Prevent Parent Backlash Against Tech in the Classroom with these Tips.
Technology is entering today’s classroom at an ever increasing rate. In most instances, tech in the classroom has come to be a good thing. It’s changing the way kids are learning like never before. But, there can be a backlash against using said technology. If parents don’t fully understand what their kids are doing with the tech, whether its iPad’s or Chromebook’s, they may not fully approve of their use.
Some parents are questioning whether technology is the right thing for their child. They report that when they ask their child what they did in class today, the child replies that they simply used the computers again. This leaves the parent questioning the amount of differentiation in the classroom. Parents wonder if their child is simply staring at a screen all day without much direction or interaction.
These are valid concerns, but concerns that can be alleviated by keeping both parents and administrators in the loop about how you are using technology in the classroom. Here are a few simple tips to avoid technology backlash, in no particular order:
1. Keep a website: Keep a website with class announcements and information about what the students are doing in the class. Provide class work examples for parents to see.
2. Provide parents an opportunity to use the technology: At back to school night or open house, provide parents with the same technology that you use in the classroom. Provide them with example lessons of what their students will be or are doing in class. If possible, invite parents to your own personal open house, where parents can come in and “play” with the Chromebook’s or iPad’s.
3. Use “Remind”: Keep parents in the know with the Remind app. Send out brief notes about upcoming due dates as well as information about class assignments.
4. If possible, let parents join your class, virtually: Parents can be assigned the various assignments that their children are doing. Of course they don’t have to do them, but at least they’ll know exactly what the assignment is and how to go about doing it. If you’re using Google Classroom, you can send guardian email summaries which provide such information as student missing work, upcoming work, and class activities.
5. Provide parents with an acceptable use policy: Inform parents of what their children can and cannot do with the iPad’s or Chromebook’s in your classroom. This will reassure them that their kids won’t be staring at a screen playing games or chatting away on their device. That the devices will be used strictly for educational purposes.