5 Technology Tips for Families

Technology has changed the way we work, play, and learn. At school, it provides a wide variety of resources and activities, but also presents new challenges for classroom management. Parents see the impact at home as well. We appreciate being able to contact our kids when they are away, but we want them to disconnect at the dinner table. This intuitive sense of using technology appropriately does not come naturally for kids... or parents. I wrote the following tips for families in the upcoming District 721 Newsletter (Spring 2016). Feel free to share this information with your students' families.

  1. Use technology in moderation. Our children mimic the behaviors we exhibit. We can’t expect our kids to display healthy technology habits while we regularly check email and update our Facebook status in the presence of our family.

  2. Talk about technology. Kids love being the experts; ask them questions about technology. What is your favorite video game? How does this app work? Listen with an open mind. We want to develop mutual trust so our kids feel comfortable sharing situations like cyberbullying.

  3. Put the devices to bed, but not in the bedroom. Should we be shocked if our kids stay up all night texting or visiting inappropriate websites? No, not if we allow them to sleep with their devices. Identify a specific time and location where all technology devices will be charged each night.

  4. Set clear expectations. Studies show kids rise to the level of their parents’ high, but reasonable expectations. Our expectations should align with our core family values. We should regularly share these expectations about appropriate technology use with our children.

  5. Technology use is a privilege. We made mistakes as kids; ours will do the same. When rules and expectations are not followed, we have to be willing to take away privileges… including technology. The privilege shouldn’t be lost forever, but the consequence should match the behavior.

For more family technology tips, visit: npaschools.org/powerful-learning-parent-resources

is the Director of Technology Integration for the New Prague (MN) Area Schools. In 1996, he began teaching middle school technology education. He has been sharing technology integration strategies since 2005.

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