Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

New Phone System Gets Educators and Parents "Talking"

Academic journal article T H E Journal (Technological Horizons In Education)

New Phone System Gets Educators and Parents "Talking"

Article excerpt

"What did you do in school today?

Do you have any homework?" What parent of a school-age child has never asked such questions of their youngster only to hear a grunt in reply. Because of conversations like these educators are constantly looking for ways to increase and improve communications between parents and teachers. Unfortunately, though it has become critical for parents to be involved in the educational process, they are becoming increasingly less available.

It has become critical for parents to be involved in the educational process.

Parents of students attending Jefferson and Willard Elementary Schools in Spokane, Wash., however, are asking new questions like "So I understand you're studying polygons in your math class. Is there anything I can do to help?" or "Have you completed your essay on President Lincoln for Mr. Lee?" These parents have regular access to information about classroom activities through a phone notification system recently installed at both schools. With it, teachers and parents can easily exchange information about classroom happenings.

* High Marks

The PhoneMaster Notification System (PNS) from U.S. Telecom International, Inc., in Joplin, Mo., has earned high marks from both teachers and parents since its installation at the beginning of the school year. It comprises a voice card and software that install on any DOS-compatible computer with a hard disk. With the addition of a printer and a single-line telephone, the system is ready to run.

Parents and students access the PNS using their touch-tone phone. After dialing Willard's system, the Willard Information Line, the caller chooses from a menu for information on lunch menus, calendars of school activities, school club news, Parent Teacher Group information and school holidays.

One PhoneMaster menu item, the Homework Hotline, has received rave reviews from students, parents and teachers alike. By entering the teacher's room number, parents can find out their child's scheduled homework assignments for the day or week. Ed Cael, co-president of Willard's Parent Teacher Group, says he thinks his children are taking their homework more seriously because of the hotline. They know the teachers and parents are spending time [on the system] so it moves homework up on their list of priorities," he comments. …

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