In this weekend’s Wall Street Journal, family and technology columnist Julie Jargon asks: “Why do schools send so many emails?”
Her response (and ours) is that they don’t need to. They just need to communicate (and listen) in the right ways.
Read the full article here on the research that backs up why engaged families matter and names TalkingPoints as the best overall app.
Jargon points out the sheer volume of communications to families from different places and the obstacle to get staff and families alike to use a platform. We’d add how schools can turn communications into real, meaningful engagement for families, teachers, and students:
Move from logistics to learning
Too often, school communication is about a missing field trip form or an upcoming bake sale. Those matter, but real engagement is about student learning and wellbeing. School communications should focus on student learning and wellbeing, and how families and teachers together can meet student learning goals.
Another common problem is that “family engagement” is seen as one-way communications: schools telling families information. But relationships — between families and educators — must be focused on two-way communications so families and educators can work together to support student learning.
Remove systemic barriers
Jargon points out many of the benefits to a platform like TalkingPoints, like having information in one place. But it’s not just about ease (though that it’s important!). It’s also about making a platform like TalkingPoints work for any family, regardless of circumstance. That’s why we invest in breaking down common barriers, like language access, literacy levels, socioeconomic barriers, and knowledge of the educational system.