Many parents come to me with articles they've read, questions they have about minimizing screen time, how to get their child more verbally engaged and they want to know my opinion about technology in the school environment. We are all familiar with STEM, STEAM and if your are a school of religion... STREAM. As a parent, I love that we are implementing these things into our curriculum. The opportunities young people experience in the classroom today surpass anything my generation had access to during our school years. To think that our children as young as Kindergarten, can explore architecture, robotics, science, and coding to name a few, is remarkable, exciting and progressive. THESE are the things parents want. THESE are the technology opportunities we are excited about our children being exposed to.
When you visit school websites, almost all of them tout all of the technology they have to offer. What this says to me is that schools think we want this. It tells me schools think we are shopping for THE school that is going to give our child the greatest exposure to the world of technology that lies ahead. After all, they are going to need to be well versed in the digital world as they enter their professional careers one day. Guess what.... schools aren't wrong. We DO want all of these advantages for our children! We do value the most up to date and cutting edge cyber tools for our growing minds.
I've spoken with hundreds of parents and educators about what it is we DON'T want. I'm sure there are hundreds of other folks I haven't interacted with yet that feel differently, but what I am hearing is parents are growing tired of username and password packets guiding them to upwards of fifteen different websites or applications we can log into to give our children more opportunities at home. Websites that can sometimes be used to "bail your kiddo out" if they left their reader at school, forgot their math homework, lost their study guide, etc... Parents who don't want their children on screen time at home but are urged to use applications to give them more math practice or spelling practice. Parents who are already inundated with their OWN usernames and passwords for their email, banking accounts, athletic websites to sign their child up for an activity, and the list goes on and on. I think the message to our schools needs to be..... yes, we do want technology in our children's lives in an instructor led environment where they are gaining rich and vast knowledge to be excellent future leaders. But please don't dress up how much technology your institution has to offer by providing us with an overwhelming amount and sometimes useless site that we either couldn't fit into our after school routine anyway, or things that give our children crutches when they absent mindedly forget the very few things they have to remember at this point in their lives.