A Little Perspective: Teaching Basic iPad Skills to Parents

I just got home from teaching a group of our parents basic iPad skills. I communicated my lesson through an interpreter which was a first for me. The translation delay took my brain some getting used to. What struck me the most about our parents tonight was the genuine eagerness to learn, the honest questions about parenting challenges around the iPad and just how new and unfamiliar technology is to many of them. Tonight was not the best organized event but it served to open my eyes to the tremendous need our parents have in understanding this new device and how it fits into their homes and their children’s learning.

As the technology leader for my District, one could argue that my focus should be on things like setting technology standards and implementing data archiving solutions and they’d be right. Those things are important. Only not really. You see, we just gave iPads to 272 students. For some families this is the first computer in the home. We have parents that need basic digital literacy skills if they are to help support the learning process at home. We need to be doing a better job at meeting this need if the 1:1 program is to succeed. After tonight I’ve decided I will carve out the time to see it is done right. It’s more important to me than policies people look up once in a blue moon or technology that never touches the classroom. It’s about helping our parents and helping our kids and that’s what everyone in education should be about.

As a technology leader in your district, what have you done for your parents lately?