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How Do Non-Techie Parents Handle the Increasing Focus of Technology in Education?

Posted by on July 31, 2016

parents and technologyParents increasingly find technology a roadblock to tracking student progress in the classrooms. There are too many options, with too few instructions that seem to constantly change. One of our Ask a Tech Teacher contributors summed it up like this:

Most parents have some concerns about keeping up with the part of the digital revolution that has extended to their child’s classroom. Parents who are not comfortable with technology, or who have no experience with it at all are facing challenges. Some of these non-techie parents are asking questions such as: 

* What kind of devices, programs, and/or apps will my child be using?

* How will the school communicate with me about my child’s progress in using a technological device?

* How much time during the school day does my child spend using a technological device?

* Will my child be taught to read, write and do mathematics without using a technological device?

* Does this school have an anti-cyberbullying program?

* Is the use of technology really good for my child’s education?


Parents who are not tech-savvy may be reassured about their children’s educations and futures when they understand that technological devices do not take the place of teachers.

Non-techie parents who have decided to learn about technology for the sake of their children may search for solutions in the community or at local institutions of adult education. They may: 

* Enroll in a Tech for Parents training course for adult learners.

* Ask their children for assistance. 

* Spend tech time with their children, watching them play online games.

* Sit with their children while they are doing homework on a digital app.

* Borrow books which explain about technology from the library.

* Discuss with a teacher the programs that their children are using at school.

Not being millennials who were born into a technology-dominated world, parents of generations X’ers and even younger children may not easily see the benefits of using it. To overcome these misgivings, non-techie parents can also: 

* Learn to use a Smart Phone, or Kindle

* Learn more tech terms such as # for hashtag, DM for Direct Message and others such as Trojan, Spam, Spyware and Phishing.

* Watch tutorial videos on the computer.

* Learn HTML, an easy programming language.

* Start a project that requires the use of technology to complete.

Examine the technological devices their children are using and learn to set up appropriate controls, such as restrictions on some websites and restrictions on the number of hours that can be spent online. Class Dojo is a popular technological program that is now in use in approximately 50% of US classrooms. It is a digital app that may fit a mobile phone or a PC that parents may find easy to use. If parents accept the Class Dojo app onto their mobile phone, they are taking a big step into the digital world, as well as finding a way to keep in touch with their children’s behavior at school, albeit by technological means. This app records all of a child’s behaviors during school hours, whether positive or negative and allows parents to see what is going on. Class Dojo also records attendance.

This is just one program that has proved to be helpful in introducing non-techie parents to the new world of technology.

The Tech Teacher at a child’s or teen’s school usually has time to discuss technological issues with non-techie parents.

This article sponsored by

Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-8 technology for 15 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-8 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, CSG Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, anAmazon Vine Voice book reviewer, Editorial Review Board member for Journal for Computing Teachers, CAEP reviewer, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, and a weekly contributor to TeachHUB. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.

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