Tuesday, April 28, 2015

JMS Parents attend iPad Training and Internet Safety Night

Parents of students at Jemtegaard Middle School attended an evening of learning about the iPads and ways to help students be safe online on April 23.  JMS teachers Kelli Dizmang, Cherise Marshall, and Rebecca Bohlin worked with students who served as "experts" to develop the lessons taught to their peers' parents.  Approximately 40 to 50 parents attended with at least that many students.

“Parents went with their students to a series of stations where they learned about the apps that students use in class, projects that are done on the iPads, how to access WESPaC from a mobile device, and more,” said Les Brown, WSD Director of Technology.  “Each station was run by a JMS student, who created their mini-lesson on an iPad to share with parents and other students.  The parents who attended shared that they were amazed at how much the students have learned, and the variety of skills they have with the iPads.”

Parents also attended a session on Internet Safety and building student's skills to make wise choices and be safe online.  The session focused on practical steps parents can take to help keep kids safe while online.  “We discussed parents’ concerns about online safety, helping make sure they have an awareness of monitoring student activities online, as well as tools and strategies to help them make sure their kids are learning to be good digital citizens while staying safe online,” Brown said.

“Many of the parents who attended the Internet safety presentation were taking notes, sharing their own safety tips, and asking more questions about how we can work together to keep kids safe online,” said Dizmang.  “The response was very positive.  Many parents were also surprised to discover how much their middle schoolers know about using technology for learning, and were amazed at what the kids do and create every day.  Our students did an excellent job sharing their skills with parents!”

The act of students presenting the lessons was a sign of the success for the tech parent night in the eyes of Bohlin.  “It demonstrated to parents how students are benefiting and learning from the technology they have the chance to use in school,” she said.

According to Bohlin, student are already asking about having the event next year.  “The way that students stepped up to create quality presentations was outstanding! I was so impressed with what students put together to show parents, including QR code activities, wi-fi troubleshooting situations, thoughtful questions, and hands-on demonstrations.”