Online Parent Teacher Conferences should be encouraged – FE News

Online Parent Teacher Conferences should be encouraged – FE News


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Once or twice a year, parents visit the school to meet with teachers and talk about their children. Whether it’s the academic progress their children have made or how they are doing in the school environment in general, the annual parent-teacher conference is a vital component of education systems around the world.

So what happened when COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic? Well, of course, when schools closed, parent-teacher conferences were also canceled indefinitely. But now that schools are back to normal, it’s time again for teachers and parents to come together and work to create an even better learning experience for children. Many schools have shifted to hybrid education, combining and alternating face-to-face and distance learning. Consequently, there is also a growing trend of school administrators organizing both virtual and physical meetings for parent-teacher conferences.

According to Rene Buhay, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Aver Europe,

“Using the latest educational technology, such as video conferencing, online parent-teacher conferences can be a powerful and effective way to build meaningful relationships between families and educators. Contrary to what some may believe, having conferences “Parents and online teachers are not inferior to face-to-face meetings. In fact, these virtual conferences can bring many beneficial factors in areas where face-to-face meetings may be limited.”

Here are some of the key reasons why online parent-teacher conferences should be encouraged:

Flexible and accessible

At a time of uncertainty as the world tries to set new “rules”, flexibility is crucial to ensuring a level playing field for all children. The traditional parent-teacher conference often did not have a specific schedule that parents could follow. Instead, there would be a general schedule for when each teacher is available to speak, but often parents end up queuing for extended periods before their turn arrives. It is also not surprising that parents are sometimes unable to attend the conference due to work hours, prior appointments, or long-distance travel. With the option of having parent-teacher conferences online, it eliminates these issues and increases the chances of both parents being able to attend. An internet connection, a video conferencing camera, and an open platform like Zoom, EQUIPMENT, or SKYPE are all a parent needs to join a virtual conference. Parents can now communicate with teachers from the comfort of their home, or virtually anywhere at the touch of a few buttons.

Effective and easy

While parents can enjoy the flexibility and accessibility of attending virtually, teachers also benefit from these online conferences. Teachers will no longer have to struggle to present student work to parents in a noisy gym full of overlapping conversations, nor will they be restricted from sitting at a designated table due to limited space. By implementing educational technology in online lectures, teachers can reproduce and display all the work a student has done through a viewer that is equipped with a rotating camera head, which gives them the option to show their face and student work interchangeably. Alternatively, if the teacher also likes to move around the classroom and make gestures at the dots written on a blackboard, a simple tracking camera with plug-and-play USB connectivity would allow them to do so in a matter of seconds. With the use of these two, we can say goodbye to distracting noises and poor visibility in a room full of parents waiting.

Build a committed community

Choosing to attend online parent-teacher conferences is basically taking a more digital approach. With technology increasingly entering the field of education, the level of comfort and visibility it provides can encourage parents to attend online conferences more often and, in turn, allow both parties the opportunity to get coherent knowledge and communication between them. In doing so, it will create a connected sense of community based on collaboration for the sake of the growth and development of children.

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