Advancing the relationship between parents and families can be made easier using different technologies. Traditionally, teachers and school leaders have used letters home or text messaging services. These platforms have worked for years, but there is always opportunity to provide more ways for families to engage with their schools.
Amazon Alexa has launched partnerships with a number of Ed Tech companies to create ways that schools can be more connected to families. This innovative approach to engaging families expands the reach of student information from the school to the home.
There are a number of ways for parents to engage with schools but they often look like parents coming to the school during the school day or after school to participate in schoolwide or classroom activities. School leaders are getting creative about how they engage families and think about ways teachers can facilitate opportunities for parents to participate beyond being physically present.
3 Ways Amazon Alexa Helps Engage Families
Communicating Student Behavior
Amazon Alexa’s platform, in collaboration with Kickboard, provides direct information from the classroom to the parent. The information directed by a voice feature is a handsfree way for parents to receive real-time student behavior updates from the school. With this information, parents can be aware of how their student is behaving throughout the day and reinforce or check in with their children after school.
Parent: “Alexa, are there any updates on my student’s behavior?”
Alexa will respond with updates that have been input by their child’s teacher, giving the family consistent and timely updates that a parent or guardian can check throughout the day. As a result, parents are even more-informed on what is happening at school and how their student is behaving.
Schoolwide events, activities and other information for families can be distributed via the Amazon Alexa platform. If parents need information from the school or the teacher specifically, Amazon Alexa will be able to provide that through connected platforms, like the Alexa mobile app or Echo devices. Additionally, the parents can set reminders and notes about upcoming activities and arrange times for them to get involved.
Parent: “Alexa, are there any updates from school?”
Alexa will respond with any announcements from the school. These updates inform the family on opportunities to engage, reminders about upcoming events and opportunities to participate. This helps families stay connected to the school community and identify areas where they can get involved.
Academic updates are also available to families via Alexa. Amazon Alexa can provide specific details about homework assignments or updates on the learning units from students. The information can include special instruction or areas where the student could use supplemental support.
Parent: “Alexa, what is the homework assignment today?”
Alexa responds with the assignment or details about upcoming projects. The parent can then identify games or activities that support the learning with the student. If there is a reading assignment, the tool can be used to read a story or provide a literacy lesson. If there is a math assignment, Alexa can provide supporting instruction.
Whether or not a parent has the flexibility to visit the school, Amazon Alexa provides resources and activities for the parent to engage their students. The Alexa technology creates direct avenues for parents and schools that are changing how schools define family engagement. It is evident that parental engagement in schools positively impacts overall student behavior and academic achievement. Using these tools helps parents to be more aware and creates more ways for the parent to plug in.