The increasing use of EdTech in the classroom brings out the need for further considerations on how this will impact children’s life, inside and outside school. In front of all the benefits that technology is bringing to education, it’s clear that new scenarios – and responsibilities related to them – have been opened, so that also parents should reconsider to some extent their role in the process.
Break down the barriers
In relation to this, teachers often face scepticism or – at the very worst – resistance by students’ families in being part of something they are not comfortable with. The involvement of technology in the education of their children can trigger concerns as naturally happens with major generational changes. Every day, parents passively see their sons and daughters experiencing the world much differently than they did, in a way that has few precedents in history. Reactions to this can be various, more or less favourable, but teachers can’t in any case ignore that families themselves must be accompanied in integrating technology in young students’ life.
In order to maximise results, parents can’t be confined to a bystander role, but should instead be actively involved in the process, to ensure that the approach adopted in class finds its natural extension at home.
Explain and reassure
The very first step is ensuring that families get all the answers to their doubts and general mistrust. It’s advisable to arrange an after-school meeting with parents in order to address their concerns, highlighting the fundamental idea that every technology implemented is meant to solve problems and improve the learning experience.
One of the most common question is why technology is necessary in school: it could sound trivial but it’s actually very frequent. It’s teachers’ responsibility to make parents understand that the essence of school is, beside spreading culture and knowledge, to prepare young people to the world they’ll be facing outside tomorrow: instilling media literacy will help students affording in a correct and responsible way all the possibilities technology brought to life.
The other key issue is about safety. It’s important to let parents know that their kids won’t be left alone into the complexity of the web, that filtering softwares are crucial and that their privacy is protected through specific tools: monitoring the activities is a fundamental part of teachers’ role in education technology.
Involve through simplicity
There are several benefits of parental involvement, and teachers should do everything possible to ease and encourage collaboration. The more families participate to the use of technology, the more the process will be successful and performance will improve.
The first point that must be stressed – being a great advantage – is that most of education softwares include tools to empower communication among families and school. This relationship becomes simpler and more transparent, allowing parents to be constantly updated about their children grades and results, curricular events and extra activities, to which families can be easily invited and involved.
Moreover, it can frequently happen that students need to access specific devices also outside school. It then becomes necessary to take time to train parents in understanding and using those technologies adopted in class, so that their contribution at home could be more effective. If this process is guided by teachers, as authoritative, adult figures already familiar with EdTech tools, parents will better adapt to changes and the quality of family support in education will certainly improve.