Online communication between school and home

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Online communication between home and school is the use of digital telecommunication to convey information and ideas between teachers, students, parents, and school administrators. As the use of e-mail and the internet becomes even more widespread, these tools become more valuable and useful in education for the purposes of increasing learning for students, and facilitating conversations between students, parents, and schools.[1][2]


Online communication emphasizes 21st century skills, self-directed learning, self-advocacy, global awareness, and thinking skills for learners.[3] Utilizing online communication methods, schools help students develop Netiquette, and technical and computer skills.[3][4] In addition, teachers can provide parents with frequent information about school programs and their children's progress through automated e-mails, official websites and learning management systems.[2][5] This communication can be achieved either synchronously or asynchronously, providing greater time flexibility.[5][6]

With online communication, learning may occur outside traditional school hours as students participate in collaborative activities, like reading and responding to peer posts in online forums, experiments, group projects, research papers, and current events assignments.[7] In addition, online communication can connect a wide range of individuals and increase the diversity of perspectives that learners are exposed to.[3]

However, not all parents, students, or teachers have access to unlimited internet access or the digital technology necessary to participate in online communication, and it may be costly to initially implement the information technology, hardware, and software.[8] Furthermore, schools must provide orientation to the online environments and technical support to ensure that all potential users are ready to participate.[4] Teachers will also need to spend additional time online as active participants in the communication activities (e.g. act as the moderators of discussions).[3][7] In addition, the immediacy of online communication can lead to students and parents' unreasonable expectations that teachers be 'on-call' at all times.[8]

Online communication between parents and school[edit]

Online communication between parents and schools are online methods that serve as a platform for parents and teachers to exchange ideas. For teachers and administrators, online communication makes it easier to reach the parents and build the partnerships with parents.Online communication allows parents to receive real-time information about their child’s performance and activities at school, and flexible opportunities to ask questions and provide information to teachers and school administrators.

In this recent time of technology and modern educational sector, there are many ways to get instant connectivity with your university or college teachers. In the online education process the communication is playing a major role for both teachers and students. There are many online universities and colleges who offer their education services online and they create a good communication path where all the student and the teacher took participation to discuss with every other and this will also help to get problem resolve very early. For those professional employees who stop their studies and start doing work. With the online education colleges and universities now they have an opportunity to get complete their education and complete their academic profile by having a higher degree on their resume. If you have a years of work experience in any field, but your employer doesn’t recognize you just because of your degree then there is a good news for you that the online universities also giving you the chance for apply your degree on the basis of your work experience.


Creating modes for online communication can increase parent participation in their children's education, which in turn increases students’ interest in their learning. Online communication increases parents’ understanding of classroom procedures, philosophies and policies. Parents then feel more involved in their child's school and more connected to the teacher. In general, online communication improves parents’ attitudes toward conferencing with teachers and administrators.[9][10][11][12]

This style of communication allows for more asynchronous communication and greater flexibility. With online communication, parents can initiate conversations and express concerns to teachers and school officials easily. In addition, informal communication through online chatting or forums can reduce parents’ anxiety of meeting face-to-face with teachers and/or school officials. When possible, online communication can also offer comfort through anonymity.[9][10][11][12]


Though most of the time, teachers and parents want to establish communication, there are some challenges that teacher and parents need to face together. The most common challenges involve parent’s ability to use the software, their access to consistent internet access and language barriers. There may be financial costs incurred by the school, if they provide training or translation to parents in order to make online communication more inclusive.[9][10][12][13][13]

Online communication between students and teachers[edit]

Online communication between teachers and students facilitates the exchange of ideas and e-learning. Online communication allows students to access learning materials beyond school hours and develop relationships with peers and teachers.[14][15]


The creation of Web 2.0 and social networks means that knowledge is now collective and readily available online for students to access and contribute to.[14] Promoting online communication between teachers and students creates opportunities for students to receive feedback and assistance from teachers and peers outside the regular school day and classroom. Student can e-mail or post questions, add their opinions to peer-discussions, and check official websites for pertinent information.

Through online learning communities of teachers and peers, students can build relationships with other users and establish a sense of both connectedness and belonging. Some students, who are less likely to participate in face-to discussions, are more likely to participate in online discussions and activities. This online communication enhances the strength of the relationships between students and both their peers and teachers.


Student can demonstrate antipathy towards online communication or peer interdependency in internet forums. In order to be productive, online communication between students and teachers requires trust, interactivity, common expectations and shared goals. Some students expect teachers to be on-call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, placing unreasonable expectations upon teachers.[16] In addition, most students spend participate in online communication from home, which means that parent's help is often required, but may not be available. Finally, students may lack the technical skills or access to the technology necessary to involve themselves in online communication.

Role of teachers[edit]

Teachers have great responsibility in the establishment of online communication and communities with students, because of their leadership position. Several of their in-class characteristics must extend into the online environment, such as their ability to guide student behavior and learning. With online communication, teachers must model and demonstrate appropriate Netiquette throughout their persistent involvement. Teachers should also encourage their classes to evolve into learning communities in which group processes have the power to influence the behavior of individuals.[14] These online environments should foster a sense of openness, friendliness, and trust, so that problem solving becomes a group function.[14][17]


Teachers and students can e-mail questions and answers to each other about course content and assignments. Schools and teachers can maintain official websites with important information about events, assignments, and resources that students can utilize outside class.[18][19][20]

Both students and teachers can post messages in online forums as a part of homework assignments. In this way they can present different points of view that they don't have any chance to present in the classroom.

Online study groups allow students to maintain relationships with their peers from a distance. These study groups can be created within a classroom’s social networking site, allowing users to connect with each other directly, beyond typical chat rooms and forums.

Teachers can develop virtual tours, virtual education, and virtual learning environment for their students in multi-user virtual environments (MUVE).

Technology and tools[edit]

The most widely used online communication tool is e-mail between teachers, which provides opportunities for asynchronous communication, instantaneous distribution to a mass audience, mobile access, and file exchange.[21][22] Teacher-created websites provide online access to administrative information, calendars, links, blogs, etc. Internet forums allow learners and teachers to articulate ideas, give and receive feedback, reflect on the perspectives of others, and receive clarification of concepts.[23] social networking sites are used for focused and open communication between users. Blogs allow individuals to express their ideas in greater detail and with multimedia.

Course Management Systems (CMS)[edit]

Various course management systems are designed specifically for facilitating online communication in education. Effective course management software tends to include more information, widgets, functions, and customization options than teacher-created websites.

Most course management systems include:

  • class information: calendar, syllabus, details of prerequisites, assessment information, and a FAQ
  • a notice board with up-to-date course information
  • learning materials: course content, copies of visual aids, reading materials and links to community resources
  • assessment opportunities: self-assessment, peer-assessment, and formal assessment
  • communication support: e-mail, threaded discussions, and a chat room
  • differentiated access rights for teachers, administrators, and students
  • document authoring tools
  • administrative tools: student tracking capabilities, statistics, and reports

Notable CMS Software include:


  1. ^ Jay, M (2006). Tips for a Better Parent-School Relationship. Washington Post, Oct 17, 2006
  2. ^ a b Keltner, M., Hammond School City, I. N., South Bend Community School Corp, I. N., & et al. (1990). Building School Home Partnerships: A Handbook for Educators.
  3. ^ a b c d Watson, J., Gemin, B., & International Association for K-12 Online, L. (2009). Management and Operations of Online Programs: Ensuring Quality and Accountability. Promising Practices in Online Learning. International Association for K-12 Online Learning
  4. ^ a b Harrell, I. (2008). Increasing the Success of Online Students. Inquiry, 13(1), 36-44.
  5. ^ a b Swick, K. J., Humanics Associates, A. G. A., & et al. (1979). Building Successful Parent-Teacher Partnerships.
  6. ^ Moles, O., & Office of Educational Research and Improvement, W. D. C. (1992). Building Home-School Partnerships for Learning: Workshops for Urban Educators. Pilot Version.
  7. ^ a b Dixson, M. (2010). Creating Effective Student Engagement in Online Courses: What Do Students Find Engaging?. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 10(2), 1-13.
  8. ^ a b Southern Regional Education Board (2003). Essential Principles of High-Quality Online Teaching: Guidelines for Evaluating K-12 Online Teachers.
  9. ^ a b c Tobolka, D. (2006). Connecting Teachers and Parents Through the Internet. [Article]. Tech Directions, 66(5), 24.
  10. ^ a b c Erlanger, W., Virgen-Heim, V., Bryde, B. (2001). Connecting Parents and Teachers using MUVE. Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development 1998 Yearbook: Learning and Technology, pp. 3-27
  11. ^ a b Perkins, M., & Pfaffman, J. (2006). Using a Course Management System to Improve Classroom Communication. Science Teacher, 73(7), 33-37.
  12. ^ a b c Valcke, M., Bonte, S., De Wever, B., & Rots, I. (2010). Internet Parenting Styles and the Impact on Internet Use of Primary School Children. Computers & Education, 55(2), 454-464.
  13. ^ a b Furger, R. (2002). Connections Between Home and School: Parents Become Active Participants. Retrieved October 10, 2010.
  14. ^ a b c d Rose, S. (2010). Connectivity: A Framework for Understanding Effective Language Teaching in Face-to-face and Online Learning Communities. [Article]. RELC Journal, 41(2), 137-147. doi:10.1177/0033688210375775
  15. ^ Pegrum, M. (2009) From Blogs to Bombs: The Future of Digital Technologies in Education. Crawley, Western Australia: UWA Publishing
  16. ^ Davison, M. et al. (2006), The Learning Styles, Expectations, and Needs of Online Students, College Teaching 54(1), 185-189
  17. ^ Alley R, Jung B (1995) Preparing teachers for the 21st Century. In: O’Hair MJ, Odell SL (eds) Educating Teachers for Leadership and Change. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press, 285-301.
  18. ^ Mislove, A., Marcon, M., Gummadi, K. P., Druschel, P., & Bhattacharjee, B. (2007) Measurement and analysis of online social networks. [Article]. Proceedings of the 7th ACM SIGCOMM conference on Internet measurement, 29.
  19. ^ Rovai, A. (2002) Building sense of community at a distance. International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning 3(1): 1-16.
  20. ^ How the Internet Has Changed the Student and Teacher Communication - 6 Things They Never Argue About.
  21. ^ Thompson, B. (2008). Characteristics of Parent-Teacher E-Mail Communication. Communication Education, 57(2), 201-223.
  22. ^ Power, M. (2010). Parent, Teacher, Student Communication — Going Beyond Paper Newsletters and Emails. Retrieved October 10, 2010
  23. ^ Hammond, M. (1999).Issues associated with participation in on line forums--the case of the communicative learner.

Further reading[edit]

  • Amundson, Kristen(1999). Parents: Partners in Education. Parents as Partners Series. Virginia. American Association of School Administrators.
  • Boyd, D., Ellison, N. (2007). Social network Sites: Definition, History, and Scholarship. Journal of Computer-Mediated Communication. Retrieved October 10, 2010.
  • Cooper, C., Crosnoe, R., Suizzo, M., Keenan, A. (2009). Elementary School Poverty, Race, and Parental Involvement During the Transition to Elementary School. Journal of Family Issues, 31(7) 859-883.
  • Cuttance, Peter Cuttance and Stokes, Shirley A (2000). Reporting on Student and School Achievement. A Research Report prepared for the Commonwealth Department of Education, Training and Youth Affairs.
  • Diaz, D. P., & Cartnal, R. B. (1999). Students' Learning Styles in Two Classes. [Article]. College Teaching, 47(4), 130.
  • Enoch, S. W. (1995). The Dynamics of Home-School Relationships. School Administrator, 52(10), 24-26.
  • Grasha, A. F. (1996). Teaching with style. Pittsburgh, PA: Alliance.
  • Jenkins, H. (2006). Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century. MacArthur Foundation. Retrieved October 10, 2010.
  • Jeynes, W. H. (2007). The Relationship between Parental Involvement and Urban Secondary School Student Academic Achievement: A Meta-Analysis. Urban Education, 42(1), 82-110.
  • Lewin, C., Luckin, R. (2009). Technology to support parental engagement in elementary education: Lessons learned from the UK.
  • Medina, M. (2001). Maintaining a Home–School Relationship. Retrieved October 10, 2010.
  • Northwest Educational Technical Consortium (2005). K-12 Online Instruction for Teaching and Learning. Retrieved October 14, 2010.
  • Resta, P., & Laferrière, T. (2007a). Technology in Support of Collaborative Learning. Educational Psychology Review, 19(1), 65-83. doi:10.1007/s10648-007-9042-7.
  • Roberts, T. S., & McInnerney, J. M. (2007). Seven Problems of Online Group Learning (and Their Solutions). Educational Technology & Society, 10 (4), 257-268.
  • Siemens G (2010) Struggling for a metaphor for change. Connectivism: Networked and Social Learning (2 Sept 2009 posting).
  • Souto-Manning, M., & Swick, K. J. (2006). Teachers’ Beliefs about Parent and Family Involvement: Rethinking our Family Involvement Paradigm.. Early Childhood Education Journal, 34(2), 187-193.
  • Swick, K. J., & Parker, M. S. (1989). Participation Patterns and Perceived Benefits of At-Risk Parents Involved in a Teacher-Parent Partnership Effort.
  • University of Illinois. What Makes a Successful Online Student?. Illinois Online Network. Retrieved October 11, 2010.
  • Wanat, C. L. (2010). Challenges Balancing Collaboration and Independence in Home-School Relationships: Analysis of Parents' Perceptions in One District. School Community Journal, 20(1), 159-186.
  • Westergard, E., & Galloway, D. (2010). Partnership, Participation and Parental Disillusionment in Home-School Contacts: A Study in Two Schools in Norway. Pastoral Care in Education, 28(2), 97-107.