Now that the 2005-2006 school year is beginning for teachers and students in schools across the country, plans for Open House and Parent Night events are being finalized in many districts. School leaders often host such events within the first few weeks of the school year to inform parents about curricular initiatives, school activities, and extra-curricular programs. Open House events also present tremendous opportunities for teachers and media specialists to showcase the ways that they are integrating instructional technology resources in their classrooms and computer labs. As you make preparations for your own presentations in the coming weeks, consider including examples of the ways that you and your students use unitedstreaming digital resources in lessons and projects.
Technology Showcase: One effective way to demonstrate to parents how you are using computers and instructional technology materials is to showcase student projects and hands-on activities that you have created. You could set up televisions or computers in your classrooms or Learning Centers to display the presentations or digital stories that your students have created, or you could log onto the unitedstreaming site and let parents explore the video library and Learning Tools that you use with your students during the year. Parent Night events are great times to show your parents, school administrators, and members of the community the many innovative projects that you and your colleagues have developed.
School Broadcasts: Another very effective way to use unitedstreaming video clips during Parent Night or on a regular basis in your schools is to include them in the daily video bulletins and broadcasts that are becoming common in many schools. Use the search tools to find clips that relate to concepts or themes that your teachers may be exploring during the year or make use of the Calendar feature that you can access by clicking on the Learning Tools link on the navigation bar. The Calendar is like an online almanac and each day you can find links to video clips that relate to events associated with that date. You will also find links to resources related to commemorative events and cultural celebrations. As I write this on August 26, for example, I see by using the Calendar that today is Women’s Equality Day and that there are several full videos and a comprehensive list of video clips relating to this topic that are available to share with students. You will find meaningful connections to historical and cultural topics like this all through the year.
This year, bring new levels of interest and involvement to your own Open House presentations by showcasing the digital resources that you use on a regular basis to bring new excitement to the lessons and activities that you design for your students.