Now that most schools are relying on educational technology, it’s time for parents to keep up with edtech trends and tools to better understand the dynamics of online education.
Tech-savvy parents may already be familiar with it, but not all are. Without prior experience, staying attuned to the ever changing ways of online education can be overwhelming. To aid parents in the process of guiding their child through online education, we’ve compiled 5 things we think they should know. Read on to find out what they are.
Get to know the tools your child’s school is using
A good place to stay is by asking teachers which technologies are being integrated into your child’s school’s learning management system and how they’re being used. Request instructions, a manual or demo videos that describe how teachers and students are accessing and using the tools. You should also try to find out whether incorporating these tools has enhanced your child’s learning process.
Keep up with edtech trends
It can be overwhelming to find the most reliable and affordable learning app as there are over 2.5 million to choose from. To better scrutinize your options, keep up with ed-tech trends. Start by joining forums like TechSpot Forum and How-To Geek Forums and subscribing to websites like TechCrunch, TechRadar or Extremetech to receive updates on the newest tools in the market.
Know your child’s schools data privacy and online safety policies
Parents should try to learn how their child’s school is ensuring safety and privacy in online education. Find out whether they integrate digital citizenship and if students learn the responsible use of technology. App or tools being used should have clear safety policies that protect students from cyber attacks, harassment, violent graphics, and bullying. Find out if the technology gathers student data with safeguards and anonymity. Learn whether the school’s learning management system complies with requirements from Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). COPPA imposes certain requirements before collecting personal information about children younger than 13, only after parental consent.
Practice digital parenting
Parenting today’s tech generation can be tough but can be done with in a few steps. Start by talking with your child about online safety, cyber attacks, and screen time. Educate yourself about digital rules and gather resources to make your child internet responsible. Some resources to help practice good digital parenting are the following.
- Family Online Safety Institute (FOSI) provides free online safety lessons, including guides and manuals to help students learn how to safely navigate the web and manage screen time.
- Family Link helps parents manage screen time and enforces web-filters and blacklisting/whitelisting of certain websites and apps.
- Be Internet Awesome Family Guide teaches kids and parents how to be safe and smart online for free.
- Connect Safely Parent Guides teaches parents about cyberbullying, online privacy, safety, and security.
Stay in the loop!
There are many edtech tools that help parents stay in the loop with their child’s instructors, who would otherwise have to rely on emails and newsletters. With these apps, parents can gain instant access to updates from the school. These apps allow parents to maintain direct communication with teachers and get involved. Some free edtech tools to power-up the connection include: Classting, Remind, ClassDojo, Bloomz, ClassTag, and Remind101,
These times are tough as we navigate the online world together. Explore the digital world with your kids, share experiences, and be a good digital role model. Do your best to understand the importance of the available edtech tools and foster a safe and supportive learning environment for your child. You’ve got this!