EdTech Talk

Recently, I was able to sit in on an EdTech Talk session that focussed on parental involvement in computers and the web in general. Some ideas and thoughts that came out of the discussion for me were:

1. Parents need to be involved with their children in the web. The amount of information available and activities can enrich a child’s education more than ever. The safety aspects are also very important so children are protected.

2. As with the latter point, open communication and dialogue will help parents be involved in their children’s “web travels” and can help with web safety, etc. The idea that parents can be involved in their child’s education is very available and will help parents to understand educational use of the web

3. As in #2, the pedagogy is very important when implementing technology. Using web tools because they are neat does not correlate to memorable learning experiences. Many existing ideas can be “tweaked” to incorporate web tools. Blogging is just a start, but when so many kids are texting, why not have them journalize with blogs. Maybe we can save paper! LOL

4. Best idea from the chat: Try to hold some specific workshops for parents on computer use, safety, social web tools, etc. I think a session on selected topics would be a good idea to implement into out SCC meetings. These folks are the school’s “link” to the community and I believe they would enjoy the experience. Once they buy in, connecting these folks to some EdTech sessions will help them understand the power of the web and the positive side of online learning. I thought it was great to have teachers and parents from various locations, gathering to discuss internet safety.

I would like to get some ideas on a progression of topics for parent workshops. Leave your ideas in the comments section.

    • roadrunner
    • February 27th, 2008

    Hey Dave. I’ve flagged your post to show on my wiki Parent 2.0. You provide a great summary of the EdTalk session.

    I also thought the idea of introducing parents to the social networking tools was a great idea. If parents (and teachers) become more comfortable in the environment they may be less “paranoid” (to quote my daughter) about their children’s use. I think it would be important not to overwhelm them. Show them one or two tools, and something they could use right away (like Twitter).

    I’ll be following your comment section for other suggestions. Thanks!

    • Shaun Loeppky
    • February 27th, 2008


    I have a question in relation to parents and edtech podcasts. Do you think the “jargon” common to our field might be a problem for parent involvement? Sometimes I wonder if the audience for these podcasts are more for us than the general public.

    • kibrown
    • February 28th, 2008

    When We got our first computer with internet connection we put it in a public place in our hosue. We were always able to wander by and see what out kids were doing.When children are youngerI worry when parents have computers in the basement or in children’s bedrooms where they can’t be monitored. I think placement in the home of the family computer is very important.

    • Dave Bircher
    • February 28th, 2008


    I think Education is full of jargon. Look at all the abbreviations we have from, ppp’s, to PLC’s, etc. I think we need to put a lot of the things we do in simple language. For example, In PLC’s a teacher should take the curriculum objective and put it in student language…I can identify…. I think this type of thing could help with parents too.

    Thx. for the comment.

    • Connie Cossar
    • February 28th, 2008

    Parent involvement is definitely key to helping kids be safe and responsible online with so many different sites available. I have been reading a tonne of information about social networking and the statistics are amazing about how many kids are using them and how often. It is becoming the main way that they communicate even with friends that they see every day. I agree with Kimberly that having the computer out in the open is one way to open communication about where they are online. It should not be just left up to teachers to talk to and teach kids safe computing – as with most things, it starts at home.

    • coreyterry
    • February 28th, 2008

    I enjoyed reading your post Dave, as I am currently working on a workshop on technology and teens to present to our parents on March 17th. I may use some of your information…thanks.

    • ryanflood
    • February 29th, 2008

    Thanks for the thought-provoking post, Dave. Your last point was of particular interest to me. We have a great digital distance between our students and their parents. Our students are the generation that is ‘growing up on-line’, and many of their parents are rarely on-line. Some don’t use the Internet or e-mail at all. There are may parents who don’t have any idea what their children do with computers.
    I’m not sure that it is our role to educate parents. However, we are in a position to reap many benefit from having parents involved in their childrens education and on-line lives. So perhaps technology workshops through SCCouncils and Parent Associations are great ideas.

  1. I am pleased to see such a strong interest in working with parents and getting them connected using technology. More importantly that you listened to the Parents as Partners web cast. Shaun has a good point about jargon. Our last webcast featured Dr. Joyce Epstein (#3) and she in an excellent researcher and practitioner but I wondered what some of the parents might be thinking when they tuned. Inclusive language is inclusive I know that I will be concentrating on future shows with this in mind. @ryanflood any work with parents around technology or student work will reap benefits. I have set up an input survey asking for help with topics. http://www.ourschool.ca/give-us-your-input-tell-us-what-you-want-to-talk-about.html Can you please send folks over to fill it out. Let’s collaborate together to create dynamic blogs and webcasts. Lorna

    • leahdewhurst
    • March 9th, 2008

    It’s great to see all the information out there for parents. Ever since I started the classroomblog, I have had some parents who are very concerned with the whole idea of social networking. Thanx for providing me with some links to share with parents.

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