Schools often give parents mixed messages about technology integration into learning, and it comes at the detriment to schools.
Inwardly schools often promote to teachers and students, the importance of technology for learning and preparing students for their future career and study. Outwardly however, the dominant message they give to parents is that technology is dangerous for children. This message can undermine and hinder the technology based learning that is happening in the school.
Let me explain this more.
Schools often hold regular parent information nights that focus on cyber safety. Online safety is of course highly important. These talks detail to parents the potential risks for children online, and the need for parents to be vigilant in protecting their children from technology. The speakers may provide relevant information however the underlying message to parents is that technology and the internet is dangerous for children. This instils fear in parents and a lack of confidence in technology holding any real benefit for their child.
This message of danger by schools is in direct opposition to technology integration in classrooms. It hinders parents’ support for technology use in learning. This is an important deterrent for school executive and teachers as parent buy-in is needed for it to work well!
This understanding comes from my extensive research with families regarding educational technology, and in response I have developed an online program that schools can provide for their parents that takes a more balanced and empowering approach. The interactive program “TechClever’, takes an hour to complete, and focuses on helping parents to understand and manage the risks for children online, as well as helping parents to understand the key learning, social and health benefits that technology can hold for children when it’s used in quality ways.
The ‘TechClever’ program shifts beyond traditional cyber safety talks to provide parents with a healthy approach to children’s technology use at home and at school. Parents can do the program at home, and it builds understanding of what schools do with technology and why. The program is designed to enhance confidence in parents, not fear. Think of it as an excursion for your parents. To find out more go to https://www.techclever.com.au/