Technology Boot Camp Takeaways

The only person who is educated is the one who has learned how to learn and change.
~Carl Rogers

Today over 500 parents and thirty teachers from across the township came together to learn and grow.  Today we hosted our first Parent Technology Boot Camp, and the experience was amazing.  Teachers hosted sessions on cyber safety and how technology is used in the classroom.  I had the pleasure of sitting in on many sessions, and the quality of instruction was amazing.  While there is no way I could fully explain all of the information that was presented, I have touched on many of the most salient points below.

  • Managing Technology in the Home – There are specific settings and restrictions that can be set on your child’s device and on your home wifi.  While these interventions will provide some level of protection, the real way to keep your child safe online is through constant monitoring and conversation.  Conversation allows you to not only monitor activity, but helps you build your relationship with your child.
  • Technology in the Classroom – The teachers who work with your children are thoughtful and creative professionals and are always looking for new ways to integrate technology into the classroom.  With that said, they will only use the device when it is the right tool for the job.  If the technology doesn’t enhance the learning, then other methods will be used.  In the end the goal is to extend learning and stimulate thinking.
  • Apps – The number of apps that are available to our children is staggering.  There are a couple of things to lookout for when discussing apps with your kids.  Parents should be on watch for apps that allow kids to make posts anonymously and should also be cautious of apps that use geo-positioning to allow others to locate your child.  Likewise, always research apps you are unfamiliar with and look for any age restrictions assigned to the app.
  • Limits and Structure – Your child’s device should not become a replacement for real relationships and family structure.  As the parent you should work with your child to set reasonable screen time limits and put structures in place (family dinners, homework time, reading time) that are non-negotiables.

I am so proud to work in a community that prizes education and clearly communicates high moral values and principles.  The New Trier Township is a special place, and I am lucky to serve this community.  Finally, we are in the process of posting videos of many of the sessions, so please feel free to access our event website and select recorded sessions from the left navigation bar.

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