Boo: Why I'm Scared Tech-Less!by Andrea Benton
As many of you know, I’m passionate about technology.
I’ve got two young kids who play on tablets, my eldest is constantly asking me for the password to my iPhone (which I won’t give out), we have Apple TV instead of cable and my hubby is a gamer. Tech is in our lives.
Recently, I had talked to a number of parents about organizing a parent technology night at a local school where I live. The response I got was positive so I organized it.
The event is amazing for parents - a one hour moderated discussion on tech and then individual parent workshops on apps or iPad training. I’ve been flogging my event for one month now and I’ve got only one attendee. I’m probably going to postpone the event or even cancel it.
I’ve been racking my brain wondering why parents aren’t interested and what I’m realizing is that learning and understanding about technology is a low priority. What I believe is that between school drop-offs/pick ups, home work, after school activities and getting dinner on the table, parents just don’t have the time. Or even worse, because technology is very intuitive these days, people are passive. They realize they will eventually learn it or pick it up so why bother.
This is why I’m scared tech-less. As parents, we need to take off the technology blinders and truly understand the technology. Yes, our kids will know more than us but we are their parents. We need to lead them, especially when it comes to technology. We can’t guide our kids, if we don’t know how the technology works.
Today the iPad mini was launched and Microsoft’s new tablet is launching soon. More than ever parents need to be engaged otherwise, how will we know what to look for when our kids are in trouble and require parenting. With that here are my five ways to learn about tech as a parent.
1. Every week allocate 15 minutes learning something new about your device - whether it’s a smart phone, tablet or even your child’s console gaming system. The next time you are waiting at a walk-in clinic for your nasty sinus infection, pull out your phone, check out the settings and see what you can do.
2. Talk to your kids to see what they know and where you need to catch up. If your kids can set up your email account on your tablet and you don’t know how - better get cracking. Knowledge is power and you need to re-claim some of that fast.
3. Speak to your school parent committee about organizing an educational technology night. Chances are your fellow parents have the same concerns as you so talk about them and share information.
4. Sign up with non-profit groups such as Common Sense Media and have them deliver tech content to your inbox. Sure, everyone is inundated with emails in the morning but during your lunch break, go back and read that email. B/c really, who logs onto FB anymore.
5. Host a dinner party with your peers and talk tech. No, I’m not suggesting that it’s all technology but most likely your friends are encountering the same issues or will have suggestions for you.
There you go - my five ways to learn about tech. Now tweet me @weebootMom - how do you stay on track with technology.