Technology in the Classroom: Running a Parent Class

Technology in the classroom can be a tough sell for teachers attempting to win over parents. Indeed, it can even be tough to manage for even the tech-savviest of teachers – too many tools with differing instruction manuals can be confusing, even in the best of circumstances.

But have you tried to run a technology in the classroom session for parents? It can be an eye-opening exercise for both you and the parents. Today on, frequent contributing writer Jacqui Murray, herself a seasoned technology educator based in Northern California, examines how a technology in the classroom session for moms and dads can work.

Jacqui begins by spelling out some options for parents to learn what their kids are learning, including:
  • Review your tech-in-ed philosophy (teach students to fish rather than provide the fish, encourage exploration and risk-taking, you don’t jump in to help every time they get stuck). Model this philosophy as you teach parents.
  • Answer tech questions they have even if they’re about a home system.
  • Help them understand how technology supports the school's mission and overarching curricula (such as Common Core or everyday math).

Jacqui also encourages teachers to curate ideas from parents beforehand. These ideas may include:
  • How to download favorite songs into a music center on their computer.
  • How to digitize photos to use on phones/desktops/ a desktop slideshow.
  • How to create blogs.
  • How to create a webcam video to share with family members.
  • How to read ebooks from an iPad.
  • How to search for information.
  • How to solve computer problems (i.e., taskbar disappeared, can’t find a program, Internet window too small).

Jacqui sums up her article thusly: “Overall, you'll find this a satisfying experience for both you and parents, well-worth the time required to set-up and the impact on your workday. Questions -- post them below!”

Have you held a technology in the classroom session for parents? How did it go? Let us know!