Parents Workshops Tackle 21st Century Learning


By Allison Jonas
Virtual Learning Complex Facilitator

Parent Workshops Tackle 21st Century Learning

Students and teachers are not the only ones engaged in 21st century learning. Parents at Humphreys and Griffin elementary schools are participating in digital literacy workshops to develop skills in keyboarding, email functions, and a variety of programs.
Parents have been enthusiastic about the workshops, which are offered by CCTP and school staff along with parent leaders. “I am glad to learn how to use a computer and to help children with their emails and homework,” one parent wrote in an evaluation of one of the workshops. Another parent wrote: “I appreciate the attention given to us by teachers on how to learn and use the computers weekly."
These weekly sessions, offered in Spanish and English, have been designed to meet the specific needs of each school community. The goals of the workshops are to give parents opportunities to learn about new technologies and apply their knowledge to help their children and their school community. For example, parents at Humphreys have created fliers for school events.
Eventually, school/parent partnerships will provide the workshops independent of CCTP support.
Digital citizenship, which is an essential life skill in today’s world, is embedded in the parent workshops. Digital citizenship education helps students, parents, and educators navigate the vast online world safely and responsibly. It also aligns with LAUSD’s overarching strategic goal to provide a world-class, 21st century education in a safe and supportive environment that helps prepare students to be effective and conscientious leaders in in college, careers, and beyond.
The most effective forms of parent involvement are those that help engage parents in working directly with their children on learning activities at home. Each school has developed a plan for workshops focused on how students should be able to use technology for learning, rather than just on the technology itself.
The workshops at Griffin have been facilitated by CCTP staff and Maria Blanco, the parent representative at the school. At Humphreys, they have been facilitated by CCTP staff and Alfredo Quintanero, the school’s magnet/technology coordinator. They are planned to continue throughout the year, with the continued support of Griffin Principal Leonel Angulo and Humphreys Principal Ricardo Tapanes. Upcoming explorations include the value of the Internet and various applications that students will use.
Check out this video on the parent workshops!

Parent Workshops: Why and How?

As an LAUSD teacher for 13 years, I’ve worked hard to get parents actively involved in their children’s learning. It helps kids achieve more with higher motivation, test scores, self-esteem, positive attitudes, attendance, and even graduation rates. As a VLC Facilitator, I have the opportunity to empower parents to support their children with technology. Beyond developing edtech understanding and skills, the parent workshops I’ve introduced are about building relationships, and ensuring that parents are partners in developing the school’s vision for 1:1 technology for learning in their children’s lives.

Below are some ideas for launching parent workshops:

  • Meet with parent representatives to understand the needs of your parents, so the workshops are tailored to those needs;
  • Hold a parent meeting to explain the Common Core State Standards and how technology will enhance their children’s learning, and introduce the idea of technology-based parent workshops
  • Get the word out on the workshops (phone messages, fliers, students)
  • Start with basic functions of the devices, then focus on apps/programs that their children are using in the classroom
  • Involve parents in creating school projects (newsletters, flyers, websites, videos)
  • Celebrate parent success (give certificates)

-- Allison Jonas

Virtual Learning Complex Facilitator