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Here’s a little-known fact: In 1870, students in the U.S. averaged under 80 days in school each year and supplemented their formal schooling with their own curriculum. They borrowed books from libraries, read newspapers, and formed literary circles (our modern-day communities of practice), where they debated the “hot topics” of their time.1

Today, thanks to rapid technological advances, children and youth – in fact all of us – have even broader resources for learning. For professionals, perhaps one of the best choices to further their knowledge and skills is to create a cohesive blended learning experience using a variety of different digital tools and in-person sessions. Digital learning allows adults to learn anywhere, anytime they want, in ways that are convenient for their busy schedules.  

In this issue of the FINE Newsletter, we explore how blended learning can promote professional learning in family engagement. We take a look at the lessons we and others have learned developing blended professional learning opportunities and highlight interactive resources that support these efforts.


Commentary

Lessons From Blended Professional Learning: The Case of Family Engagement publication cover

Lessons From Blended Professional Learning: The Case of Family Engagement
Simulations, virtual learning communities, web conferences, text-based chats, and interactive cases are all ways that blended professional learning methods are supporting educators’ ability to engage families. Learn more in this commentary that explores new opportunities for blended professional learning in family engagement.


Tips & Tools

Cast of Bridging Worlds Interactive Case: Family Engagement in the Transition to Kindergarten

Bridging Worlds Interactive Case: Family Engagement in the Transition to Kindergarten
The transition to school is an important milestone in the lives of children and families. In this interactive case, you will explore the complex issues surrounding the transition to kindergarten and the importance of family engagement in the process.
Create Your Own Case Toolkit graphic Create Your Own Case Toolkit: Building Your Family Engagement Skills and Knowledge
The Create Your Own Case Toolkit is part of Harvard Family Research Project’s professional development efforts to build capacity for partnerships between families, schools, and communities. The toolkit consists of three components: (1) six steps to follow, with related exercises,  (2) a collection of family engagement cases, and (3) a Facilitators Guide.

Voices From the Field

Pictures of faculty who reflected on the case

Teaching the Bridging Worlds Case
Cases are a powerful tool to support teacher preparation in family engagement. Read how six faculty members facilitated the case Bridging Worlds: Family Engagement in the Transition to Kindergarten and learn how the case influenced both students and faculty.


SNAPSHOTS!

Noteworthy App snapshot

Get Your Professional Development Notes Organized: The Office of Head Start National Center on Cultural and Linguistic Responsiveness Noteworthy App 2.0
Looking for ways to better organize your note-taking during workshops and conferences? If so, explore this app that lets you take and organize notes, plan action steps, and share with others what you learn at professional development events.


Family Involvement News

Harvard Family Research Project's Family Engagement News

September 2015 Family Involvement News
Explore how libraries are taking a leading role in learning, discover ways to reimagine learning in your community, and learn how parents—through policy and advocacy—are being empowered to engage in their children’s learning.


1Grinspan, J. (2015, July 11). D.I.Y. education before YouTube. The New York Times. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com/2015/07/12/opinion/sunday/diy-education-before-youtube.html?_r=0
 
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© 2017 Presidents and Fellows of Harvard College
Published by Harvard Family Research Project