How Does Technology Help in Bridging the Communication Gap Between Parents and Schools?

For any form of communication to be meaningful, it must be a two-way transaction between the participants involved: the sender and the receiver of information. If done effectively, it promotes trust between the participants, thereby strengthening relationships.

The communication between school administration and parents is a prominent case in point.

Good communication between a school and its parent community, for instance, aids in improving the student performance as well as physical and mental well-being. On the one hand, it ensures that parents are aware and up to date with relevant information about the school, their child’s academic as well as non-scholastic performance, etc. On the other, by taking suggestions, recommendations, and feedback from parents, teachers can gain insights into the challenges being faced by individual students and determine the optimal approach to resolving them.

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Conventionally, schools and parents have relied on in-person engagement to interact with each other. The viral outbreak has changed this dynamic. In the post-pandemic landscape, schools across the world are leveraging digital tools to connect with students as well as their parents. While the technological intervention was initially seen as a stand-in to in-person engagement during the lockdowns, both schools and parents have recognized the long-term benefits it can have on the quality of communication.

Against this backdrop, digital connectivity and communication tools are expected to remain in place even after the schools reopen. Here’s taking a detailed look at why.

Modern technology and schools

Technology has impacted almost every aspect of life. Education is no exception. The access to education has expanded. A plethora of information is now available at one’s fingertips, thanks to the internet. One can easily access books, audio, videos, images, and podcasts with just a click.

Beyond pedagogy, tech tools have also enabled schools to update the parents about their wards’ progress more instantaneously. With the advent of cutting-edge digital solutions, parents no longer need to wait for the PTA – which is typically a monthly or a bi-monthly event – to learn about the nitty-gritty of their wards’ performance metrics, including attendance records and test scores. Instead, schools can communicate such information to the parents on a regular basis through digital dashboards or mobile-friendly communication options such as emails and text messages.

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Parents also expect schools to communicate safety-related information and update about their wards. According to a survey conducted by the National School Public Relations Association, safety was the most common information sought by parents with children in elementary as well as secondary schools – and technology steps in, once again, to help schools deliver on this expectation. For instance, cloud-based CCTV solutions can help schools monitor children within their premises while also allowing parents to check in on their wards in real-time.

However, ensuring safety while traveling to and from school has its own challenges. Parents have little to no visibility about the location of the vehicle, leaving them anxious until the children are back at home. The arrival and departure timings of the vehicles also often impact parents’ personal schedules. Further, in the current pandemic-hit scenario and President Biden’s announcement to reopen schools as soon as possible, ensuring student safety during transit becomes even more essential. This is where technology-led fleet management solutions enter the picture.

Tech solutions for student transport operations

Digital school bus fleet management software such as SafeBus is designed to empower school admins to ensure a safe and secure commute experience for schoolchildren. By using GPS, it can provide real-time visibility into the location of the school bus to both parents and the school administration. The system also provides automatic updates about the ETA and student boarding/ deboarding status on their mobile application, thereby enhancing transparency for parents.

Besides allowing parents to live track of the location of the school bus, SafeBus also allows admins to check for protocol violations such as inadequate social distancing, failure to wear masks, etc. Any instance of overspeeding, erratic driving or deviation from a predetermined route also gets reflected on the platform in real-time, allowing school admins to intervene immediately.

SafeBus also empowers fleet managers to maintain digital checklists of sanitization schedules or replenishment of safety resources such as masks and sanitizer. The solution further enables schools to keep the parents informed about these measures, thereby giving them peace of mind about their wards’ safety in a post-pandemic world.

Considering these benefits, it is safe to conclude that, by embracing technological aids, schools can improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their interactions with parents. Active parent engagement will not only ensure better learning outcomes in children but also help schools to reflect on their objectives and their implementation.

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