10 Things Teachers Wish Parents Knew About Electronic Devices In School

Aug 09, 2016

teacher

Teachers are with our children hundreds of hours a year. This is the job that a person "wants to do" and does not "have to do". Keeping the child's best interest at heart comes natural for these talented educators. The recent challenge for teachers has been electronics in the classroom. While a teacher does not want to "step on the toes" of a parent, they do however feel obligated to work with the parent when it comes to their child's education in the classroom. Sometimes the "talk" about if electronics should be allowed in school does come up.

Here are some helpful hints about what teachers would like parents to know about electronics in schools:

  1. Electronics can be distracting in the classroom, especially when a teacher is trying to conduct a lecture. There is a time and a place for the electronics in school (depending on the policy). Parents, take the time to know the rules for the electronics in the school where your child attends.
  2. Laptops and mobile devices in school are the future for classrooms. Many schools are going paperless and will start incorporating educational programs on the devices (right in the classrooms). Parents, these educational programs are state of the art, and offer a wealth of education for our children today. Teachers can offer more learning tools through technology!
  3. Raising responsible digital citizens in this new tech savvy generation is the key! Education starts at home (discussing appropriate behaviors online, security measures, cyber bullying, etc.). If this education is instilled at the home, it will carry over to the classroom. Teachers and parents can work together to create responsible computer users.
  4. Safety is the #1 priority in your child's classroom. There are so many safety settings and internet filters that can and should be set up on electronic devices used in schools today. If the devices are owned by the family (not school owned), the school does not have any right to put these safety controls into place so it is imperative to download an internet filter like Net Nanny®. If the electronic devices (i.e, laptops, computers, etc.) are school owned, it is up to each individual school to have internet filters and policies in place to keep the students safe from internet vulnerabilities (online predators, hackers, stalkers, etc.).
  5. Kids bring in their own devices with no parental controls, which can lead to issues. For example, what is acceptable to one parent may not be for another parent (example – a specific app that the child is using). Adolescents will "teach" their peers how to create accounts and utilize social media apps/websites (remember the kids are the experts with this technology today).
  6. There are many students who own high end devices (newest version smart phones, mac books, etc.) and there are children who do not have these devices. Some kids may feel left out or struggle with not having the same device as another classmate. This could lead to issues in the classroom (possible theft too).
  7. Some researchers would argue that having electronic devices in the classroom takes away from actual face to face communication/socialization. When students are allowed "free time" in the classroom, this is the time they can interact with one another. When electronics are allowed in the school, they will be engaged with their devices during any opportunity that may arise.
  8. Cyber bullying is a growing epidemic with students today. Allowing electronics in the school system can open up this issue, especially if students are using social media apps and websites. If your child uses social media, consider a social monitoring tool to monitor their activity.
  9. Electronic devices, including mobile phones, laptops and computers are not cheap! These devices are very expensive, especially when damaged. Students may crack or break these devices at any given time. If students are sharing their devices with one another, an accident may happen. Who would be responsible for this repair? Would the school be held responsible? What about the teacher?
  10. Although the school day is filled with a rigorous curriculum for all grades, there is still downtime in the classroom. Having electronics in the classroom can be positive or negative. If time is spent on educational programs and apps on the computers, this will be beneficial to the students. However, students may find themselves being entertained on non-educational material (social media apps for example) which could lead to trouble.

Education and safety is key to both the educator and the parent! Getting all parties involved on the same page will only help our schools and students in the future!