Moffat County parents talk tech with school officials | CraigDailyPress.com

Moffat County parents talk tech with school officials

Michael Neary

— As parents met with Moffat County School District officials to talk technology, one theme that emerged was the way children tend to master the digital world far more readily than adults do.

"They learn so fast, as a parent you feel you're constantly playing catch-up," said Lorraine Counts, a parent of elementary and middle school students in Moffat County School District, after the session. "It scares you at times."

Counts was among six parents who attended a session on Tuesday evening designed to help parents navigate new technology in MCSD. And, although Counts noted the difficulty that adults may have keeping up with their students' technological skills, she said so far her children's experiences with technology have been positive.

Tuesday's session, held at Craig Middle School, was the first of three "Parent iPod Nights." On hand were the district's six instructional coaches, Technology Director Vicki Haddan and Superintendent Brent Curtice.

Throughout the evening, instructional coaches fielded questions from parents and discussed safety and other sorts of issues families might face as their children use online technology at school and at home. This school year, Moffat County fifth-graders, eighth-graders and students enrolled in advanced placement classes have been given iPads to use during the school year.

Sara Linsacum, an instructional coach, noted ways that students' technological proficiency — even if it's daunting at times — can feed their learning. She said she advises teachers to craft assignments that lets students choose the technological approaches that work for them.

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"Give them the rubric, tell them what you want to accomplish," she said. "They have enough skills that they will blow you away … Those kids figure it out way faster than we do."

Several parents said they'd like to know more of what sort of apps and other technological components they could encourage their children to use at home to complement the sort of learning they do at school. Some of the discussion took a technological turn of its own, as parents discussed the kinds of communication — texts, emails, phone calls — they'd like to receive from the district.

"These parents were asking for more communication — or maybe not more communication, but varying types of communication," said Haddan, the technology director. "That was the main message that I got."

The next technology session for parents will run from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. Feb. 18, again at CMS. That session is called "Understanding Core Applications." The district is also running a series of technology sessions for students.