Simplify parent engagement with our new Parent Portal
2020 has seen schools experiencing a year like no other. They had to be able to deliver teaching and learning whatever the circumstances, and wherever their teachers and students might be. More than ever before, learning became a team effort, with continuity of learning and parent engagement key to overcoming the challenges they faced. Schools had to engage their whole community and be more flexible in their approach, supporting learning in a wide variety of settings and to keep up with the growing expectations of parents.
In response, many schools turned to Google Classroom and Microsoft Teams to manage what would have traditionally been classroom activities. However, with parents now acting in the role of de facto classroom assistants, it was increasingly important to ensure that parents were part of the learning conversation.
Schools needed a platform that provided a unified parent experience, giving them what they needed to support learning and manage school admin, all in one place. Such a platform had to be capable of personalised communication with curated news and communications for each family, but crucially without adding to the burden of their already busy teachers.
Finally, schools needed to be able to provide a complete overview of each student’s experience through a single student record, providing a 360 view and pulling data from other systems the school was using, such as their MIS, and Microsoft and Google tools.
Firefly’s NEW Parent Portal
No matter whether a school is using Firefly, Microsoft or Google, or a combination of the three, the Firefly Parent Portal provides schools with a single, central hub for their parents, with all of the information they need to support their child’s learning effectively. Partnering closely with Microsoft and Google, Firefly ensures that parents have the visibility they need to answer three key questions:
- What is my child doing?
- How is my child doing?
- What do I need to do to help?
To help answer the first question, “What is my child doing?”, Firefly’s Parent Portal provides full visibility of the assignments and tasks that a child has been set, whether in Firefly, Microsoft Teams or Google Classroom. As the first platform to provide this facility, Firefly makes it easy for parents to see what their child should be doing, along with the status of each task, whether it is due, completed, or overdue. As a result, parents are better placed to be able to help their children prioritise their time and stay on top of their workload. At the same time, teachers have the flexibility to use the tools that best suit them, without having to add to their workload in order to keep parents informed.
Bring your parents into the learning conversation
The other concern for parents that needs answering is our second question: “How is my child doing?” Firefly’s Student Profile gives parents a 360 overview of their child’s activity, with tasks and assignments, alongside any teacher feedback for Firefly tasks. With attendance and behaviour records, and school reports, parents have a fuller understanding of their child's achievements, as well as any particular challenges they may need more support with. If students are keeping a learning diary, or portfolio, this is also a good place for these to be shared with parents. The transparency that each student profile provides ensures that parents are able to engage fully with their child’s learning, and also means that conversations with teachers can be much more informed and productive, leading to better outcomes for the student.
However, knowing what tasks their child should be completing quickly leads on to our final question, “What do I need to do to help?” It is longer than most of us would like to admit since we have looked at Year 9 Geography for example, but Firefly makes it easy for schools to share learning resources with parents, so that they are able to see the same materials that their children are working from. To make life easier for teachers, Firefly allows them to add content quickly and easily from OneDrive and/or Google Drive, alongside materials from a range of other education providers. With Microsoft Immersive Reader integrated into Firefly pages, parents and students can read content in their preferred language, along with lots of other tools to ensure accessibility for all learners. Crucially, all of this material can be curated into lesson-sized ‘chunks’ making sure that students (and parents) know what needs to be covered and without having to open files and documents.
Whether you are using Firefly, Microsoft or Google to help teachers and students connect and collaborate effectively, Firefly gives you the tools you need to elevate the learning conversation even further. Bringing assignments, learning resources and school information into one easily accessible space, Firefly’s unique Parent Portal gives schools a platform to simplify engagement across the whole school community. Using Firefly, schools are better able to communicate effectively, manage admin effortlessly and engage their parents completely.