This morning I watched pictures float through my Facebook feed of kids returning back to school. My kids returned two weeks ago and it has been great! Great for my kids, and great for me.
I have seen mixed reactions of how parents feel about sending their children back into the world aka… public schools. Most parents seem happy, some sad and some perplexed with an empty, quiet house.
When we moved to Indiana, our number one requirement for house hunting was safe neighborhood and next on the list, were good schools. We had heard that Fishers, Indiana would be a good place to settle down, and they have an “award winning” school district… whatever that means, it must be good, right?
This year our district (Hamilton Southeastern Schools) is implementing something called the 1:1 initiative. This initiative began in 2014 for grades 5-6 and in 2015 they added Jr. High and High School. This year they added the remainder of elementary beginning in Kindergarten.
Part of this initiative is that all children are required to bring an electronic device to:
“Equip students with the content knowledge, unique skills, and new literacies they will need to contribute positively in their communities and succeed in the 21st-century global economy.” (Mission statement from the districts website).
To fulfill this mission they want every child to have access to an electronic device (Ipad for K-8) at any point of the day to produce their work. They say it is not to replace pencil, paper and book learning but to supplement and enrich their school experience, using the devices for production rather than consumption.
I am not anti-technology in the classroom. I am not anti-Ipad in the classroom. I do however have a major issue with how they have gone about this initiative. I do not feel it is appropriate for young children to have access to an Ipad all day. This initiative is not developmentally appropriate, nor researched based.
Here is what is required.
-Every student in elementary school is required to bring an Ipad to school with them every day, charged and ready to go. Generation 2 or newer. Next year they are changing to requirements to a newer model.
-Parents are to provide the Ipad and are responsible for any damage or theft. The district does offer a rental option for $90 a school year, with a very weak insurance plan included.
-Aside from the Ipad required, in the state of Indiana parents are also responsible for textbook rental, and the purchase of any work books, which adds up quickly. This means if you have more than one child in the school system you will be providing an Ipad for each elementary and Jr High aged child. If you have five kids attending school K+, then you will be providing 5 Ipads for your kids (or laptops for High School Students). They are not allowed to share their devices.
And folks… That is not all. And now that Ipads are required, parents are also financially responsible for all apps and programs that the teachers or the school district want you to install for your child’s learning. As well as each child obtaining their own email address (through the districts server) and Itunes account to go along with their Ipad.
I have many mixed feelings about this requirement, and honestly I can go on and on. You don’t want to get me started!! That is not my purpose today. My purpose today is to hear from you. Anyone who is a parent or tax payer or consumer of society!!
- Do you have a similar requirement in your district? Are you required to provide technology (Ipad, tablet, laptop, etc.) for your Elementary aged child?
- Do you feel this is the direction our nation is headed?
- What do you think about this requirement?
- How would you feel if you were required to send an Ipad to school with your Kindergarten student?
- How would you approach this situation if you were uncomfortable this requirement?
- Comment Below or Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I am a former teacher I have seen ways Ipads and technology can be implemented in the classroom without additional financial burden on families. I do not know why the school district has not explored these options and implemented them. But I do hope to find out. As a parent it has been a battle all summer long to keep my kids from wanting be on the Ipad, All Day Long! I can’t imagine the journey the teachers have ahead. Even though they can be a wonderful learning tool, there are so many things that can be distracting or even inappropriate for children with instant access at their finger tips. Who is going to monitor all of the exploring children???
Please stay tuned to more updates on Ipad requirements in the classroom. In the mean time, tell me what you think!! I want to hear how you feel about Ipads being required for the classroom.