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Whatsapp groups for parents, yes or no?
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January 27, 2016  |  Written by M. Rodrigo Brao

New technology can undoubtedly become good allies for parents and we must take advantage of them. Whatsapp chat groups, for example allows them to be in touch with other parents so everyone knows what is going on at school, if there is homework or activities such as day trips or PTA meetings. The use of Whatsapp chat groups is beneficial when used as a tool but depending on the situation at hand, it can also become detrimental. Keep reading to learn when to use it and when not.

Bad uses of Whatsapp groups for parents

To discredit the work of teachers: According to El Mundo, last year, the ANPE syndicate, received innumerable complaints from teachers that reported false accusations on behalf of parents through group chats using whatsapp. Just like the article implies, social media expert, Toñi Quiñones states that: “there are parents who try to solve their personal differences with the teacher initiating a conversation through Whatsapp, in order to search for consensus with the rest of parents as to how that teacher does his or her job.”  If a parent feels there is a problem with the teacher, that parent must go to the school and speak with him or her directly to try to solve the situation at hand.

Substituting it for presence at school: A whatsapp group for parents should not be a substitute for being present at school. It is a great source of information but it´s does not replace personal attendance. Some parents consider being active on whatsapp enough to not attend PTAs, for example. Meeting and being in direct contact with teachers is something this app doesn’t do.

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Replacing meetings: On occasions, parents take what is said on the whatsapp group as a general informed opinion but it doesn’t take into account what other parents, that are not on the group chat have to say. Important decisions related to school need to be debated in person and as a group, not on a phone.

Good uses of Whatsapp for parents

Consulting tool: Since communication on Whatsapp is immediate, this app is ideal to stay informed on certain things such as homework or tests. But the app can also be useful to learn more about the parents and families of our children´s classmates.

Collaboration: Aside from being a place of dialogue, Whatsapp also allows parents to organize activities that benefit school and their childrens´ education such as solidary events, buying a gift for a teacher, etc. It can even be a way to exchange suggestions, ideas or plans to do with our children.

Tolerance: When it comes to speaking with other parents in group chats, keep in mind that not everyone thinks the same way. And be careful with what you write! We should be moderate when expressing opinions and always remember why the chat exists in the first place: to exchange information about our kids and school.

What do you think? Are whatsapp parent group chats good or bad?

Photo Credits: Shutterstock

 

CATEGORIES: KIDS & TIC's  |  TAGS: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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