It is important for teachers, administration and parents to be on the same page and understand how technology plays an important role in our classes. I don’t even have to mention that our students “live and breath” technology in their daily lives. My Middle School students are constantly texting their friends and family, some of them maintain a blog, have a Twitter account and a Facebook page just to mention some of the technology and websites they are exposed to. In other words, they are out there in the World Wide Web sharing their thoughts, pictures and constantly searching and researching.
Keeping that in mind, it is necessary that parents and administrators in schools also realize that the world is interconnected and as teachers we need to enrich our classes with technology to be able to communicate with the “world” and reach out to students and teachers of other countries and work on projects together and gain more knowledge about their language and culture. Being a Spanish teacher, I understand the importance of putting my students in contact with other Spanish speakers, which can only be done with the help of the available technology in our school. To better learn a language it is important to be exposed to people that speak it and really immerse ourselves into their culture.
For that reason, on the first day of school I like to send a letter of introduction home with my students so the parents can read and know a little bit more about me and I can list the technologies that will be used in my classes during the school year. I always like to be in contact with parents by sending them letters so that I don’t need to wait for Parent-Teacher Conference Day to convey my message and inform them how their children are doing on a daily basis. Together with my letter of introduction I also send parents an Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) letter for parents and students to sign regarding the websites we will be using, how to be safe online, and asking parents permission to release their children’s pictures and projects on my public blog or wiki.
Click HERE to see the letter of introduction I send to the parents.