Working with groups, I often hear this question when talking about parents and their lack of willingness for their students to use technology.
“What about the parents that do not want their students using technology in the classroom?”
In my last session, what I had said was that these parents who do not want their children using technology, are “not as much as you pretend.” What I meant by that, is that we often use the excuse of parents not wanting their children to use technology, or students having access as an out, not a reality.
Now, do these roadblocks exist? Absolutely. But there are lots of parents, myself included, that would want their children using technology in meaningful ways within school. Do those parents get a say? There are many students that do not live in the most affluent communities, yet still bring phones to school. To many “access” has become a fundamental need.
Check out the updated “Maslow’s Hierarchy”:
Although probably made in satire, it is not that far off.
I would never want a teacher to go against a parent’s wishes for their child, and my response when asked if a parent doesn’t want their own child utilizing technology in the classroom is always the same; “We will still provide a high quality education for your child without the use of technology, but we will also respect the wishes of parents who want the meaningful use of technology for their own children in their learning.”
Too often we create something in our heads as a barrier. Sometimes the reluctance with parents to try new things is a direct relation to the enthusiasm (or lack thereof) from a teacher. We need to push past ourselves first, if we are going to help others move forward if we are going to realize a new vision for education.