Technology in the classroom is more than just a trend. It’s here to stay–for a number of reasons. Technology in the classroom offers a number of key advantages that teachers are embracing, including:
- Increased personalization that will allow each student to focus on areas of concern or interest
- The ability to increase research and expand student knowledge
- STEM opportunities
- Inexpensive hands-on activities that can easily be integrated into current lessons
- Self-paced learning opportunities
- Enhanced need for technology skills when students enter their future fields of employment
Laptops, iPads, Chromebooks, and even BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) that usually include Smartphone use are becoming increasingly common in many classrooms–and teachers are embracing them enthusiastically, using them as an increasingly common part of many everyday lesson plans.
Why Parents Should Embrace Technology in the Classroom
As a parent who is concerned about what will happen when your child is given internet access as part of their everyday classroom activities, from the potential distraction of playing games instead of concentrating on the lesson to the possibility of online bullying, you might consider not even signing that technology form. After all, it’s up to the teacher to come up with engaging lessons, not just plop your child in front of a screen, right? If you’ve been thinking about not signing the technology form, there are several reasons why you should embrace the opportunities offered by technology in the classroom.
Your child will need those vital technology skills
Eventually, your child will move on to a job. In most of those jobs, they will now be expected to integrate and understand a variety of computers, software program, and other pieces of technology. Learning about them now, in the classroom, will reduce the learning curve when they enter the professional world. Many colleges and universities are also embracing technology, from classes that are entirely online to technological learning opportunities throughout regular classes–and you don’t want your child to fall behind.
Learning through tech allows deeper exploration
Does your child have a deep interest in a field that’s only covered briefly in class? Does a specific discussion spark their interest? Learning online allows that search for knowledge to go deeper, encouraging your child to explore further.
Tech increases the ability for students to learn at their pace
Kids learn differently. Teachers do their best, but they can only instruct to each individual’s learning level and learning style so well, especially when they have 20, 30, or more students to deal with! Technology, however, can more easily be individualized for every child, whether it’s an online learning opportunity that is scaled to each student’s level or a program or game that moves on as your child masters a concept.
How Netsanity Can Help in Protecting Your Child
You might want to embrace technology, but you still want to keep your child safe! These key strategies will keep your child safe even when they’re using technology in the classroom, where you can’t look over their shoulders.
- Have an open dialogue about what your child is looking at online. Encourage them to talk with you about what they’re seeing, rather than being secretive–even if that means setting aside your instinctive desire to punish for some viewing behaviors.
- Make sure there are appropriate firewalls and trustworthy parental controls installed on the school networks. If you’re concerned, talk to the school’s network adviser. Netsanity, for example, offers a feature called Safe WiFi that works seamlessly with your school’s safety features. More and more schools are blocking VPN (Virtual Private Networks) to discourage kids from bypassing the school’s internet filtering. Netsanity’s SafeWifi for Apple, allows parents to disable Netsanity’s VPN-based internet filtering while their children are at school. This allows the Apple devices to be filtered by the school’s local internet policies but still offer device-level protection. When the kids leave the school, the Netsanity filtering service will reconnect again to protect them.
- Monitor your child’s social media accounts. Keep an eye out for accounts that may have been created without your knowledge and watch the ones that you do know about. Also, block apps during the day that you feel are inappropriate or that you don’t want your child using during the school day.
When parents work with their children to balance screentime and develop healthy relationships with screentime and social media they can help eliminate the temptation for your children when at school or during homework. Not only will they spend less time online, with all the inherent risks present there, they’re also more likely to perform better at school.