As part of our new Educators on EdTech series, I spoke with
Brad Baugher, Director of Educational Technology at Oregon Episcopal School in Portland, Oregon. As we talked about the school’s tech program, something he said jumped out at me:
“We refer to it explicitly as a parent partnership because we know that we’re creating some effect in the family, and it’s not going to be appreciated or welcomed on the same level by every family, so they have the right to question it and make decisions about it.”
His comment made me pause because of the research I’ve done on the role educators and students play in edtech, I hadn’t thoughtfully considered the parents’. School is only a part of the day, after all.
Jason Green of Advance Classrooms highlights this importance of active parental involvement in a blog post: “When edtech initiatives are implemented effectively, a student should have an opportunity to learn virtually anywhere. By definition this requires very active participation from parents considering a child is only in school 20-25% of his or her time.”
Parents who are involved in an edtech program have a great opportunity to encourage their child to learn more once the school day is over. To do that, though, parents need to be educated as to what apps and games are most beneficial, which is where educators come in.
A recent study by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center surveyed 1,577 parents (reported by MindShift
) about educational screen time, and 40% said that teachers’ suggestions are where they learn about education media. If educators go out of their way to recommend apps and online resources, there’s a good chance parents will encourage their children to use them.
Parents can also use online resources like Common Sense Media
– a nonprofit dedicated to improving the lives of kids and families by providing trustworthy information about media and technology– to discover the best educational media for their children.
Stability is another positive result of parental involvement in edtech. As Kim Cofino, Education Technology Facilitator, writes
: “Ensuring that we have a consistent message, especially about digital citizenship, between both school and home will ultimately make the biggest difference in our students’ lives.”
For ages, we’ve known that students with involved parents are more likely to succeed in school, and it seems that basic truth hasn’t changed with the advent of technology. If anything, these days, parents have even more of a chance to encourage kids to keep learning long after school is over.
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Parents: how do you stay involved with your child’s edtech program? Educators: how do you help parents stay involved in the program?
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