We live in a high tech, digital world. There's
simply no getting around it. And while the technology of today
brings with it a myriad of new problems for parents such as cyber
bullying and privacy issues, as a tech-lover, I'm fully embracing
the upside to parenting in this digital age. While also counting my
lucky stars that today's technology wasn't around when I was in
For many years now our school has been using online grade
books which allow parents to log in and track their child's grades.
For me this means zero surprises at progress report time. It means
we're able to address the issues of homework and studying on a
daily or weekly basis rather than waiting until it reaches the
"you're grounded until you bring this grade up" phase.
Naturally, as a parent, I love this technology. As a child
I would have loathed it. I mean, in Junior High I counted the days
until I'd be in high school where they'd sworn to us there would be
no more calls home if we didn't finish our homework. They totally
lied. My parents were called within the first semester of my
freshman year! The online system also shows absences and tardies.
Not that I ever skipped school or anything, but if I had,
that online grade book would have ratted me out!
This year, though, has brought the coolest "spy"ware yet!
Both of my older boys' (4th and 5th grade) teachers are using
ClassDoJo - a classroom tool used for tracking behavior. Teachers
can give points for positive behavior such as being on time,
staying on task and behaving in the hallway. They can also take
away points for negative behavior such as tardiness, not staying on
task and a host of other things I hope to never be made aware
The best part of this system...there's an app for it! I
can literally see on my phone how each of my boys are behaving
throughout the day.
The app displays a weekly chart showing the percentage of
positive versus negative points they've been given. One of my boys
recently got his first negative point for being 'off task.' Thanks
to the app we were able to have a discussion about it at home. I
was able to get his side of the story and made sure he knew why he
was given a negative point. Hopefully it doesn't happen, at least
for that same reason.
So for all the worries new technology brings, I am
thankful for the ways it helps me - a full time working mom - stay
connected and involved in what is going on when my kids are at
Lisa is a full time working mom of three boys living in the far northern 'burbs.
See more of Lisa's stories here.
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