The Livingston School District, Community Health Partners’ Parent Liaison Program and L’esprit, and local law enforcement teamed up on Wednesday night for another Family Tech Talk School Tech Conference at Eastside Schools.
Family Tech Talk is for parents of K-12 students.
The conference is in its third year; however, this is the first year in person.
“As parents, we need to have conversations with our kids and figure out how technology fits with our values as a family and use it consciously,” said Amy Clark, parent liaison program director and liaison at Eastside Elementary School. ) in an email. “When technology starts interfering with other parts of our lives – like sleep, school, work, home – then it signals to us that use has become a problem. It’s about finding a healthy balance and working with our children Having an open conversation about being honest about our own use. That’s one of the hard parts, parents setting an example for kids about healthy use of technology.”
The idea, according to Clark, is to provide support to parents in navigating the ever-increasing and changing technology for interacting with students, and to provide parents with tools at their disposal.
Stations are set up on Wednesday, and each station has experts. A panel of technology experts, teachers and school counselors spoke and answered questions at the event.
“I’m glad we did, pleased with the good collaboration between the school and community partners, and felt that there was a lot of good information shared,” said Brenda L’esprit, a licensed counselor at the event and one of the panelists at the event. An advisory program to work with the Livingston School District to provide support for students and their families, said Brenda Stephani. “(I) was disappointed with the turnout as many parents sought help with technology but seemed unwilling to participate when it was offered. I look forward to doing this event in the future.”
“Having an event like this, reaching out to our families and helping to lead healthy conversations with their kids around technology is beneficial, and I think it’s very valuable to our community,” said panelist and technologist and fourth-grade Eastside teacher Jessica Sullivan said.
Clark said she felt the event was well-informed and empowering for the attendees.
“I wish there were more parents involved,” Clark said. “It’s a hot topic and a question we get asked all the time. There seems to be a need for it, but parents also have to do their part and show up when we have these kinds of events.”