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Technology in Schools: It’s Where We Need to Be

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When it comes to technology, change is the only constant, which is why for so many parents and educators, technology is intimidating, daunting and scary.

Every single day, technology is advancing, but it’s imperative that as parents and educators, we demand that this change is reflected in today’s schools.  It’s not easy, and it requires work and learning on our part, but it must happen if we want our children to be safe, smart and strong consumers — and users — of technology.

The benefits of integrating technology into schools are huge.  Students are more engaged, interested and invested in their learning when technology is involved.  Whether it is as simple as the use of a video to reinforce concepts mentioned in a lecture, or if it is as involved as starting a class blog, any use of technology on the part of educators is well worth their time.

If we want our children to keep up with the constantly changing world around them, we need to support them with technology in schools.

The International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) is an organization established with the sole purpose of advocating the use of technology in education and is “committed to empowering connected learners in a connected world.”  It has created and established standards for teaching, learning and leading in the digital age.

ISTE advocates not only the basic use of technology, though; ISTE Standards specifically outline the use of technology “to analyze, learn and explore.”  They state that “digital age skills are vital for preparing students to work, live and contribute to the social and civic fabric of their communities.”

How do we, as parents, make sure technology is integrated in our students’ schools?  Here are a few things to consider:

  • Join the PTA or PTO.  By being a part of the PTA or PTO, you will have a voice in what happens in your child’s school.  Many parent-teacher organizations work hard to raise money for school-wide programs and services. One big way the money is used is often for technology.
  • Do some research.  Many organizations exist to support the use of technology in education. Read their findings and share them with your district or county. Check out:
    • ISTE
    • NCTET (National Coalition for Technology in Education and Training)
    • CTE (Johns Hopkins’ Center for Technology in Education)
  • Use technology wisely with your family. Work together and learn to use technology as a family.  Make sure everyone in your family knows how to use your devices safely and family members of all ages to try; technology is accessible to everyone.
  • Visit Common Sense Media and take some of their free webinars or professional development programs for parents.
  • Share your expertise. Are you a tech expert? Do you use technology at work or home? Perhaps you can share information and tips at a parent night or tech fair at your school.

We don’t need to spend thousands of dollars and be on the technology cutting edge in order to advocate for the use of technology in schools.  We only need to have a working knowledge of technology and understand its importance.

How technologically advanced is your child’s school?  We’d love to hear your thoughts on the parent’s role in advocating the use of technology in schools.