Involving parents in what is going on in the classroom is a necessary part of education today. For so many curious parents, the conversation goes like this:
Mom/Dad: “How was school?”
In fact, in a 2011 report by the People for Education, the result of more than 30 years of research from Canada, the United States, and England, researchers found that parents are struggling to communicate with their children about school activities:
“In student surveys conducted by the Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO), less than half of students in grade 3 (46%) report they talk to a parent or guardian ‘‘every day or almost every day about their school activities. By grade 6, that percentage drops to 38%.” Source
Ontario’s VLE has tools to help engage parents
Together, we can change this and allow parents to engage with students and their teachers by offering a window into the classroom and school community. Brightspace for Parents, a tool included in Ontario’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), offers a dashboard for parents to help them keep track of their children’s upcoming and overdue assignments and events. Parents will know what’s happening in the classroom and at their children’s schools. Not only does it make it easier than ever for parents and teachers to communicate, it also gives school boards a way to send announcements to parents.
Brightspace for Parents:
- Helps parents support classwork
- Offers tools for busy parents
- Provides equitable access
- Delivers security and support
Brightspace for Parents works best when one (or more) of the following VLE tools is used by educators:
- The Portfolio tool: A robust tool that allows educators to capture pedagogical evidence of learning and record private anecdotal notes. The Portfolio tool grows with the students –– allowing them to build on their portfolio year after year.
- Activity Feed: Fully integrated into the VLE as part of Brightspace, the Activity Feed allows students to easily find any newly created content. It’s a simple way for educators to share learning resources with students and to communicate important messages to the class.
- Rubrics: The Rubrics tool allows educators to create and use digital rubrics to reduce marketing time. Annotation features allow for easy grading and in-context feedback.
- Assignments: This tool allows students to upload and submit assignments. Educators can use the Assignments tool to view submissions, associate assignments to rubrics and expectations, annotate, grade, and provide feedback.
If you want to learn more about Brightspace for Parents, check out our newly released Brightspace for Parents one-pager. Or visit our Ontario webpage to learn more about how the VLE and its tools can help you support your students and school.
Ready to try Brightspace through the VLE? Did you know that all K-12 public school teachers in Ontario have free access to Ontario’s VLE powered by D2L’s Brightspace? The VLE is a dynamic learning platform, perfect for blended learning and eLearning classes, combined with extensive Ministry content. The VLE includes features such as Portfolio, Brightspace for Parents, and lessons you can assign to curriculum standards, and more. It is available free to educators at all publicly funded school boards in Ontario. To get the VLE for your classroom, reach out to your Technology Enabled Learning and Teaching (TELT) contact or email K12Ont@D2L.com.