What can this guide do for you?

Your involvement in your child’s education can lead to better learning results and outcomes. This “Parent and Family Digital Learning Guide” will inform you, as a parent or caregiver, as you monitor your child’s progress as your child accesses and uses technology for learning.

This guide aims to help all parents and caregivers, including those who have limited experience with digital tools, those who are experts with these tools, and anywhere in between. Each section starts with foundational pieces and builds from there.

Making the most of this guide

  1. Scan: Each section of the Parent and Family Digital Learning Guide can be read independently. Please scan the guide for content and resources that are most helpful to you.
  2. Discuss: Find time to discuss the principles explained in the guide with your children. You can also use the questions at the end of each section to start conversations with teachers, school leaders, and other parents.
  3. Create: Use the content of the guide to create resources to help your community better understand digital learning (checklists, social media content, or short video clips). Send us what you create and you just might be featured on our website or social media*. Send your examples to ED.Tech@ed.gov and use the subject line “Creating with the Parent and Family Digital Learning Guide.

*Sending examples to the Department would allow us to share them on its Department’s websites and social media channels.

Introduction

What should my child know and how do I know if they have learned it? How can I be sure that my child is progressing and getting the help they need? How should my child use technology for learning, and what technology is needed for my child’s learning? What is the right balance of being online versus offline? How can my child stay connected with their friends and teachers? How can my child stay safe?

Parents, educators, and researchers have asked these questions for years; they are even more relevant in light of the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Is technology the answer to all of these questions? No, of course not. Technology is a tool. Technology, when used appropriately, can empower learning, engage and motivate students, and help make learning interactive. Students can benefit from educational technology because it can personalize instruction and adapt to their strengths and weaknesses. Today’s digital tools and resources support and enhance learning at home and in the classroom. In some cases, a student’s engagement with educational technology can help them develop communications and technical skills for their futures.

Digital tools (such as devices, apps, and platforms) can enable multiple places for your child to learn, help you and your child set clear and easy to understand learning goals, and track progress. These tools can also help facilitate communication between you, as your child’s primary educator, and your child’s other teachers, allowing you to work together toward ensuring success. To take full advantage of the potential of digital tools, your child will need access to a device and the internet (at home and at whatever school option you choose for your child). You are also responsible for guiding your child on how to use technology safely and appropriately. This guide provides resources to help you fulfill that responsibility. While having multiple options for access, devices, internet connectivity, and digital tools is the ideal, it is not the reality for everyone. This guide focuses on empowering you with information and resources to improve your child’s opportunity for successful and safe digital learning.

Please go to the Office of Educational Technology to read more….