How To Include Parents With K-12 Online Learning

You can find out how parents can participate in your child’s online learning.

How To Include Parents With K-12 Online Learning

Editor’s Note: Since deciding last spring that she wanted to become an educator, Lynn Eberhardt had no plans to teach a single class online. But her newfound desire led her to teach several online courses and then to study cyberbullying in a five-week, online series led by psychologist and educator Dr. Jennifer Dalton.

“Educators and parents don’t really realize how much of a control they have over what goes on in our kids’ lives,” says Eberhardt, adding that as their kids spend more time with screens, she feels we as educators have failed to set the standard.

“One of the things that I was hoping would happen in the first few classes was, you could just help steer them in a good direction.”

That direction turned out to be helping kids and parents understand and deal with how online behavior affects us.

Click to read more from Adam Teeter.

Beth Bell and Luisa Campanella found that the learning environment they were creating for their kids fed their creative-adventure play.

“We hope that you learn a lot from every activity you do,” Bell says, explaining that when she and Campanella co-created Drop, Day, Rocket in 2017, they intended to build “a fun and safe space where they would learn ways to be the best versions of themselves” by gathering photos, art, and story ideas from kids. She and Campanella wanted to incorporate friends and family members, of course, but when the parents they knew began joining Drop, Day, Rocket, they couldn’t help but wonder what they could give to their kids in return.

So they offered to design and design tickets for parents to use to bring a treat or to get in a little ice cream before their kids spend an extended time on a digital screen.

That’s how K-12 activity designer Danielle Guinot developed the Be Mine Game, a multiplayer game that facilitates shared play with a stopgap between screen time and classroom discussions about technology. In the game, players create a “play room” for their kids, which can include digital play spaces or collaborative workstations.

Players then go off to use the play room to explore in whatever way they wish. They use digital options, such as decorating their room with whatever they want and using them throughout the course of the day.

The upshot is that they can only access the playroom if they and their kids complete activities.

“So if you’re watching movies and suddenly you have five minutes on a digital screen, you cannot just go ahead and just play on there,” says Guinot. It’s exactly what the pair was aiming for in the early work on Drop, Day, Rocket.

Those siblings, and their newfound playroom game, are considered hallmarks of an “inclusive culture” the duo has created with their new book, Play Makes Me Great: A Playground for Girls Everywhere.

Explains Guinot, “It’s not just a platform for our apps and curriculum, or even a curriculum platform that parents can use to make a difference in their own child’s play space. It’s also something that they can use as a building block for coming up with their own play experiences and then using those play experiences as curriculum itself.”

Don’t Know Where To Start?

Christina Allen and Denise Reed discovered the joy of online activity when creating and teaching a 5-week online cyberbullying course called Self Talk to Change.

Allen and Reed, of the nonprofit nonprofit Cincinnati School Partners, knew they wanted their course to be appealing to adults who had been impacted by bullying themselves, but realized it could also help students learn to talk about bullying. So they invented the course as a curriculum for educational and youth programs. They then experimented and quickly made it one of the most popular self-help courses they’ve ever created.

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