As we’ve seen elsewhere (Parental Engagement vs Parent Involvement) Parental Engagement can mean different things to different people but one thing is agreed and that is if parents are involved in their child’s learning, their child is likely to achieve at a higher level than without that support.
How does ZiLink aid Parental Engagement?
Many elements need to dovetail together and the use of a sound Parental Engagement Policy is essential for success but implementation can involve a variety of different technologies and services and this is where ZiLink brings essential elements together in one place.
For parents those essential elements are:
- Information about attainment and progress;
- Access to homework set by teachers;
- Communication with teachers and school.
Information about attainment and progress
Uniquely ZiLink enables each school to tailor the experience of parents when they access ZiLink Guardian View in Moodle. Information about attainment, attendance, progress, behaviour, homework and reports are all available. Equally important is the access that parents can have to the tasks and activities that their children are engaged with.
However, in many similar applications this information can be held in separate parts of Moodle or worse, separate applications and services requiring greater maintenance and management.
ZiLink brings all the relevant information together on one page for each subject so parents are fully information about each aspect of the child’s experience in school and the work they are doing.
Access to homework set by teachers
Homework is a very important part of a child’s learning. Quite apart from the the life skills involved such as independent learning, homework provides an additional opportunity for children to learn outside of the classroom and with the help of ZiLink parents can also be a part of that process and support their children.
Teachers can use the new ‘ZiLink Homework‘ activity in Moodle to set homework which they can monitor and assess when it has been submitted.
Students can use Student View to keep a tack of homework that is due, attempted and overdue so ZiLink Homework aids their time management and with one-click access to a set homework from their Student View panel it is very easy to access a homework without the need for complicated navigation through different courses and topics – a real time-saver.
Parents also have one-click access to homeworks that have been set and they will see the grades and feedback for each homework when it has been assessed making it much easier to support their child.
Communication with teachers and school
Communication is a corner-stone in effective parental engagement. It’s important that schools can communicate effectively with their parents about all sorts of different things but to ensure the most effective support for children in their learning the ability for parents to communicate with their child’s teachers is fundamental.
ZiLink enables parents to communicate with teachers by e-mail. At first glance, this appears to be a daunting prospect to many secondary school teachers considering the numbers of students they are likely to teach each week. However, the ability of parents to, for example, ask a question about the homework that has been set, closes the communication circle is such a way that it provides a very real benefit to a child’s learning and by engaging parents in the teaching process this can have the effect of reducing work load. It’s like having a teaching assistant for every child!
ZiLink also includes ZiLink Scheduler which can manage events such as Parent Evenings. Parents can book appointments with their child’s teachers and teachers can manage those appointments effectively without the need of additional spreadsheets or pieces of paper. It’s a very efficient way of organising a Parent Evening.