Redefining Parenting in the Digital World
As the twenty-first century education system emphasises on child centred learning, creative thinking, critical thinking, communication, collaboration and caring;these can be achieved effectively by the online education system in addition to learning experiences at school. Likewise, with reference to the objective of preparing lifelong learners, online education is imperative in fostering digital natives to access learner centered, self-directed and self-disciplined instructions.
Digital devices and applications are playing a decisive role in making learning accessible, affordable, and actionable. But, the success of virtual classrooms or hybrid learning in K-12 education cannot be imagined without the support of parents, who stayed strong against all the odds during the pandemic. Irrespective of their technological background, the majority has genuflected themselves before the change. In this inevitable paradigm shift, denizens of the traditional environment swiftly acclimated themselves to the current trends and became friendly to digital natives, the new generation.
Parents across the globe are serious about adapting to changes in the education system, especially the delivery mechanism. A survey conducted in the US during the pandemic concludes that parents of 6 to 17-year-old students are receptive to the internet and other digital technologies. In fact, 78 percent of them have realised that technology is going to make a positive impact on their future and they should utilise it aptly. The survey also finds out that 55 percent of parents frequently use digital technology with their children. This involvement from the parents’ side is quite necessary for a healthy learning environment at home and to keep the students away from potential distractions.
Growing gamut of responsibilities
In fact, most of them spend time with children while they take class, do homework and projects using interesting platforms and creative tools. This time-sharing habit by parents has reduced the communication gap with students to a great extent. Parents also realise that in the present time technological proficiency is inseparable from academic growth and it is their responsibility to guide children about the safe and effective usage of ICT devices.
Improved relations with school
Eventually, the increased parent-child interaction is causing a positive impact on children’s studies as well as behaviour. The biggest advantage of parents’ new and diversified role in the digital era is rising conversation opportunities between schools and parents. The trio of students, teachers, and parents is getting stronger in the hybrid model of schooling. Right from the attendance of their wards, today parents have all information about the progress of students. School teachers regularly interact with parents and discuss all important matters related to academics.
Modern parents are not only the media mentors to their children but are also learning smart communication technologies and edtech tools as collaborators in children’s studies.
Thus, both approach and mindset of the parents about the internet and edtech has changed drastically after the pandemic. The majority is no longer apprehensive or scared of using technology for educational purposes. And, parents who once used to be digital immigrants are now accepting their redefined responsibilities to make learning accessible, easy, and interesting for digital natives.
However, for many in their 50s or 60s, staying abreast with the latest learning software, applications, and other edtech tools is still a challenge. Schools should organise workshops for such parents so they may improve their digital literacy and overcome hindrances in the educational journey of their wards.
But, on the whole, parents are creating examples by improving their own digital media practices and supporting children in tech-driven schooling.
Alka Kapur (M A , B.Ed) is the Principal of Modern Public School, Shalimar Bagh, New Delhi. She is always bubbling with enthusiasm, vivacity and cheerfulness. She is a lady of manifold virtues who has carved a place for herself in the hearts of one and all. Under her stewardship and enriched wisdomderived from experiences of her life, the school has reached unprecedented heights of success.
Alka Kapur is an Executive Committee Member of Forum of Public Schools. She has also served as Joint Secretary North West Delhi, Sahodhya School Complex. She is rendering her services to Central Board of Secondary Education and is on a panel of inspection of schools across the globe for up gradation, affiliation, etc
Alka Kapur encompasses her vision of making the world beautiful by spreading the light of education through her meticulous work, infinite patience endowed with divine blessings.