Tech resources at fingertips for families

Tech resources at fingertips for families

The influence of the Internet has changed the homework experience, and many families are becoming more familiar with online resources that can support their student’s academic achievement. GCPS’ Information Management Division (IMD), which manages the school system’s technology resources and equipment, suggests the following resources:

GCPS’ web site covers a wide variety of school-related information, including Online Research Library for parents to use with their children. (Your student’s school can provide usernames and passwords for these resources.)

School web pages provide parents and students with information about the school, and often include online resources, tips, and assignment information for specific classes and grade levels.

The SuccessMaker-at-home program is available through all elementary schools. (Ask your child’s school for password information.) With this resource, students can continue to work on learning activities in math and language arts outside the school day, using SuccessMaker software. One Gwinnett elementary school even partnered with a local grocery store to provide a SuccessMaker kiosk for students to use while their parents shop.

A number of textbooks in use in Gwinnett schools have an online component that supports at-home learning. Many schools have links to these resources on teacher and school web pages. For instance, parent web sites are available for the most recent mathematics textbook adoptions for elementary, middle, and high school textbooks. Ask your child’s teacher if online resources are available for the textbook your child is using and what passwords or codes are needed to access online resources.

All Georgia high school students have access to free SAT prep software as part of a state-funded program (school access code required). CRCT Online is another state-funded resource that allows students in grades 1-8 to take mini-assessments to test knowledge and to practice skills that they’ll need to be successful on the state’s Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT). Many other support resources are available online for state and college-admissions tests, including practice tests on GaCollege411 web site, and High School Gateway help on GCPS’ assessment page.

For parents and other family members who would like to improve their own technology skills, Gwinnett’s Community Schools program offers computer courses (and other classes) in the evenings and weekends at local high schools.

Parents also can learn more about technology at their student’s school. Technology Nights highlight how students use technology and ways parents can support student learning online at home. Many schools also have Lunch and Learn activities to give parents hands-on practice with technology.

While technology enhances the learning experience for students, it also benefits students by helping keep home and school connected. For instance, high school students and parents new to Gwinnett can watch a video orientation in one of several languages. A number of Gwinnett schools use automated calling systems to broadcast messages from the school to students’ home phones or parents’ work or cell phones. Schools, administrators, and teachers also use the Internet to deliver electronic newsletters, e-blasts, grade reports, and other e-communications to and from parents. And, in January, GCPS will rollout the go2 Parent Portal for families throughout Gwinnett. (It’s in a pilot in the Dacula Cluster this fall.) Through the portal, parents will have safe and secure 24/7 web-access to their student’s grades, attendance, discipline record, and test history. Check with your student’s school about registering for the Parent Portal.