Summary

Month 8 Capstone Trailer

This video was based on the previous focus of the AR project.  There has since been some adjustments so a new trailer was created.

==>Here is the updated capstone trailer.

What I learned and its’ future impact…

I learned a few things from this project the one and most important is that partnership is key.  The second is that digital technology can be beneficial just as long as it meets the needs of those it serves.  The other is that conversation no matter what the form needs to always progress forward.  In terms of partnership, schools should find any and all ways to build bridges and make those connections so that all involved in the school environment can prosper just like a church needs a congregation and new members.  As for technology, there are so many tools and resources out there but it just takes a few to ensure that others are able to communicate with it and use it in a way to make motivation and learning occur.  Lastly, we need to keep our hands or mouths moving sharing what we think is best and what works and does not.  When we don’t communicate and grow the conversation others feel left out or decide to leave because they are not being acknowledged and made to be a part of the process.

Going forward and based on the results from the surveys, interviews, and observations I know that I need to incorporate opportunities for partnership building in the form of workshops or even presentations.  Also, making opportunities available to the parents to work hands-on within the educational environment to allow them to feel more comfortable in using technology or learning the right way in which to use it.

Literature Review and AR results 

The research supported the results of my Action Research project.  The first was with regards to social cognitive theory.  In the project an LMS was used that had tutorials that modeled what was expected and there were chances to access links that incorporated social media to aid the learning of and about digital technology tools and resources.  As stated by Saunders & Prinz (2008) on page 611, “mass media…exerts a considerable influence over attitudes, beliefs, awareness, and behavior, making it potentially one of the most powerful teachers in today’s society.”  Parental involvement was another element of the project.  It was shown through this process that the communication via digital technology ensured that parents received content in a timely manner and with occasional feedback.  One example of this in the literature was technology in the form of Student Information Systems that gives the “parents immediate access to information about their child and provides them with a chance to affect learning growth.” (Bird, 2006, n/a) In my project I used an LMS called Schoology, but they are pretty similar in what they provide.  The third element or area of my literature was about success strategies.  The literature supported the fact that parent partnerships and communication are what creates that success.  Berthelsen & Walker (2008) said it best when they stated that while the frequency of family–school contact can foster relationships, the quality of contacts makes the largest difference.

The only thing that I garnered could be a refute by the research with regards to my AR project was that negative reinforcements too could be a motivating factor.  In the project, there were roadblocks and stumbles in the form of participation and feedback but it did not result in poor mood or consequences.

Reflection

I realized that there are limitations and I need to acknowledge them and move forward in order for progress to occur.  Throughout this project, I have stretched myself mentally and physically trying to build something that can be of benefit to others, in this case it is parents.  I saw that some of the parents along the way were hesitant but did take the opportunities to interact/collaborate using the technology tools and resources available.  I also saw that some more than others were more willing to participate because for them it had meaning and motivated them to want to work at it in order for success to take place.  The stumbling blocks along the way were just those stumbling blocks and not brick walls.  There were obstacles such as limited participation that were overcome in other ways in order to help bring the project to fruition.  If I were to focus on areas of improvement, the first would be to take adequate time in the planning and implementation.  They are key to helping a project step by step.  The other is that I need to keep reaching out in any all ways that are at my disposal.

Conclusions and future recommendations

There were two conclusions that stood out. One was that communication no matter in what format needs to happen for change, progress, and success.  The other was that parents are willing participants and want to be included and interactive in the learning and teaching.  As for recommendations for the future, I need to incorporate elements like an LMS, blended learning, and hands-on opportunities for not only my students to thrive and grow but their parents too.  I also need to keep evaluating the process of communication along the way to ensure motivation, success, and involvement.

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Reflection #1:

I can not believe it.  I came across an article that addresses elements of my AR.  It was just posted on Edutopia and shows me that it is something that is relevant and important in terms of education today.  The article called “New Teacher Academy: How to Work with Parents” can be found at http://www.edutopia.org/blog/new-teacher-parents-lisa-dabbs.  First year teachers are not the only ones who can benefit from information like this, veteran teachers can too.  The most important thing is to keep the lines of communication open and to keep all involved.

Reference

Dabbs, L.M. (2012). New Teacher Academy: How to Work with Parents.  Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/blog/new-teacher-parents-lisa-dabbs

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