Mega-Trends in Schools: Part Three

iPhone 2g, iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4

3. THE technology

As technology continues to transform the classroom, it becomes more and more likely that parent-school communication will be the next area to go hi-tech. Here’s a rundown of a few ways schools and parents currently communicate, as well as why they should change:

Paper and phone calls are what many schools are used to relying on for communication with parents. Even though it’s easy for schools to send out messages through paper and by phone, administrators often find that doing so can use up an inordinate amount of time and resources. For parents, this method is highly inconvenient- sheets of paper can easily disappear in busy household, and missed phone calls can often lead to more trouble than they’re worth.

Many schools have switched to websites and email as their primary methods of communications. Though this represents a relatively quick and easy solution for schools, parents often tire of scrolling through lists of irrelevant emails or website content in order to find what they want.

A relatively new platform, smartphones represent new possibilities for school-parent communication. Schools can easily update apps in the same amount of time it would take to send out an email. Parents can get the relevant information they need in a device that’s always with them. Though they haven’t been tested extensively as of yet, it’s quite possible that smartphones could transform the ways schools and parents interact.

Mega-Trends in Schools: Part Two

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2. THE Economy

The problems with the economy have greatly affected  both schools and parents, and, unfortunately, they aren’t likely to clear up anytime soon. Schools will need to find ways to operate despite a dearth of funding and resources. With smaller budgets for flyer-printing and fewer staff members to send out notices, schools will need to communicate effectively on a low budget.

At the same time, many parents may start to work longer and later at their jobs; they may be less available than they were before. With less personal time and more stress, parents won’t be as keen on going to great lengths to communicate or engage with schools. In order to make parents want to communicate, schools need to make things easier for the parents.

So what does this mean for the future?

  • Both schools and parents are likely to be facing financial challenges in the future.
  • Parents will have less available time for school interactions.
  • Schools need to find cost-effective, easily accessible forms of communication in order to reduce expenses and engage parents.