So much has changed over the past eight months, not the least of which is how we educate our children. With all of our students learning remotely last March through June and now with some opting for remote learning, many parents have had to learn right along with them - namely navigating the technology needed to connect students and their teachers.
Where there is a need, the Tech Department at Florida Union Free School will find the way to meet it. On Nov. 9, FUFSD’s tech crew Dana Castine, Rudy Gordon, Dana Gropper and two administrative interns, Katherine Hannon and Kaitlyn Smith, will kick off Parent University, a series of informative 30-minute online sessions for parents to help them navigate the technology needed to successfully connect and educate our students.
“We are going to start with the basics,” said Castine, director of technology, math and science for the district. “Our first week, we will dive into ‘Getting to Know Your Chromebook.’ We will review the functions of the device and even go over basics of the Chrome browser and searches.”
Each week, there will be three sessions, all on the same topic and the same presentation. However, since each session will have a question and answer section, they will be slightly different. The schedule is:
· Tuesday, 9 – 9:30 a.m. – Fill Your Cup with Tech
· Tuesday, 6:30 – 7 p.m. – Rewind and Recharge with Tech
· Thursday, 12:45 – 1:15 p.m. – Let’s Do Lunch
All of the sessions will be recorded and posted on the district website on the Remote Learning page.
The sudden pivot to remote learning
Castine said the second and third week’s topics will be Google Classroom and Google Meet. Topics for future sessions will be dictated by need and suggestion. Castine said they will survey parents and staff members for their input, so if there is a burning topic, let Castine know.
The Tech Department had great success with a similar project they started back in March for Florida School District’s staff. With the sudden pivot to remote learning, there was a tremendous need among the staff for professional learning. The Tech Department came through, providing more than 80 learning sessions for our teachers, three times each week from March through June.
“Each session was created based on the questions we received the previous week,” said Castine. “It was completely optional for staff to attend yet we had a very high participation rate.”
The thought was there for Parent University but they just didn’t have the resources to do it along with the professional learning for staff. Now they do and Castine is excited to have parents on board.
If you have a suggestion for a topic for Parent University, contact Castine at firstname.lastname@example.org.