How to Engage All Families (Using Their Phones!)

Sometimes it’s the most basic of technologies that is the most effective. So it is with the services of the Family Engagement Lab, whose mission statement is, “to catalyze equitable family engagement and student learning by bridging classroom curriculum and at-home learning. As a national nonprofit, our work builds partnerships between teachers and historically underserved families by facilitating ongoing communication and collaboration about learning.”

Their signature tool, FASTalk, shares at-home learning activities via text messages in each family’s home language. Current partnerships include districts such as Oakland Unified School District and collaborations with the Louisiana Department of Education. In this conversation, Vidya covers the gamut—discussing the evolution in education, especially in the context of social-emotional learning, parent-teacher communication, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. She emphasizes the importance of family engagement in learning and how technology, specifically text messaging, can be a powerful tool for improving communication between teachers and parents.

Vidya introduces their program called “Fast Talk,” which utilizes prescriptive text messages to positively engage parents in supporting their children’s learning. The conversation delves into the dynamics of school-to-home communication, focusing on the need for positive interactions and the potential of technology to strengthen relationships between teachers, students, and families.…Read More