Does modern technology help or hinder parents in becoming more involved with their children's education?
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Modern technology definitely makes it easier for parents to be involved in their children’s education.
With modern technology, parents can be much more aware of how their children are doing in school. Many schools have teachers post grades in ways that are available over the internet. This means that parents can check their children’s grades on a daily basis instead of having to wait until progress reports come out. Parents are also much more able to stay in touch with teachers because of being able to use email for asynchronous communication.
Modern technology also allows parents to see more of what their children are doing at home. For example, when students come home and need to use the internet to do research, their parents can monitor them (particularly in lower grades) as they do work on the family computer. This means that, with modern technology, parents are much more able to keep up with what their children are doing in school and how well they are doing.
Modern technology is an advantage because it allows parents to stay in contact with teachers more easily. Parents can now go online and see the child's grades, email the teacher, or even see assignments.
A possible disadvantage is the pitfalls of becoming too involved. When parents have access to all grades and assignments, they run the risk of micromanaging the child. This can prevent the child from learning life management skills and developing independence. Parents have to be able to take advantage of the technology in such a way that they support their children without being “helicopter parents” and staying in the child’s way.
As the president of the National Parent-Teacher Association points out, when parents are involved in the child's life it is not an invasion of privacy.
Parental use of all available resources, including electronic monitoring tools, should not be considered an invasion of privacy; it’s simply modern involvement. (nytimes)
Parents have a responsibility to see what their children are doing online, not just to be involved with their grades and schoolwork but to see how they are interacting with other children and the world. There are many dangers online, and it is a parent’s responsibility to stay on top of them.
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