| Follow Us: Facebook Twitter Google Plus


Troy Tech Talks open lines of communication

Attendees listen to the kickoff Troy Tech Talk presentation.

The Troy Tech Talk committee consists of Troy School District parents and staff.

Even students get a chance to participate in Tech Talks, sharing their favorite apps with the crowd.

In a world consumed by instantaneous connections, screens and online relationships, students are both the new leaders in tech as well as those who take the brunt of its misuse by peers. For parents and teachers in the Troy School District, keeping lines of communication open is the name of the game -- this open communication now comes in the form of school-sponsored Tech Talks.
The program was initiated last school year by parents as a way to help each other learn about technological going-ons, keep up with developing technology students are using and to create a common message about how technology is best used both in the classroom and at home. In an effort to keep the group collaborative and topical, all Tech Talk conversations are from volunteer parents and staff suggestions.
“Tech Talks are a parent driven and 100 percent volunteer effort,” said Colleen Geyer, Troy Tech Talks parent organizer.
Geyer, along with her co-founder Tricia Albery, initiated the program in the spring of 2015. Geyer and Albery lead a small group of parents responsible for planning, organizing and hosting the Tech Talks for the Troy community, throughout the school year.
The chats, scheduled once a month throughout the school year, feature a variety of speakers ranging from Troy staff members to legal professionals from Oakland County.

“Evaluating and understanding the balance between exposure and risk is important. Equally important is the communication and support from Troy School District on how parents can partner with the schools to keep our children safe and adequately prepared for the future,” said Albery.

The program dives right into the real issues with a no holds barred mentality, with topics covering scenarios teenagers may experience on a daily basis such as the pressures of sexting and cyber-bullying.   
A recent Tech Talk presentation by Oakland County Prosecutor Jessica Cooper touched on the surprising statistics of both high school and middle school sexting, giving Troy parents a glimpse into a shocking trend.
  • 20 percent of teens report having sent nude or semi-nude photos of themselves.
  • 33 percent of teenage boys say they have electronically posted nude or semi-nude pictures of themselves.
  • 40 percent of teens report being shown sexually explicit messages or photos that were meant to be kept private.
  • 20 percent of teens report having shared such messages and or photos with someone other than the person it was originally meant.
Outside of exploring some misuses of technology, parents are also briefed on how to access their students grades, their student's “digital citizenship” and the positive effects of iPad usage in the classroom.
“Although there is a component of safety and security, we want to make sure we also talk about all of the great things that come to our kids through technology. There are so many more jobs that will exists because of technology. We need to celebrate how wonderful technology is, and how aware our district is,” said Geyer.
Parents involved in the Troy Tech Talks program understand the importance of keeping up with the ever-changing world of technology.
“Technology education is no longer an elective, extra bonus or special interest class a student might use to fill a class period. Technology has become a vital and necessary part of our students’ education. They must be exposed to technology and become proficient in it to become successful in our technology driven world,” said Albery.
Troy parents and staff are on top of a growing trend to educate themselves firsthand in the world of teenage tech usage. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends parents educate themselves in technological trends before approaching their children. Teens these days may be more digital savvy than their own parents, requiring a knowledgeable finesse when negotiating with the generation of digital natives.
“It’s really important we help teach our kids technology. Not only do we want to keep them safe, but we want to help them learn. There are so many opportunities for our kids and we are doing a disservice to our parenting if we don’t get involved in the conversation,” said Geyer. 
With some kids seemingly having their phone locked to their hand and a laptop glued to their lap, the collaboration of staff and parents remains imperative to a healthy school and home balance. With 92 percent of teens reporting they go online at least once a day, Troy Tech Talks are helping keep children safe in their tech-saturated world.
“In the future, we hope the community continues to benefit from the Tech Talks. Technology is always changing, so we will never be at a loss for topics. We want to continue to help start conversations between teachers, students and parents,” said Geyer.
For more information on Troy Tech Talks, click here.
Signup for Email Alerts
Signup for Email Alerts