I’ve been putting a great deal of thinking into the parent portal and reading through the Becta toolkit has stimulated an awful lot of thought in terms of what a parent portal should look like, key functionality and how it may be presented to parents. It’s got me thinking about how important it is to end up with a system that is continually used by parents – has enough hooks to make sure they keep coming back for more. At Costello we are not wanting to rush into the launch of a fully fledged parent portal that sees a rush of parents clambering to access the portal, only to log on once and then never return.
As a result we’re not rushing, we’re taking our time, doing our market research to ensure we end up with a solution that’s going to work by supporting our parents and giving them something they want to engage with and use on a regular basis. Our newsletter went out last week, I put in a big article about FROG, securing the vision of where E-Learning is going at the college as well as a request to set up a parent focus group. This focus group has a clear brief, to give parents the opportunity to help shape the vision that will drive the parent portal forward. It’s going to be really interesting what gets discussed and how things may well be prioritised differently by parents.
Response has been good, with a number of parents emailing me to express their interest over the past few days – using our SMS texting service to remind parents of the opportunity certainly helped to bring in the responses – proves a point about technology facilitating collaboration and enhancing communication.
Initial meeting is going to me 2nd December and I’m going into this meeting with a totally open mind, at no point are they going to be steered at all. The meeting is going to start at 7pm and will start with an overview of the FROG implementation that our students have. We’ll then give an overview of what we are wanting to achieve and outline the format of the meeting, which I expect to last for about an hour -maybe more if they really get stuck in! Am looking forward to posting the outcomes of the meeting!