We are in the middle of understanding how to use technology effectively in education. Integrating technology into teaching is a complex negotiation process because there are so many moving parts and individual needs that must be taken into consideration. Many adults assume that students can navigate all types of technology and platforms with ease. While younger generations may be more comfortable with devices, they do not know how to translate them into effective study strategies.  Often developmental milestones and limits to executive functioning that are often overlooked.

For example, it is not uncommon for many of my students to have to check five to six individual blogs, Google Classroom, or other online platforms to find their daily homework assignments. There are some benefits to this approach such as helping students who missed a class period keep up with homework. However, there are also many downsides to online homework postings, especially for younger students or students who struggle with organizational skills because it becomes a nightly scavenger hunt.

Additionally, because teachers are posting assignments online, they are often not discussing them in class. This shift removes the opportunity for students to ask clarifying questions. As a result, students often leave school without a clear understanding of what their daily homework load looks like. This often leads students to underestimate their workload or procrastinate.

Because the nuance is unseen parents are often unaware of the complexity of the modern homework landscape. Students benefit when adults help them understand how to approach their workload. Parents can help students understand how to interpret assignments when they do not have an opportunity to ask clarifying questions in class.  They can model reaching out to others, such as contacting a classmate.

These five steps also help students avoid the common pitfalls of navigating technology.

  1. Create an easily accessible bookmark folder for each class

  2. Organize commonly used class websites in each folder, especially the sites where homework is listed

  3. Safely store all passwords

  4. Create a routine for regularly checking email and class homework websites

  5. Use a planner to capture and plan out homework

Students and parents can also discuss recurring issues with teachers and school administrators.