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Help Is Out There—And It’s Free

by Laura Diamond

Georgia Tech News Center

Article excerpt

Lower Income Families Less Likely to Use Online Learning Tools

Parents looking to help their children succeed academically can access free online educational programs, games and services to help them outside the classroom. A plethora of these tools have popped up in recent years in an attempt to close the achievement gap and digital divide between the rich and poor.

Our take

Seek First to Understand

Plenty of online tools are available to parents and their children to help close the digital divide. Unfortunately, according to a recent study from the Georgia Institute of Technology, that’s not happening. Lower income parents are less likely to use these tools, or to use them effectively. Parents are eager to help their children succeed, but may be hampered due to available resources and skills. How could your school system help?

Recognizing that these gaps may exist is an important first step. An assessment of parents’ levels of comfort and adoption of online tools in the home setting can give an indication of where additional communication, education or direction might provide benefit. Designing effective learning experiences for today’s students requires a solid understanding of their unique situations.