Increase Engagement and Equity with SIS Translation Increase Engagement and Equity with SIS Translation

Increase Engagement and Equity with SIS Translation

Erin Werra Erin Werra Edtech Thought Leader
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This article also appeared at eLearning Industry.

The root of many challenges in school settings? Communication.

It’s impossible to over-communicate, whether students are young (and prone to breakdowns in communication) or older (and prone to avoidance in communication). Historically, connecting schools and families has presented a host of challenges. The good news? Language barrier no longer has to be one of them. Let’s explore translation services in edtech solutions.


Parent and family engagement

Family engagement is important to student success, and yet only 20% of parents report being actively engaged with their students’ schools. Most communication professionals are dedicated to engaging more families with school activities more often. To that end, translation services built into your student information system (SIS) can bridge communication gaps for students whose families speak a language other than English at home.

Built-in translation is authentic and mindful
Well-meaning educators may have already created some processes to translate communication into other languages, which is phenomenal leadership. However, if translation services are built into messaging software, the result transcends a manual translation for a couple of reasons:
  • The service is available in multiple languages.
  • Translation is more conversational with fewer errors.

How to make it happen
  1. Use tools you already rely on.
  2. Use common browsers for easier access.
  3. Choose solutions with translation built-in.

See how it works.


Accessibility matters

Educators are dedicated to reaching all their students regardless of ability. It’s the same spirit with edtech and accessibility. The decision makers in your district must adopt the mindset that their choices are powerful and should provide equal access for all types of users. Whether they are users with a complete or tenuous grasp of English and technology, an edtech solution must contain the tools needed to scaffold users of all abilities. This is called universal design.

Read more about universal design clues


Communities matter

Leave behind the language barrier and get all families involved. Neighbors helping neighbors can start at school by providing a certain level of comfort with communication. When families feel that sense of belonging, they feel comfortable taking part in outreach events and family fun at school.

Beyond connection, closing the language gap brings multilingual families into a higher level of parental engagement: sharing their opinions and priorities about the direction the district should grow toward. Better school-home partnerships not only help students achieve more; they also help district leaders know what families need.

Erin Werra Erin Werra Edtech Thought Leader
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