Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Parent Ed Event-Growing Up Online

Last night I met three other parents online in a skype chat session to discuss the PBS Frontline special, "Growing Up Online." Two of the parents were from USM (the school I work at) and we were also joined by Lorna Costantini, a parent/parent coordinator from a school in St. Catherines, Ontario. Lorna is someone who I recently met online and we're participating in the Webcast Academy 2.4 class together. I must say that it was nice to be able to think aloud and process this event collaboratively with the other chat participants. I also really enjoyed the experience of watching this alongside three other parents as I'm not a parent myself-it was great to get their perspective and hear their voice on this issue.

I'm amazed at what we've managed to do at USM over the last few months. At the beginning of the year I never would've even thought of conducting a parent education session through a live chat. While this experience wasn't perfect (one of the parents commented that it was difficult to follow the program and chat at the same time-I agree) it certainly opens the doors for some different ways of thinking about parent education with the ultimate goal of including more parents in the conversation.

By the way, this wasn't broadcast in Lorna's area in Ontario so I ustreamed it to her. Included in this post is a screenshot that Lorna took while watching the ustream feed and participating in the chat. It was nice to be able to do this so she could follow along and engage in the conversation live with us.

By the way, if you didn't get to see Growing Up Online last night on TV, it is available for viewing online any time via the PBS website. The Washington Post held a chat on Thursday morning with the producers of the segment. The chat log may be pursed online here (some really interesting questions/answers in the chat).

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