#BETTChat archive 18th October 2011

(All these tweets took place between 4pm and 5pm (BST) on Tuesday 18th October 2011)

@BETT_show BETT

Thanks to @contactgroup for inspiring this week’s topic! How can we help parents get more involved in their child’s education? #BETTChat

@CapitaSIMS Capita SIMS

#BETTChat research show that engaged parents supporting the school and their children, raises standards but what tools can you use?

@LapSafe LapSafe Products

LapSafe here again… class blogging is a great way to get parents involved in their children’s education #BETTChat

@ParentMail ParentMail

#BETTChat We need to ensure schools communicate regularly with parents. This is how we can really close the divide between school and home.

@contactgroup Contact Group

Pleasure @BETT_show! Not all parents have home computer access but most own mobile phones. Should schools utilise this more? #BETTChat

@CapitaSIMS Capita SIMS

#BETTChat parents don’t always want lots of information to be involved it can be as simple as an online timetable in SIMS Learning Gateway

@Serco_Learning Serco Learning

Communication tools including online and SMS are vital for engaging with parents #BETTChat

@WhizzProf The Whizz Prof

#BETTchat Yes, definitely agree – communication tools are changing so much they should really be used to their full advantage.

@Mailfinder D Williams

#BETTChat Providing meaningful data to parents online is one way of engaging them, but this has to be balanced with data protection issues

@LapSafe LapSafe Products

#BETTChat we went to a Teachmeet yesterday where teachers took photos throughout the day and uploaded them to class blogs for parents

@CapitaSIMS Capita SIMS

#BETTChat information should be in a format parents understand. Online reporting saves money and supports engagement where ever parents live

@SarahMarksPR Sarah Marks

I want to be involved in my daughter’s education every step of the way and so good communication with the school is vital for me. #BETTChat

@CapitaSIMS Capita SIMS

#BETTChat Twitter can be used for pupils to Tweet when on trips, adding their initials to the message so parents recognise their child

@CapitaSIMS Capita SIMS

@SarahMarksPR What kind of information would you like Sarah and in what format? #BETTChat

@contactgroup Contact Group

Agreed @Serco_Learning SMS offers schools an effective & efficient medium to communicate with parents about range of school issues #BETTChat

@contactgroup Contact Group

Schools can also use SMS to flag letters or reports that have been sent home with their child #BETTChat

@Serco_Learning Serco Learning

Schools need to be able to easily push information to parents via numerous communication channels #BETTchat

@contactgroup Contact Group

SMS saves huge amount of staff time and cuts costs by reducing reliance on paper based communication #BETTChat

@SarahMarksPR Sarah Marks

@CapitaSIMS I want regular updates on my daughter’s progress. I don’t want to wait until parents evening at the end of the year! #BETTChat

@contactgroup Contact Group

Students are renowned for leaving letters in their bags and not everyone will pick up voicemails , but parents do read texts! #BETTChat

@SarahMarksPR Sarah Marks

@CapitaSIMS Email would be my preferred format as it’s the easiest for me to access at work, home and on the move. #BETTChat

@CapitaSIMS Capita SIMS

@SarahMarksPR There’s lots of solutions on the market and several companies in #BETTChat provide them! At SIMS it’s InTouch

@Groupcall Groupcall

Its so important that communication happens in ‘real time’ – its indicative of the technology driven world we+our children live in #bettchat

@contactgroup Contact Group

Agreed. It is vital that school use full range of communication methods to reach parents -SMS, Email, Phonecalls and Letters. #BETTChat

@LapSafe LapSafe Products

@Mailfinder makes a really good point about data protection . How would you balance this issue? #BETTChat

@Serco_Learning Serco Learning

Agreed @contactgroup that notifications and alerts are useful for schools to send out and easy for parents to pick up #BETTchat

@CapitaSIMS Capita SIMS

@SarahMarksPR and several of our partners are in this #BETTChat. Emailing attendance, behaviour, achievement and general school info

@Mailfinder D Williams

@SarahMarksPR parents evenings are too infrequent. Often at the start of a year with nothing to say or the end when it’s too late #BETTChat

@BETT_show BETT

With these thoughts in mind, do you find the needs of parents vary between school levels e.g. primary and secondary? #BETTChat

@Groupcall Groupcall

@Mailfinder @SarahMarksPR absolutely! It needs to be frequent and relevant to be effective! #BETTChat

@2SimpleAnt Anthony Evans

Sorry to be untechie – but nothing beats a good home school book – but this book can get wet or lost #BETTChat

@Mailfinder D Williams

With the advent of smartphones access to email is becoming more common on the move and cheaper than SMS #BETTChat

@CapitaSIMS Capita SIMS

@Mailfinder #BETTChat We’re finding more schools use email as it’s free. A great way to engage pupils, especially 6th form with smart phones

@Serco_Learning Serco Learning

Having a suite of various communication tools gives schools options on how to communicate at various levels #BETTchat

@contactgroup Contact Group

@Mailfinder @Lapsafe Notifications systems work with secure MIS systems, ensuring data can only be accessed by individual schools #BETTChat

@schoolthing School Thing

#BETTChat SMS email and phone all important, also an easy to use interface to allow patents to remotely access MIS data on the web or mobile

@CapitaSIMS Capita SIMS

#BETTChat Systems can be set up to identify which method parents prefer e.g. email, SMS, telephone call, online or paper

@LapSafe LapSafe Products

@contactgroup @mailfinder Good idea. On a simple level, seeking parents’ permission to publish pupil details online is vital too #BETTChat

@XMAITSolutions XMA

It may not be too long before tablets replace textbooks technologies like this can breakdown the walls of the classroom #BETTChat

@Groupcall Groupcall

@2SimpleAnt Books are great but the popularity of iPhone and iPads as a means of contact & for sourcing information is undeniable #BETTChat

@Serco_Learning Serco Learning

Using the latest technologies empowers all school stakeholders #BETTChat

@schoolthing School Thing

#BETTChat how do we improve two way discussion, too often there are messages sent from the school to the parent, but no real engagement ?

@schoolthing School Thing

#BETTChat do parents use technology to raise concerns with teachers/school?

@CapitaSIMS Capita SIMS

#BETTChat read about our parental engagement tools http://www.capita-sims.co.uk/our-solutions/parental-engagement

@Mailfinder D Williams

Having been a teacher myself getting information from parents can prove tricky, so how does a school engage the apathetic parents? #BETTChat

@vocabexpress Vocab Express

#BETTChat @Groupcall We agree – a lot of resources today have take home ability, allowing parents to get involved!

@XMAITSolutions XMA

RT @WhizzProf @Groupcall @XMAITSolutions Very true. A link between home & school is extremely important – homework for example! #bettchat

@Groupcall Groupcall

@XMAITSolutions @WhizzProf Exactly – homework – the dreaded ‘toxic hour’ as it is more frequently being referred to by parents. #BETTChat

@SarahMarksPR Sarah Marks

@schoolthing @mailfinder – really interesting questions! I don’t know the answer, is this even possible through technology? #BETTChat

@Groupcall Groupcall

@vocabexpress Absolutely-research shows that parents want to be involved in their child’s schools work.Making this simple is key! #BETTChat

@CapitaSIMS Capita SIMS

#BETTChat Schools serious about engaging parents realise bombarding them with stuff doesn’t work. They should be able to reply/be surveyed

@XMAITSolutions XMA

If a student is inspired & engaged they take more pride in their work & in turn parents will want to get involved #BETTChat

@Mailfinder D Williams

@Groupcall Unfortunately there are parents who don’t want to be involved and believe that it is what schools and teachers are for #BETTChat

@CapitaSIMS Capita SIMS

@schoolthing #BETTChat Worked a treat. Parents often have negative experiences of school. These need to be addressed http://www.nationalcollege.org.uk/index/leadershiplibrary/ldr-magazine/ldr-latest-articles/ldr2011-meet-the-parents.htm

@Mailfinder D Williams

@XMAITSolutions Great point. Students love to show off their talents and sharing this is just as important as homework reminders #BETTChat

@Serco_Learning Serco Learning

Informing parents with real time and relevant information will instantly make them feel more engaged with the school #BETTChat

@WhizzProf The Whizz Prof

@Groupcall @XMAITSolutions Home school links need to be encouraged-the ‘toxic hour’ is beneficial for both parents and children. #BETTchat

@CapitaSIMS Capita SIMS

@XMAITSolutions #BETTChat It’s difficult for children to be engaged, or continue to be, if their parents aren’t!

@Serco_Learning Serco Learning

Communication tools that enable parents to respond and ask questions or comment are crucial #BETTChat

@BETT_show BETT

Thanks for another great #BETTChat! Don’t forget to tweet @BETT_show with suggestions for next week’s topic. Speak to you all next week.

@Groupcall Groupcall

@Mailfinder True – although they are a minority, it’s important to engage them too. Any suggestions on how to reach those parents? #BETTChat

@contactgroup Contact Group

@BETT_show Needs of parents vary between primary & secondary but all schools must ensure optimum communication, whatever the issue #BETTChat

@WhizzProf The Whizz Prof

#BETTchat What a great session – lots of useful information and food for thought!

@CapitaSIMS Capita SIMS

#BETTChat We enjoyed sharing our thoughts… will think about next week’s topic for you @BETT_show

@ClaireAshton Claire Ashton

Ever wondered why you never see Clark Kent and Superman in the same room? Similar to @CapitaSIMS and I! Exhausted after an active #BETTChat

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