Family-School Communication

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Essential Tech for Better Family-School Communication

Improving Family-School Communication through Technology

Studies show that a strong family-school partnership is key to helping students reach their full potential. That means communication must be solid between parents and teachers and administrators. Technology over the years has helped to bridge traditional gaps in communication.

National PTA’s Center for Family Engagement (CFE) helped create a toolkit to help school communities understand the communication systems and options that build relationships and supports ever child’s learning and development.

Family School Communications

Capturing the Voice of Parent Leaders

The Center for Family Engagement worked in partnership with the American Federation of Teachers, the School Superintendents’ Association, and the Consortium on School Networks bring you this toolkit to make the most of your family-school communication technologies. This toolkit reflects the collective research and voice of parents, teachers, and school system leaders, and includes:

  • Considerations for decision-making
  • Recommendations for educators and advocates
  • A landscape of 20+ leading technologies and how they compare
  • A mapping tool to let families know what you are using
  • Questions to get family and teacher input into these technologies
  • Related resources to learn more

This project aims to help educators, families, community leaders and school system leaders:

  • Have one place to go to understand the marketplace of family-school communication technologies
  • Build shared vocabulary about the different facets of family-school communication technologies
  • More collaboratively and strategically choose platforms that fit their community’s needs

Essential Tech Tablet

Watch the Family School Tech Webinar

Family School Tech

Family School Tech Toolkit

Report Files and Supplemental Materials

This executive summary provides a high-level view of the project’s motivations and goals, the collaborative partnerships that informed our work, and the five top recommendations we urge decision-makers to consider when thinking about family-school communication technologies.

This Collaboration Guide provides readers with a starting place to improve how you are using technology to facilitate communication between families and educators. It details our research methodologies and showcases findings from our focus groups with diverse stakeholders (i.e., families, teachers, superintendents and district instructional technology staff), a research review, live demos and follow-up surveys with more than 20 different technology providers.

This tool is designed to provide an at-a-glance comparison of 22 different technologies across each of the seven areas of consideration mentioned in the Collaboration Guide.

Throughout the year, schools use a variety of channels to share vital information with families. However, families often feel overwhelmed and unsure of where they can find this information. Use this tool to document and share your school’s current communication strategies.

Community conversations can provide you with valuable feedback on what pieces of your technology strategies are most effective and what pieces could be improved. Use this tool to invite feedback from families and educators.

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Power of Communication
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Advice from the Field

Support for this project was provided by a grant from the Carnegie Corporation of New York.