Using Video Conferencing Tools to Connect with Parents by Guest Blogger Cindy Escandon (Originally Published on 7/07/2015)
Unfortunately conference time falls during harvest seasons in the Central Valley. For many valley educators their parents are back to work in the fields earning a living to support their families. Some parents may work out of town picking, packing, or pruning. For many field laborers their work day begins at 5 a.m. and ends at 5 p.m. making it difficult to schedule after school parent-teacher conferences. So often these parents do not want to take a day off from work because of the hit they will endure financially. So what can educators do to meet with our parents who so desperately want to ensure their child is doing well in school but can not afford to take a day off. Let's connect with them using video conferencing tools.
Video conferencing tools are a wonderful way to connect personally with parents. Utilizing a video conferencing tool allows educators and parents to have a conversation in real time from anywhere. These tools also allow teachers to share images and files as well without disruption. Tools like Face Time and Google Hangouts are simple to use on any digital device. Imagine how empowered your parents will feel knowing that they can connect with their child's teacher without financial penalty.
Before you jump into video conferencing please take time to practice to work out all the bugs. Here is a link to a tutorial video that is useful when beginning to use video conferencing. Next, create a system to collect the contact information of parents who would be interested in video conferencing and the times they would be able to connect. Last, encourage your parents to continue to invest in their child's education and acknowledge the sacrifices they continue to make to better their family's life.
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