Electronic Booklet: School–Family Collaboration in Digital Environments

Electronic Booklet: School–Family Collaboration in Digital Environments

António Silva (ISCAP- Instituto Superior de Contabilidade e Administração do Porto, Porto, Portugal), Álvaro Rocha (Departamento de Engenharia Informática, Universidade de Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal) and Manuel Pérez Cota (Universidade de Vigo, Vigo, Spain)
DOI: 10.4018/IJICTE.2015100107


This paper introduces a new method of communication between the school and the family, using an Electronic Booklet developed in the course of the authors' investigation project with the purpose of rendering the communication between both parties more effective. Today there is a general agreement, within educational sciences, as to the fundamental role occupied by the collaboration between the school and the family in the learning process and in educational success. With this Electronic Booklet, the communication becomes synchronous in a web environment. By logging in, educational actors can access a wide range of information: absences, behaviour, teacher advices, final grades, evaluation tools in each subject and corresponding evaluation, personal data, etc., eliminating the obstacles that hinder a successful collaboration between the school and the family.
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Communication Process Between The Family And The School

In the present times, schools resort to new Information Technologies (IT) without exploring their full potential. Schools only stand to gain from using IT, not only pedagogically and in terms of school management but also from the communication established between the school and the family of the student.

The truth is there is still a significant gap between understanding the need to use and effectively implementing information technologies with the purpose of promoting the communication between the school and the family. The contact between the school and the family should not be reduced to an occasional and casual relationship with limited impact in the educational process, but that has been the rule in many schools (Batista 2005, Lourenço 2008). Finding new communication methods is extremely important (McLean 2006).

Presently, teachers and class directors use the booklet to communicate in certain situations. The underlying principle of the student booklet is the improvement of the collaboration process between the school, the student and his family. According to this inclusive perspective and enabling school autonomy, the booklet is a tool that promotes:

  • 1.

    Access to information concerning the teachers, the Class Director and the Class Representative, academic calendar and school activities, as well as the services offered by the school to the student and the Guardian;

  • 2.

    Access to useful information concerning the student, giving way to more concrete and assertive actions from the Class Director and the school in serious situations, such as in case of illness or severe lack of discipline episodes;

  • 3.

    An improved knowledge of the school concerning the student, namely in terms of extracurricular activities;

  • 4.

    The communication between the teachers and the Class Director in several situations, including:

    • a.

      Alerting teachers for situations involving the health of the student;

    • b.

      Answering requests made by class teachers;

    • c.

      Being informed of the activities promoted by or developed in school;

    • d.

      Being aware of praiseworthy attitudes or, on the contrary, unfavourable attitudes on the part of the student;

  • 5.

    Notification and justification of student absences.

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