Back to school: parents and technology

Posted at 8:48 AM, Aug 10, 2017

It’s a yes answer for most students.

“Do you guys use technology in the classroom,” asked AM Anchor Emily Szink.
“Yup, computer and iPads,” said one fifth grader.
“We just use it for looking up stuff and homework,” said another student.

“I know my son in the eighth grade is getting laptops this year, so it's a pretty big change from what it used to be,” said LeAnn Welker.

According to statistics about 40 percent of students use computers during instructional time and about 15 percent of schools have an iPad or laptop for each student. 

“I think it is changing, but it's good for them because that's what everybody does,” said one mom. 

Most parents welcome the technology transformation.

"We can see how it is going to benefit them because they are starting to use it so much earlier than we did,” said another mom.

But, as a parent wonder if you are not up to speed with the times? Andrea Riehl with the Geek Squad says most parents can perform basic computer functions, but if not, there is an easy way to learn. 

“Just sit side by side with them while they are going through things, see what they're learning. Kind of learn from the student, those kids are generally pros at using technology and having parents sit with them and learning from their student is a great way to go about it,” said Riehl.

But, more important than being computer savvy is knowing how to keep your kids safe online.  The Geek Squad has some simple suggestions like making sure all your devices and accounts have secure passwords and installing internet security software.

“Keep an eye on them.  Have an open conversation with them and just really make sure that you give them the tools to be safe to have a good experience online.  You want them to understand that their digital footprint lasts forever and that they understand those ramifications,” said Riehl.