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

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

Educational technology (or edtech for short) has become the norm in many K–12 classrooms across America. When schools use technology (including educational software and digital devices) as part of teaching and learning curriculum, it is applied to many parts of the learning experience, including instruction and homework, covering a wide variety of functions, such as grading, helping students catch up to grade-level, and accelerating them ahead.

With new technology, it’s important to ask questions and stay informed about how your child’s school plans to use it to support teachers and the 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 the classroom technology they might be using:

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

It’s important to know exactly what programs your child will be using in the classroom. There are many different kinds of edtech programs and tools, so it’s important to know exactly what your child is using and how that fits into the daily classroom schedule. The teacher should be able to provide you with some information, but you can also do some independent research or even ask for a demo.

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

The school district most likely went through a long and rigorous process to select specific edtech for the classroom—it wasn’t chosen at random! When a school adopts new edtech, it should be 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 state standards for each grade level and subject so that their use directly supports district learning objectives.

3. Will my child need to access edtech at home, and what do you expect of me?

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 mobile device that your child can use for regular access at home or a reliable Internet connection, it is helpful to let your child’s teacher know so that the teacher can prepare alternatives or provide solutions to the problem, such as having any students who need access spend time at the local library or facilitating after-school computer use.

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

Many edtech programs are designed to create a personalized learning experience for each student. In a lot of digital curricula and assessment services, students take quizzes or surveys to assess where they are in their learning, and in turn, the software tailors the learning experience for each student’s needs. 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. Ask how your child’s teacher will be utilizing these tools in class and what the plans are to help students who may be falling behind or moving at an accelerated pace.

5. How can I best support my child’s use of edtech?

Take an active part in observing your child when these programs are used at home and ask about what your child is learning. Provide feedback to your child’s teacher so that educators can learn what best meets the needs of their classes and individual students.

Edtech can truly be a successful and useful tool in classrooms and at home to help students achieve their learning goals. Arming yourself with as much information as possible helps you become an even stronger advocate for your child.

Looking for more resources to support your child’s learning? Check out our blog post, 5 Things Parents Can Do to Support Students Learning Online.

This post was originally published August 208 by Brita Hammer and has been updated.