Getting Cozy with Tech: A Teacher’s Guide for Parents
Posted by MAXCases Admin on Sep 7, 2021

By teacher guest blogger Kathryn Rose

As school districts face down another year of education under the cloud of a pandemic, teachers are encountering a new set of students whose parents are increasingly more involved with their children’s day-to-day academics. In a lot of ways, involved parents are an asset to the classroom, even when precipitated by chaotic or stressful events. Involved parents support teachers and their vision for a year filled with extended learning experiences. Involved parents help their own students succeed throughout the ups and downs of a normal school year.

But how are parents going to handle the inevitable increase in technology that will appear this year if kids are once again asked to move into remote or blended learning?

The relationship between tech devices and daily instruction solidified over the past two years. Students and schools were desperate to get their hands on anything that would keep classrooms connected and learning. Parents were asked to step into the fray, ensuring that Internet connections were strong and that devices were charged and ready to go for class in the morning.

Some parents will naturally roll with these punches. Perhaps they were already comfortable with the technology that was available to them: they were already tech-savvy and capable of troubleshooting when Zoom meetings just wouldn’t start properly.

But some parents will also be naturally resistant. After a hard year with screens, they are ready to be done with at-home computers and tablets. They want to put their kids on the bus and wave goodbye to all things virtual.

The reality is that post-pandemic technology is here to stay. On top of all the other responsibilities that teachers have, educators now must ensure that parents can use classroom technology in the home.

Fortunately, there are ways of being proactive that will, hopefully, help parents ease into this new phase in their child’s education..

The first step is to set up clear communication between you and your families about what technology is being used and what will be required of them at home. While this advice seems a tad bit juvenile, parents may not know what questions to ask. The discomfort they feel at the beginning of the school year could nurture full-on frustration by the time parent-teacher conferences roll around. To reduce the chance of a parental panic attack, spend time during orientation showing parents each of the devices the students will be using at home or in the classroom. Make sure they know how to connect it to wireless Internet (and that they have access to WiFi devices) and show them where various programs can be opened or accessed.

The beginning of the school year is also an excellent time to set parents up with any IT support that the school offers. Make sure they have readily available information and steps they can take if a device breaks or needs to be replaced. Most importantly, make sure that parents are aware of the rules and restrictions regarding the tech they bring into their homes --including suggestions on how they can monitor their student’s usage. Arming parents with an abundance of knowledge can certainly ease their nerves and set them on a more comfortable path.

Before you send home devices, make sure they are adequately protected. Some of the devices put into the hands of our students are expensive, which can worry parents who do not want to expend resources to replace tablets that are crushed inside backpacks. To the best of your ability, make sure that your school’s investment is protected from the everyday usage of high-energy students by using reliable protective cases.

Throughout the year, make sure to highlight the positives of having certain technology in the classroom. Keep parents invested in the programming with regular updates, classroom projects, and enriching resource materials. Parents might need to “buy-in” or see the rewards of the technology their students are using on a daily basis.

By teacher guest blogger Kathryn Rose

On a similar note, try to find ways to offer continued support to caregivers that are struggling with at-home tech. Sometimes listening is the obvious first step. There is no way to predict everyone’s reaction to the flood of computers and apps that help a modern classroom survive during a pandemic. Some parents are rightfully concerned that their child was already spending too much time on screens. Others are worried that the computer is replacing important in-person connections with their school communities. Others just don’t know how to get the darn charger cord into the device!

Whatever the problem, having an open-door policy driven by compassion and a desire to support your students will increase the chances of your parents feeling more comfortable with classroom tech as the year progresses. Parents always appreciate teachers who care about the well-being of the people they love the most.


About Kathryn Rose

Kathryn Rose is currently a virtual tutor and a museum resource teacher. She also freelances for businesses and startups in the education field. She has taught at her city’s botanic garden for 12 years and has been a Social Studies teacher in both private and public schools.

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