Two weeks ago, I introduced Remind across three year groups and their parents. I sent letters home to parents inviting them to take part in this useful and informative project that would be mutually beneficial. I targeted my form class (year 7) and four KS4 ICT and Business Studies groups. So, that's approximately 200 pupils and at least the same number of parents. As of the time of writing, only 13 pupils and 2 parents have made the effort to take part. Only 3.7% of the people I am trying to engage. Allowing for letters getting 'lost' on their way home and a proportion of people that don't have access to the internet, that's still a pretty poor show. At which point do I decide to not invest any further time in it? My time is limited, and I have plenty of other demands on it, both professionally and personally.
Having said that, it would be naive of me to think that everyone would readily embrace this scheme. However, it does raise some questions and concerns. Is it the idea of Remind they aren't connecting with? If not, why not? Do I need to raise my profile with pupils and parents, as I have only been at the school for 6 weeks, after all? Is it a case of having to keep trying new ideas and new initiatives, in the hope that a few will gain traction and lead somewhere? Won't that just irritate the ones that are on board, or further disinterest the ones that are uninterested? Perhaps the low level of parental uptake is due to the lack of digital transparency I spoke of previously. Do pupils see this scheme as a way of me establishing a direct-line method of contacting their parents, and they are eyeing it suspiciously...?
I'm going to give it more time, more nagging and continue using it as though I am speaking to a larger audience than the 3.7%. If you build it, they will come. I'm also going to spend more time reassuring pupils of my motives behind this app. I am not using it to 'tell' on them; I just want to start a dialogue and use this as a gateway to more fun and interactive things we could do.
This week I am starting my after-school ICT club, with the aim of developing pupils into Digital Leaders. It'll be interesting to see how many pupils are engaged in this idea...