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Dr. Joanne Meier

Along with her background as a professor, researcher, writer, and teacher, Joanne Meier is a mom. Join Joanne every week as she shares her experiences raising her own young readers, and guides parents and teachers on the best practices in reading.

Using technology to support parents

February 6, 2013

We recently wrapped up our 5-webinar series on Parent Engagement. We developed the series to support charter members of the Grade-Level Reading Communities Network, a key community-based effort of the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading. We've archived the entire Parent Engagement Webinar Series so now it's a free, permanent resource for all.

The final webinar focused on using technology to support parents. We had three terrific presenters: Lisa Guernsey from the Early Education Initiative at the New America Foundation, Richard Byrne from Free Technology for Teachers, and Ana Blagojevic, Migrant Education Coordinator and Advocate at at Mano en Mano | Hand in Hand and director of the Comienza en Casa Program. Each presenter shared their thoughts and experiences with using technology to support parents.

The webinar was full of good information, and I want to highlight two of the tech resources that Lisa Guernsey shared. Hopefully at least one will be new to you!

Ele, from the Fred Rogers Center Early Learning Environment. Ele is a site full of activities designed to build skills in several important areas: listening and talking, reading, writing, arts, and more. Activities can be sorted by media type (books, videos, games, interactive tools, songs, and mobile) and age (from birth to 5 years), making it easy to find just what you're looking for.

Wonderopolis is created by the National Center for Family Literacy. Every day brings a new "wonder" on the site. Today's was all about puzzles, yesterday's sought to answer the question, "Why are brick houses so strong?" For each wonder, more information is provided through Did you know? Try it out! Wonder Words, Still Wondering? Wonder What's Next? And Photos/Videos. I've seen it used in classrooms where kids come in to see the day's wonder on the Smart Board. What a great way to stimulate morning conversation!

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"Wear the old coat and buy the new book." — Austin Phelps