1.4 Using Tech to Connect

Presenter: Sherilyn Homans

Title: Family & Community Partnerships Supervisor

Organization: Montgomery County Intermediate Unit #23

Co-Presenter: Yisned Parra

Workshop Description
This presentation will focus on how our Head Start program fully incorporated the use of digital child database systems and digital communication formats to engage all stakeholders (staff, clients, and community partners). COVID-19 forced programs to use technology in innovative ways, but what we learned helped propel our program into a new normal. Now, half way into our second post- COVID year, we can collect and track parent in-kind data digitally (LG); our application and ERSEA process is fully electronic (CP and Adobe); all of our parent meetings and Policy Council meetings are virtual (Zoom); community partners provide virtual workshops (Zoom/Teams); staff PD is virtual (Zoom/Teams); and teachers/FEWs can communicate and host meetings with parents virtually (Zoom/Teams/LG). We will review our systems, discuss challenges and wins, and provide interactive activities along the way. Hands on learning and small discussions will be provided, with time for groups to analyze their own systems and identify areas that their current digital platforms can be used.