Five Technology Programs That Use Community Involvement To Benefit Parents, Students, and Schools

Technology & Learning, November/December 1998, p. 18

Here are five innovative programs that bring students and their parents together to learn about technology:

  1. A Title I elementary school in El Monte, Calif., has found a way to reach out to the parents of immigrant children, who comprise a large number of the student population. A class called “Family Home Reading” was designed to help parents to encourage reading at home and used technology funds for computer lab equipment and training from a California technology grant. Parents now have a better sense of how technology can assist in the learning process for themselves and their children.

  2. A Greenville, S.C., elementary school has begun a program in which parents volunteer at evening computer learning sessions. The Parents and Children in Education (PACE) classes help parents acquire skills to become classroom volunteers and assist their children with technology in the home.

  3. Five schools in a consortium in Louisiana have used ED challenge grants to increase off-campus community access to technology. Each of the five schools provides an Internet connection at a technology center for student and public use, and encourages members of the community to engage the technology. Parents can see the effectiveness of technology in learning applications and can even work toward completing their GED. In the next year, the project will expand with additional funding from the Louisiana Systemic Initiatives Program.

  4. A California elementary school located in the heart of a technology business corridor is drawing from the resources and expertise of the parents who work at high-tech firms. The “Technology Scouts” program uses the professional experience of parents to enhance the instructional technology initiatives at the school. Parents answer technical questions that schools and teachers may have, review Internet sites slated for classroom instruction, recommend software and hardware, and arrange visits by guest speakers from top technology companies.

  5. A parent center in Buffalo, N.Y., uses Title I funds to incorporate technology into its adult education courses. More than 90 computers have been installed in two computer labs, where parents and their children can work together on different learning projects. The center also offers a program in which qualifying families can “check out” a portable computer for use in their home for up to six weeks.

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