The Anthem to live by!
Setting the Stage-
This amazing experience was the result of a simple app called Homeroom. @gethomeroom on Twitter
Michael and I were presenting on sharing the events of your classroom with parents and community. I talked about blogging and inviting parents into your classroom. Michael brought up using apps like Remind but preferred Celly to share out with parents. These are apps that allow teachers to send text messages to parents or students.
Making the most of the potential possibilities!
I began this post with the app Homeroom in mind. Homeroom is a very new app just released in the beginning of October. I started to explore what the app can do by taking pictures of the cool things I was seeing in the schools I work in. I put them into my Homeroom feed, but that is where it kind of ends. I don't have students I work with on a regular basis, so I don't have a group of parents to share this app with.
I wanted to see how this app would work to do some of the things I previously discussed in the other apps. I needed to find teachers willing to give this a try. I was able to find a few willing participants in the past couple of weeks. My hope was to test the app, see how well it functioned, and give those teachers a leg up in documenting their classroom practices as well as building relationships with their families. To be honest, I didn't think there would be a significant impact on the relationship piece. This isn't in terms of the meaningful connection it would make with those who used the app and received the updates of class events. My skepticism was due to the fact that I didn't expect a lot of parents to sign up for the app. As of this post, I don't think there are a lot of parents who have signed up, but the teachers have only been doing this for a few days. I am hopeful this number will grow, and even if it isn't a large number the potential impact for those students and parents is tremendous.
When students began talking about their experiences at home the night before, she decided to show the rest of her class the app projected on the screen in her room. Students saw the pictures that the teacher had taken and were able to see that some parents liked and commented on the images. This is when one young lady saw who liked a picture of her. It was her dad. About a year ago her dad had moved out of state to take a job to support the family. When this young student saw that her dad had interacted with her picture, she asked- Can my dad see what I am doing in class? The teacher responded yes, at this point the student broke down. This was a connection that she had been missing in her life.
Hearing this story I was emotional- I couldn't get over the fact that a simple app allowed this dad and daughter to reconnect. Another cool part of the experience was other students began to think about other possibilities. Could my grandparents in Germany see this? They were excited to share their classroom experiences. They wanted to connect with their families.