News

Listen up, schools! Technology helps with parent participation

By Meris Stansbury, Associate Editor, @eSN_Meris
August 19th, 2013

A new survey reveals that though most parents want to participate in their child’s school or district, not enough technology options exist to help them communicate with educators and school leaders. Plus, many schools say it’s time for the bake sale to go—parents need to provide some much-needed educational technology help.

The survey, “Parent Volunteers in the Classroom,” conducted by WeAreTeachers and VolunteerSpot, queried more than 1,000 parents and educators. The results indicate that there is strong support for parent volunteers in the classroom, but there are also “critical gaps” between teacher needs and how parents currently pitch in.

The survey highlights how schools can give parents technology tools to boost parent participation, involve more working parents, and increase parent engagement in support of student success.

“Using technology to reach parents on their computers and smart phones can relieve many of the frustration points for both teachers and parent volunteers,” said Karen Bantuveris, founder and CEO of VolunteerSpot, in a statement.

“Online platforms enable working parents to get involved in their children’s education, whether they are coordinating other parents with VolunteerSpot, reading to the class via Skype, participating in class web chats, or updating class newsletters with Pinterest boards,” she continued. “Since according to our survey 73 percent of parents cite work schedules as their biggest hurdle to volunteering, web platforms could remove this obstacle in many cases.”

Click to page 2 for the survey results in an infographic.