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School Digitization:
Parent Involvement

Is Digitization the key to greater Parent Engagement?

Manaal Ahmed

Oct 6, 2020

How can you improve the learning experience of children? Schools and parents alike have been trying to crack the code for decades. Although there are multitudes of factors that affect learning, research has narrowed down the most important ones. Recent research has shown that the most important denominator in children’s learning is parent involvement. The more the parents are involved in the schooling of their children, the better parent-teacher bond they are able to create. But what exactly is parent engagement and why does a parent-teacher bond matter?

Research into parent involvement trends showcases the changes in involvement over time. According to this research, parents are most involved through preschool and kindergarten stages and the involvement gradually declines as the child gets older. They also highlight that parents from a low education background or a low-income background are less likely to participate in a child’s schooling. However, perhaps the most alarming trend is the decrease in parent involvement in general.

There is a substantial amount of data that shows how greater involvement of parents can improve student performance, reduce absenteeism and restore parents’ confidence in their children’s education. Children with more involved parents are less likely to have low self-esteem, need redirection in the classroom or develop behavioural issues. Additionally, data also shows that parents are less likely to regularly visit schools than before. The leading reason for this is the change in the lifestyle of the world. Parents now have less time to schedule appointments and commute all the way to schools. This has widened the parent-school gap to an alarming degree — without a strong parent-teacher relationship, children are likely to suffer from neglect. If parents do not provide direction to teachers based on their child’s abilities and teachers do not provide adequate and timely feedback, the intellectual development of the child is bound to suffer. The question then arises, how can we increase not just parent involvement but parent engagement as well, keeping in mind the busy schedules of most working parents?

The answer is pretty simple, digitization. In an age when we are able to do more than we could ever before from the comfort of our home, why should our schools stay behind? Research suggests the following activities to improve parent engagement:

  • Give parents your contact information and get to know them early in the school year. That way, when they have questions, they’ll feel comfortable reaching out.

  • Provide opportunities for parents to connect with the school. Volunteer shifts, class activities, or parent-teacher committees are all great engagement opportunities.

  • Share your classroom goals or expectations openly with parents, and ask them to do the same

  • Connect with parents in-person as much as possible. Use emails, texts, or apps to keep parents up-to-date on upcoming class events

  • Address common challenges that inhibit parent engagement like scheduling conflicts or an intimidating atmosphere.

  • What is the solution?

    The list is extensive and quite frankly, daunting. However, this is easier than you think. With the recent development of education applications like SOOP, you can do all this from home. Our application is designed to provide avenues for parent engagement and bridging the parent-teacher gap. You can keep up with your child’s progress, attendance, schedule appointments, practice questions with your child at home without the hassle of going to the school. SOOP enables parents and teachers to collaborate and become partners in their child’s education. It doesn’t matter if you missed a parent-teacher conference, now you are always in contact with the school. Parents can monitor their child’s progress and performance, give feedback to the school and vice versa.

    Greater parent engagement is the key to successful learning in children and the most convenient method is digital monitoring of the child. It allows both parents and the school to become partners in the child’s education and effectively aid the student in his/her educational journey. You no longer have to worry about taking the time out to visit the school nor do you have guilty about missing out on your child’s education. SOOP keeps you updated with your child, every day.

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