Preparing Parents for Mobile Learning

August 21, 2013
4:00 pm - 5:00 pm PST
By Educator Innovator

When preparing your district for a 1:1 or BYOD experience, there’s a group that’s often overlooked: parents. How can you help parents feel involved in this transition?

Key Questions and Comments:

  • (03:22) One of the questions I have, and that I get a lot, is how do we actually address the issue of equity in that Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) environment?
  • (05:44) Scott, how did you bridge that gap from BYOD to 1:1?
  • (09:13) How do you guys address concerns about distraction, whether it be the teacher side of things or when parents come to you and say ‘My kid’s off-task at home’?
  • (10:36) You can have a distraction with or without technology…a lot of kids will go home and say “I need my iPad to do my homework”…as we tell parents, we own the devices but they own the kids.
  • (12:20) We’ve talked a lot with our parents that technology use in the classroom does not look like the workplace or what you see at home. Our 1:1 [program] is not built on iPads…it’s built on higher levels of integration of technology. Technology allows you to accelerate learning.
  • (15:19) It’s funny: people that are kind of not in the tech world tend to really focus on the technology. And all of us that are really involved in it, we focus on the communication, the relationship, the people part of it.
  • (18:59) When technology is first substituted into a classroom, a lot of times the technology becomes the learning target (“I want to do an iMovie or Garage Band project”)…when you go 1:1 and it becomes really effective, the learning target is more clear and there’s more choice…it doesn’t matter how [students] want to demonstrate that learning.
  • (24:02) We’ve taken the The Substitution Augmentation Modification Redefinition (SAMR) Model and created it as a culture in our district…that culture has to be embedded in empowering teachers as professionals and decision-makers.
  • (27:01) I think one of the most important things when you initially get into this, is to make sure people have access to have their questions answered or their concerns addressed immediately.
  • (29:52) I think it’s good to tell [parents] the good things, but also you need to be aware and say “I’m not looking through rose-colored glasses”…Parents know that’s a lot more authentic when you say, “Yeah, we didn’t do this perfect. But here’s where we messed up and here’s how we fixed it.”
  • (33:12) Do you use the district social media to communicate with parents, or is it more just a blast?
  • (35:22) We think that technology is kind of a universal language in some ways, but how do you guys address the concern about the linguistic or technical divide? Do any of you have any tips or advice about how to handle that?
  • (40:06) Have you had parents ask you for advice and tips when it comes to ‘What kind of filter should I buy?’ What are some tips and tricks you’ve picked up along the way…to help homes become a little more “digitally aware”?
  • (42:43) In some of our parent forums, we’ve learned from the parents and they’ve learned from each other…Bringing people together really allows people to share how they do things at home to help their kids deal with this.
  • (45:12) At the end of the day, if a student is going to try and do something that’s nefarious with an iPad, my assumption is that they’re going to find out how to do it. That’s a behavior issue, and we have to address that as a behavior issue, not a technology issue.
  • (49:28) When people start talking about filtering, I’m not trying to be a wise guy, but I say “How many of your kids have smartphones? And how do you filter those?” They don’t.
  • (53:38) How do we build a culture of positive support of tech integration? Having parents hear that “Wow, if I have a concern, I can bring it forward. And that’s OK.”
  • (55:45) It’s a great way to sell parents if their kids are excited about it. If their kids are excited about anything in school, the parents are going to raise their eyebrows and say, “Wow, this must be something that’s worthwhile.” Getting kids on-board has a trickle-down effect.

From this Series:

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During the broadcast, the conversation also took place on Twitter using the hashtag #connectedlearning.

Guests for this webinar included:

  • Carl Hooker is an instructor for EdTechTeacher and serves as the Director for Instructional Technology in the Eanes Independent School District in Austin, TX where he has been a part of a strong educational shift with technology integration since becoming an educator. His unique blend of educational background, technical expertise, and humor make him a successful driving force for this change. He is also the founder of iPadpalooza – a learning festival showcasing the use of iPads in education.
  • Patrick Larkin is a Senior Associate for EdTechTeacher, a nationally recognized education leader (particularly in 1:1 programming), and serves as the newly appointed Assistant Superintendent for Learning for Burlington Public Schools in Massachusetts. An avid blogger and a proponent of social media to better engage teachers, students, and parents in the education process, Patrick is one of the founders of the Connected Principals Blog and #cpchat on Twitter.
  • Nathaniel Vaughn has been an educator for 16 years as a teacher, assistant principal, and current principal at Blake Middle School in the Medfield Public School district. His strong advocacy of fostering an environment of collaboration and creativity with students, teachers and parents launched the expansion of a full 8th grade Bring Your Own 1:1 iPad initiative and a 6th grade Nexus 10 tablet 1:1 pilot. Nat believes communication and transparency are key elements in transforming a school from a computer lab/wireless cart setup to a 1:1 mobile learning classroom model.
  • Scott Meech has been in education for 18 years and is currently the Director of Technology at Downers Grove District 58. He believes that education is on the brink of major change and that technology is finally fulfilling its promise. Scott is an Apple Distinguished Educator, Google Certified Teacher and one of the founders of and

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