A new research study completed by Dr. M.E. Picher on the use of a digital documentation technology (called Storypark) in Ontario’s kindergarten program shows that this technology had a positive impact on parents’ engagement in their children’s learning.
The study, conducted by Picher for her PhD thesis at the University of Toronto, included 220 parents who used Storypark to receive learning stories about their children’s learning from their children’s kindergarten educators.
Sixteen of these parents volunteered to become “point parents” who participated in pre and post-interviews as well as an online survey.
In conducting pre-interviews with these parents Picher said, “Most of them had no idea what their children were learning about at school because a lot of them worked and barely ever saw the teachers. Also, a lot of parents were relying on their child to find out what was happening but it’s difficult for four and five-year-olds to talk about their learning.”
However, after Storypark was introduced into the classrooms, approximately 90% of “point parents” said that Storypark either “greatly” or “somewhat” increased their understanding of their children’s classroom learning. As a result, parents not only became more engaged in their child’s learning at school, but also at home.
According to Picher, “When parents were asked in post-interviews about how Storypark impacted their engagement in their children’s learning, they said Storypark helped because they got to see what their kids were learning about at school and then encourage that a little bit further at home.”
Hear about the findings in more detail in a webinar where M.E. Picher presented her research and answered some of the biggest questions administrators have about digital documentation technology.