Principal Angela Fulton was looking for another way to improve communication with parents, and she found it last school year by launching a monthly video podcast.
«We try to communicate with parents in as many ways as possible,» said Fulton, principal at Discovery Elementary School in Sunrise. «One of those ways is through our podcast.»
The podcasts, one of several high-tech initiatives at Discovery, provide a look at what’s going on at the school and pertinent information for parents.
Fulton said the podcast has developed a loyal audience. She was once a week late in posting one, and she got many reminders from parents. She also was recognized by a parent at the city’s Back to School Round-Up.
«She told me she saw the podcast, and that is how she knew it was me,» Fulton said. «She just wanted to introduce herself and her son. So that meant a lot, to know that is another personal way parents can get a chance to meet me.»
The podcast is shot by fourth-grade teacher Janice Ryner, who also maintains the school’s website. Ryner said adding videos, pictures and more to the site has made it more appealing to parents.
«When [the site is] down, I always hear about it,» she said. «So that gives me an idea people are going there for their information.»
Ryner also updates her class website, which includes a Student of the Week and Notable Person of the Month. In addition, students are exposed to new technology with equipment such as promethium boards, LCD projectors and ActivExpression hand-held devices, which can be used to take quizzes, polls and more.
«This is the way they want to learn,» Ryner said. «I’m not going to give them paper and pencil when I know they aren’t going to respond as well to that.»
Fulton also keeps parents in the loop through a weekly voicemail sent on Fridays and the school’s Twitter account.
«Now I can send an important piece of information quickly from the grocery store or wherever I am with the touch of a button,» she said.