In the early 2000’s the school I was in was part of cluster of schools focusing professional development for teachers on the use of ICT in classrooms. This was a great opportunity and I learnt to use blogs, wikis, and a range of applications that I would never have thought about if they weren't shown to me.
Often quoted was the joke, “If you don’t know how, ask a 10 year old.” While said in jest, there was much truth to the saying, and I learnt to do just that; to ask the children in my class how to do things. From these children I learnt about Youtube, how to make make movies and use Garage Band. A few years later another student (12 year old) taught me to bluetooth photos from my phone to my computer. At home I’ve found out about such things as Minecraft and Instagram from my own children, but only because I ask lots of questions.
It’s amazing how quickly new technologies and applications appear and spread. All of a sudden we can find ourselves outdated and out of touch with the newest ‘tech speak’ or app…..unless of course we have a 10 year old (or similar) handy to explain it to us.
How do we be responsible parents and protect our children in this fast paced tech-changing, app-appearing world when they are charging off ahead of us with no concern or care? How do we help our children to become confident users of the latest technology (because we know that to be successful in the 21st century they will need to be highly tech savvy) when we are relying on them to show us how to do things? These are the dilemmas of the modern parent (among others). There are a number of resources available, many of them online of course. I plan to create a page on our school website with some links to places that will be helpful in supporting parents overcome the dilemmas mentioned above. If you’ve got some recommendations, please send them to me to add to the page.