Transitioning into any sort of technology-based curriculum can trigger concern in parents for a number of reasons. Change is frightening, and watching your own children experience the world much differently than previous generations – through the lens of a smartphone camera and behind the screens of portable tablets – can be unnerving.
If and when parents come to you with questions about classroom technology, the best thing you can do is address their concerns and explain the reasoning behind your selections. Times are changing, and educators are finding value in technology’s ability to meet individualized needs. It’s important to stress that every EBook and computer lab and online lesson plan is meant to solve problems, not create new barriers.
Here are some of the most common questions parents ask about edtech along with the answers that help you control the conversation.
1. What’s the point? This is a loaded question. And it’s likely that a few blunt parents will ask you this directly and expect a logical response. Of course, like many questions below, the answer to this question depends on what edtech you’re implementing and the reason you’ve chosen a particular program. If you’ve noticed several students are struggling with long division, introducing a math program with AI-based software can help isolate exactly where students get lost. If kids are shy or uncomfortable asking questions, the software can help teachers get answers that their students just won’t give. It’s also important to remind parents that digital citizenship is more important now than ever before and instilling media literacy will help students thrive in an ever-expanding technological world.
2. Isn’t it just another distraction? Luckily, most edtech comes with filtering software to prevent kids from accessing social media and entertainment sites. Using iPads in a classroom setting feels counterproductive, but when students who’ve grown up with smartphones and laptops interact with them in school, they’re more likely to remain engaged for longer periods of time.
3. Can I monitor my child’s activity? Many edtech options come with features that allow parents to track progress as well as teachers. The software may include a teacher dashboard that parents can log in to while some programs are built on maintaining parent-student-teacher communication. If it doesn’t feel like there’s a clear option that allows parents to monitor their child’s online work, create a customized solution so that whatever you’re seeing as the instructor can be conveyed to every attentive parent.
4. Is privacy considered? Unfortunately, not all edtech is created equal. Before allowing students access to anything, ensure that the software they’re exposed to doesn’t have over-complicated privacy policies that request non-essential information or collect student data for commercial Educate yourself on security-related details so that when parents ask, you can acknowledge their concerns and explain every safety measure taken.
5. How much time per day is my child spending with tech? It’s important to stress that just because one aspect of the curriculum is technology based, that doesn’t mean kids are spending all day behind a screen. Technology in the classroom will always support the curriculum and shouldn’t interfere with kids speaking to educators and peers in-person.
6. Can kids access tech from home/will they need to buy devices? Sometimes tech is used solely in the classroom, at times only one device is required, and sometimes students need access to specific devices with multiple accounts from school and Whatever the curriculum, it’s likely yourself, and fellow administrators have taken district demographics into consideration to select an appropriate course of action. If parents are concerned that they don’t have the tools at home necessary to complete assignments, stress that resources will be provided or assignments will be altered for the student at hand. Technology in the classroom is meant to convenience and include students, not hinder or exclude learners based on their access to laptops and iPads.
7. Are kids trained properly? Yes! Teachers are trained on edtech tools beforehand, and with today’s generation of tech savvy Kindergarteners, it’s unlikely students will have difficulty picking up. Most edtech is specially designed for young kids and easy use.
8. What is the role of a teacher once edtech is implemented? It’s important to ensure parents that new programs are meant to enhance the lesson plans you’ve already implemented, not replace your job as an educator.
9. How will the school/you communicate with me? The great thing about most edtech software is that it includes ways for parents, students, and teachers all to communicate quickly and easily. Whether it’s a software that sends messages via text, an online discussion board or an automatic email debriefing a child’s progress, open communication will be easier and more transparent than ever before.
10. Will students still be writing by hand? Yes, students will still be taught to write and still have access to human It’s not 2084 just yet.
11. What tools will students be using? Edtech refers to a range of different possible activities and software systems. Because of this, provide students and parents with a comprehensive list and be prepared to speak about each tool’s benefits and basic structure. Refer parents to online tutorials and reference materials from the edtech distributor directly.
12. What is ‘adaptive learning’? Adaptive learning is one of the most remarkable benefits of implementing edtech. If a software system utilizes adaptive learning, the program changes instruction based on the student’s performance, customizing each child’s educational experience based on their particular strengths, weaknesses, and learning preferences. An issue many teachers and parents grapple with is ensuring that students who pick up quickly are challenged while students who need extra help are getting that extra help. AI-based edtech allows students to learn at an appropriate pace, maximizing each child’s growth.
If a tech tool has recently taken over your classroom, there will be parents with questions and concerns. It’s normal for parents to insist on knowing every detail of a new classroom initiative and it’s important to keep in mind that an attentive parent is better than one who doesn’t care about their child’s academic progress.
Embrace every question and stress that every classroom decision is made with each individual student in mind. Before you know it, parents will be signing up for online tutorials themselves. And getting off your back long enough to do so!
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