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Are You Ready to Answer These EdTech Questions Parents Should Ask?

New forms of complex tech are without a doubt being implemented in almost every classroom nationwide, but are parents prepared for what their children will be using? NPR has outlined a few questions that parents should ask and that administrators and educators should be able to answer.

“Among public school classrooms, 97 percent have at least one computer — a stat that dates back to 2009, light-years ago in technology time,” says Anya Kamenetz of NPR.

“More recently, a national survey in 2014 found that nearly half of all K-12 schools allow students to bring their own smartphones to class, which they're using to do research, shoot video and, let's be honest, to text the occasional emoji note.”

With this much technology the question of children having too much screen time is always a factor. Not only do children spend screen-time in the classroom, Kamenetz reports that children spend around seven hours and 38 minutes on recreational use of electronics.

Kamenetz collaborated with Manoush Zomorodi, host of the WNYC’s New Tech City podcast and Adriene Hill, senior reporter for Markeplace’s LearningCurve project on education and technology, to come up with questions that parents should ask upon hearing about the new technology being used in the classroom.

Together the three minds created an entire PDF document that parents can use to help clarify new tech-terms such as “personalized learning,” explained Kamenetz in her article.

They used the statements that most administrators use when discussing EdTech with parents as guidance for the questions that should be raised.

Kamenetz uses the example; “We’re raising money so we can put a tablet in the hands of every kid.

She says that questions like “What training and development resources are you providing to teachers so they can use the devices effectively?” and “Who’s reading the privacy policies on the apps my kids will be using?” should be asked by parents to help them determine what exactly might happen in their child's classroom.

These questions aren’t only good for parents. They also give administrators and some educators a base for what they should be prepared to answer. Chances are if both sides understand the technology being used, the more efficiently they can be used in and out of school.

Read the full story and comment below.

Article by Navindra Persaud, Education World Contributor

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