In today’s world, simply providing access to computers and the web isn’t always enough to better a student’s education. Information and training relevant to the technology must be in place for students and their families. Without this, students are less likely to use their internet access to better themselves, and will surf the web and interact socially instead.
Cecilia Gutierrez, CEO of the Miami Children’s Initiative, supports this notion by stating,
“They’re going to social media sites. They’re not using it to get ahead, unless they’re being guided by us.”
The good news? Florida is not only providing the necessary technology, but also informing both students and their families on how to use the educational power of these tools.
The Sunshine State mandates that every Florida student takes and passes a minimum of one online class prior to graduation. Additionally, students are expected more and more to take computerized tests, in lieu of the previously standard handwritten ones.
Miami-Dade Assistant Superintendent Sylvia Diaz places a strong emphasis on technology in the classroom: “Technology is a necessary part of a modern education. I don’t see how kids can learn in this world without the use of technology.”
While students are likely to adapt to this modern tech, parents and grandparents often shirk their responsibility of becoming informed. To combat this, Miami-Dade provides training for parents when lending laptops to students at low-income public schools. That’s not all, however, many schools even hold workshops for parents looking to become more informed. Liberty City Elementary, for example, holds a once-a-month event that teaches parents how to use district tools to keep up with their kids’ academics.
One thing is for sure: Florida’s mindset on this issue is very clear. In a world where quality education is heavily reliant on the use of technology, an entire household that is technically savvy promotes the greatest chance of success for students willing to learn.
If your children are enrolled in a low-income school or you’re struggling to provide your children with the tools they need to succeed in school, don’t give up. There are resources available for parents and guardians just like you.