I recently spent a morning at our youth football stadium watching our primary elementary students battle it out on the gridiron. As the boys fought for the "W" and the girls cheered I noticed one consistent thing about the parents... They all had cameras. Creating scrapbooks has become a national pastime. In fact my own wife spends entire weekends with hundreds of other moms, wives, and grandmas creating these life novels into the early hours of the morning. She records the hobbies, family events, and little growing up moments of our children that we always want to remember. As I sat on the bleachers I wandered how many of those scrapbooks record academic accomplishments like that first A on a spelling test, reading that first level 3 book, or being that student that reads the morning announcements. Like most school administrators our wheels are always turning trying to discover that new way to engage learners and parents in our schools. As I sat on the 50 yard line waving at the students and sharing small talk with parents I realized something.
How could we better share with parents their child's academic accomplishments? Up until a few years ago those "scrapbookable" moments mounted to report cards, the occasional note home, and maybe a test with a large "A" on the front page. It's time to take a leap forward. We recently started using a video website called Eyejot, (eyejot.com). This website allows you to use your computers video camera to record a 60 second message via the web and email it directly to the person of your choice. This allows us to email mom and dad with in seconds a video link of their child proclaiming their academic touchdowns. The beauty is that mom and dad can then forward that on to grandparents, aunts, uncles, and other family members. The goal is intrinsic motivation to continue to grow academically while also giving the parents that "scrapbookable" moment.