WhatsApp group parent are on fire. In an afternoon you can receive hundreds of messages with the most varied comments from relevant information about the school until stupid jokes, gossip or invitations to school parties.
If you have two children and they do extracurricular activities, you can be involved in four or five groups. And once you’re inside it is complicated to find your way out… If you go, you’re marked as a bad mother… Because it is usually used by moms.
WhatsApp groups have proliferated in schools this year, corroborates Miquel Angel Prats, director of early childhood education and researcher in ICT and education. Prats advises schools on the proper use of technology. This year he has received many call from centers to bring order to WhatsApp groups sthat have been created by families. The tool is useful for managing the relationship with the school, to share information quickly and to answer questions. But if you do not have very clear objectives, they degenerate into a “backyard neighbors”. Or they cause so much noise that they lose part of their informative function. “Parents also need technology training, clear guidelines on how to use WhatsApp groups and take out good match,” said Prats.
In meetings with families, he often explains the rules of netiquette, “the good technological education. We must be aware of something: WhatsApp’s parents group aren’t a group of friends, so you should stick to matters of school management; if a problem with a teacher or a student comes, it is best to go directly to school and talk in person, not explain everything on the phone” says the researcher. In general, viral videos or funny images should be avoided. We also should avoid political opinions and personal beliefs as…
“Hey, my daughter told me that the tutor did not come to work today and he has not warned. I think this is a lack of respect.
“We ask parents to apply the rule of twelve hours when they get confusing information or that does not seem a priori do well, you better wait a while, talking with teachers or other parents involved, and then act.; not drop any idea on a WhatsApp group” says Coral Regí, headmistress of Barcelona Virolai and strong supporter of educational technologies. “We have addressed the issue in meetings of parents and have given recommendations to the families” she continues.
The advantages of these groups are evident. If something important happens, all parents receive the information immediately. When children go hiking, it is easy to communicate if they have arrived safely and prevents to every family call to the school. It facilitates the organization of activities and parties…
Another popular use among groups of parents is to ask about the duties and activities of their children. “My child has forgotten the class schedule, what are the exercises for tomorrow?”.
“Here we must be careful, if the child forgets once, fine, but if they delegate to parents their responsibilities as a student, you have to act,” recommends Noelia López-Cheda, educator and blogger