Brightspace Parent & Guardian and shows how parents can use it effectively.

The Brightspace Parent & Guardian app is available from the Play™ store and the Apple App Store®.

K12 Brightspace on a computer

Helping Your Child Navigate Brightspace

We have put together a guide, An Introduction to Navigating Brightspace For Families, which can help you with basic Brightspace functionality and tools.

You can also watch this video, which will show you how to navigate Brightspace.


Brightspace includes a Portfolio tool (and stand-alone app) that was designed for students of all ages—making it easy to track and share their progress, reflections and learning experiences year over year. The Portfolio tool also allows teachers to capture evidence of learning and to record private anecdotal notes.

Brightspace Pulse

Brightspace Pulse is a mobile app that can help students stay connected and on track with their courses in Brightspace. It provides one easy view of course calendars, readings, assignments, evaluations, grades, and announcement items. The app can help learners make better decisions about how to handle workload, when to submit assignments, and when to prepare for tests. Real-time alerts let learners know when classes are canceled, rooms are moved, or new grades are available. The schedule view and weekly visualization enable learners to see at a glance what is due today, this week, and beyond across all their courses.

  • You can download Brightspace Pulse from the Play™ store or the Apple App Store®.

  • Brightspace was built with a responsive design to allow students and parents that don’t have the latest device to use any browser or device to access Brightspace.

Tips for Families

  • Stay Up to Date on Progress

    Maintain regular communication with educators to understand your child’s progress and needs and how to support learning at home. Leverage Brightspace Parent & Guardian to stay up to date on grades, feedback and work that’s due soon.

  • Prioritize Wellness

    Regardless of your child’s learning format, your continued attention to their questions and concerns is important to their well-being. Model remaining calm, patient and kind. Be flexible with your child’s learning. If schoolwork does not happen one day, that is OK! The following day is a new opportunity to try again.

  • Follow a Routine

    A routine is helpful for maintaining overall well-being and academic achievement. Set regular hours for homework to help your child also make time for hobbies, physical activity and other interests.

  • Identify a Workspace

    If you can, designate a space where students will study or complete schoolwork. Involve them in making that space their own by including books they love, art they created and other personal items that make the space feel welcoming.

  • Monitor Screen Time

    Encourage learning activities that don’t require technology, such as reading, writing, math games and more. Avoid having students engaged with a computer screen for lengthy periods.

Privacy and Security FAQ

  • Have a conversation with adults and children about what information should be private and what can be shared, by whom and how.

  • Ask them to sit with you and show you what apps they use, how they use them and whether personal information is shared.

  • Take breaks, set down devices when having face-to-face conversations and involve children in decisions about sharing online.

    • Connect to a secure wireless network with a strong password. A secondary “guest” network can be set up on most routers to limit bandwidth used by streaming services, games and other apps.
    • Choose screen names and login information that minimize the chance of a student being identified online.
    • Update software when prompted—these updates often address security vulnerabilities.
    • Consider using settings and parental controls built into operating systems, devices and apps.
    • Set up separate accounts for each user on shared home computers, making sure students do not have “administrator” privileges. Keep adults’ business devices separate from ones used by students when possible.
    • Choose a central location for the family computers where adults can supervise what students are doing. A common charging station in the home can also serve as a “parking lot” for devices when taking breaks from screen time, at meals and overnight.
    • Consider using parental controls to limit internet connectivity to certain times of the day, but be mindful that online tracking and monitoring apps may produce overwhelming amounts of uninformative data, so proceed with caution before exploring these.
  • To view additional resources or to get support, please visit our Brightspace community here.