www.edmentum.com

[Parent Tips] 5 Questions About Edtech That Every Parent Should Ask

[Parent Tips] 5 Questions About Edtech That Every Parent Should Ask

Has your child’s school district started to upgrade its computer labs or buy devices for every student? Have you heard terms like “blended learning,” “adaptive assessments,” or “flipped classrooms” and learned that they’re coming to your child’s classroom? Educational technology (or edtech for short) has become the norm in many K–12 classrooms across America. When schools start using this technology, they tend to apply it to many parts of the learning experience, such as homework, grading, exams, and credit recovery.

With new technology, it’s important to ask questions and stay informed about how your child’s school plans to use it to support overall learning objectives. By being open, patient, flexible, and understanding, the right questions can help you understand the importance of technology in the classroom. Here are five questions you should ask your child’s teacher about edtech:

  1. What edtech products are going to be used in the classroom?

This one is a no-brainer: it’s important to know exactly what programs your child will be using in the classroom. The world of edtech products is huge (for example, Edmentum offers nine different programs), so it’s important to know exactly what your child is using. The teacher should be able to provide you with some information, but make sure to do your own research or even ask for a demo.

  1. How does edtech support the district’s overall learning objectives?

The school district most likely went through a long and rigorous process to approve specific edtech for the classroom—it definitely wasn’t chosen at random! When a school adopts new edtech, it is quick to make sure that teachers are trained and that they fully understand how the edtech supports the district’s learning objectives. Often, edtech products are aligned to specific state standards for each grade level and subject. Many teachers adopt edtech to create a blended learning environment.

  1. Will my child need to access edtech at home?

If your child is expected to use edtech at home, it is important to make sure that you have a plan in place to support it. Make certain that you understand the expectations from your child’s teacher as to how long your child will need to spend online each week. If you don’t have a computer or reliable Internet access, it may be helpful to let your child’s teacher know so that he or she can prepare alternatives or provide solutions to the problem (such as having the student spend time at the local library or facilitating after-school computer use).

  1. How is edtech different from the traditional ways of learning I grew up with?

Many edtech programs are designed to create a personalized learning experience for each student. If there is a group of students struggling in a certain subject area, teachers can assign extra help or provide options that are appropriate for the group’s skill level. Teachers can assign quizzes or surveys to assess where students are in their learning and, in turn, tailor the learning experience for their class. Ask how your child’s teacher will be utilizing these tools in class and what their plans are to help students who may be falling behind or moving at an accelerated pace. Check out this webinar that explores the four most common blended learning models and how they successfully work in classrooms.

  1. How can I best support my child when he or she uses edtech?

For a lot of schools, using edtech is a learning experience that comes with a lot of trial and error. Take an active part in observing your child when he or she uses these programs at home and ask about what he or she is learning.

Edtech can truly be a successful and useful tool that is used in classrooms around the world to help students achieve their goals. Arming yourself with as much information as possible can help you become an even stronger advocate for your child.

Looking for more resources to support your child in his or her learning? Check out the “parent involvement” tag on our blog!