Back to School Night took place a little over a week ago at my school. Not usually an event I look forward to, but this year was a little different. Parents were attending after working with their kids on the initial Background and Interest Survey (for the yearlong weblog research project in American Studies), and after receiving the letter on the multiple uses for weblogs in our classroom. I was interested in their reaction and to have a chance to personally invite them into the process.
Although we don't have much more than twenty minutes to talk with the parents, I definitely left with a good feeling. I was even able to share with them some of the results from the survey through the weblog. I had one parent who was concerned about whether his daughter's writing would be seen by anyone on the internet, but other than that parents seemed to have a positive outlook on the project with 15 out of 17 parents (who returned the form) opting to become members of the class weblog. Even the parent who was concerned about privacy issues joined after I explained the control students have over who can view material on their weblog.
The next step came Friday when we took the kids to the computer lab. I wanted them to respond to an article (that could also involve their parents) and get them talking about learning both in school and in the real world. I also invited the author of the article to participate in the discussion as well. You can see the post and the evolving discussion by clicking here.