I just blogged about a New York Times article reviewing parent online connections and titled my post Is it ever too much?. For my Master’s project I’m creating an implmentation guide for a K-12 Parent Portal, and as part of that work I have been reviewing the literature on parent engagement. The research continues to demonstrate the positive impact of parent engagement on student learning (not completely black and white, but no outcome contextualized by human behaviour ever is). But the article uncovered students that are not happy that their parents have potential access to every detail about their school lives.

The online tools for parents are relatively new. I’m curious about whether the positive impacts of parent engagement might turn negative when parents have unlimited access to what is going on at school. How much is too much?

There are several possible research questions. Consider these independent variables alone or in combination:
1. online marks
2. teacher email
3. classroom video
4. online assignment/homework information

and these dependent variables:
1. student anxiety
2. student achievement

Research will need to be done in these and other areas as we introduce online tools for parents. We cannot assume that because engagement has value in face-to-face environments that the same holds true online.