Parental guidance: overcoming the fear of technology

There has never been a greater gulf between the learning environments of today’s students and that of their parents. By comparison to the 20th century student, those starting their GCSE journeys in 2017 have an endless array of digital tools at their disposal. So, how can parents navigate this complex and confusing world with their children?

Parental Engagement

Once upon a time, learners leafed through hefty textbooks to find information on a particular topic or theme; today, a quick “Google” can be enough to teach a student all they need to know on a given subject. Those studying in the 80s and 90s may have had their audio-visual fix courtesy of a grainy VHS video, lovingly recorded at home by an enthusiastic teacher; the students of 2017 may be more familiar with a video plucked from YouTube in seconds.

While such advancements in technology are almost universally considered to be a good thing, the wealth of digital tools, platforms and devices available to students – both in school and outside of it – can leave some parents feeling out of touch. Parents may even be fearful that their naivety leaves them unable to support their children properly through an important period in their education.

The arguments

Technology is a destructive force

There’s a popular narrative that TV rots brains, video games are evil and that too much of youngsters’ lives are wasted on social media. For the modern parent, that perception can be enough to attach a stigma to the use of tablets, smartphones and even desktop computers.

Students will fall behind without technology

A simple discussion about the latest, greatest educational app in the playground can be enough to leave a parent feeling guilty that they aren’t doing enough to support their child. Parents are often subject to a fear of missing out (that’s FOMO in young person’s language) on behalf of their children.

In response to this dilemma, parents may be tempted to throw money and resources at providing their child with any number of digital tools – often without a clear understanding of whether the content is accredited, in line with curriculum or even factually correct.

Finding balance

So, what is the solution? How can parents avoid feeling out of touch with technology and unsure how to best support their children?

Of course, the answer lies in finding balance. As an edtech company, we passionately believe in the benefits of creating dedicated GCSE learning tools that can be used across the entire spectrum of digital devices. Yet we wouldn’t be meeting our responsibility to students, parents or teachers if we didn’t also acknowledge the need for a varied approach to learning.

No two students learn in exactly the same way, and where one will prefer to do all their studying on a device another will benefit most from classroom discussion or working with pen and paper. But what is most important is that those digital learning tools students do use can be trusted by parents and relied upon to support progress.

At GCSEPod we create quality educational content for students by delivering a cost-effective subscription service to schools. By working in this way parents can be confident that their children are able to access online learning resources that are not only approved by the school, but also in line with the curriculum and exam-board specific.

Through the GCSEPod platform, parents are also able to follow their child’s progress and support their learning experience in a simple, intuitive and transparent environment. And because our short-burst Pods can be watched anywhere and at any time, many parents enjoy watching them with their children so that they can share the learning experience.

We have even developed a number of resources to help parents support students more effectively. Check them out here.

Staying safe online

Staying safe online is understandably a key priority for parents. When your child logs into their GCSEPod account they are entering a safe and closed environment away from the well-documented dangers of the Internet. Progress can even be tracked to ensure that time spent in front of a device is time spent learning and not carrying out other online activities. This provides valuable peace of mind for parents.

With more than a thousand subscribing schools already, GCSEPod is among the UK’s leading GCSE revision resources and online study tools. Find out more about the benefits of GCSEPod from students, teachers and parents here.

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“A real ‘no brainer’ – GCSEPod is a high quality resource for students which can be evidenced to have an impact on both progress and attainment for all ability levels. It represents extremely good value for money.”

Nick Howe, Assistant Head,
North Huddersfield Trust School

“GCSEPod is an extremely high quality, cost effective and user friendly resource that has had clear and measurable impact in our Academy. The support given by the GCSEPod team is fantastic in all areas. Whether on their own device, or in the classroom, the resource is high quality and ever-developing! I would thoroughly recommend it!”

Dominic Howkins, Vice Principal,
Ormiston Sudbury Academy

“Test Valley School initially subscribed to GCSEPod after securing some external funding. However, the impact has been so significant that we have now subscribed in our own right.”

Andrew Page, Deputy Headteacher,
Test Valley School

Awards

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