Young Kids Taking Devices to School- Would You Allow it?
It’s 2015, and I try to be open minded. Young kids taking devices to school has become a conversation within my family as of late.
A few weeks ago, I got an email from my 6 year old son’s grade one teacher, that was sent to what seems like all the class parents, asking that we send our children’s devices to school with them.
Let me just start by saying, that I really do love Little Man’s teacher. She is a phenomenal teacher and he loves being in her class. However, the entire situation just rubbed me the wrong way, and I am wondering if this is just the norm now.
The teacher also discussed this with the class, prior to bringing this to the parent’s attention via email so, when I told Little Man: “No.” He understood, but was also quite worried about how “all the other students were going to bring theirs in.” Might I also add, that Little Man doesn’t have a tablet, he has a LeapPad. I am the one that has a tablet, I use it for work. I can’t afford to send that to school with him.
The E-mail- Kids Taking Devices to School
The email started off by saying that his teacher had attended a professional workshop at another school in our district, and had learned from another grade one teacher that had implemented the use of devices in her classroom.
The parents were being asked to send their Children’s Tablets or other computer based technologies to school with their kids every day. They would be being used with their “Fairy Tale” unit.
Little Man’s teacher then went on to ensure that we as parents, knew that the devices would be locked in a cupboard in the classroom when not in use, and closely monitored as they were used.
“If you aren’t comfortable with sending your device to school with your child, this is totally understandable, but it will become very common place in all grades very soon.”
Young Kids Taking Devices to School
Let’s be honest. Humor me here.
I don’t think the kids need to take devices to school. I just do not. Especially when the kid is SIX! I am certainly not comfortable sending a $300 tablet to school with my SIX year old. Who is held responsible if something happens to that device? Especially if it’s someone else’s child that damages it?
If it’s going to become “Very common place in all grades soon” then can’t the school board have an action plan in place to provide classes with this technology? It may be expensive for the school, but it’s also very expensive for the parents, and to me, it’s not necessary. At all. What happened to a good old pen and paper? What happened to the encyclopedia?
What about the kids that can’t afford devices, now we make them feel bad because Harry, Tom and Bertha brought their devices in and they don’t have any? What about the parents with 5 kids in school in different classes? They are supposed to purchase and send 5 different tablets to school? This sounds expensive.
My Closing Thoughts
This may make me sound old in a very “Get off my lawn” and “In my day…” kind of way, but I really don’t see the problem with using a good old book to research, heck the school has a computer lab! Why not use the old school method, of using a desktop computer?! (Never thought I’d say that..) Need a word processor? Use a computer! Better yet, use a damn pencil and paper.
If parents want to let their kids use technologies in the home, then all the power to them! If the school needs them as learning tools, then maybe they need to figure out how to provide them. Do I need to send my devices to school with my young children?! I don’t bloody well think so.
Our school uses technology in the classroom. They have a smartboard where lessons are taught etc. Classrooms have access to chromebooks and tablets. My oldest is in grade 5 and there was a similar note sent home asking parents for permission to send devices to class but only for use on Fridays in the afternoon last block for spare time. If parents weren’t comfortable their kids could use the class chromebooks or tablet. I like the fact they are implementing technology but I still think they are missing out on a lot of learning such as reading actual books and learning cursive writing.
As for our devices, they stay at home. Our devices include a Vtech kids tablet and an iPod touch. The kids have access to school ones they can use those school.
I don’t necessarily disagree with their use in the classroom, but me sending my personal ones scare me. I think they are missing out on the same things you mentioned and at such a young age, I don’t think that’s a good thing.
I’m with you on this! We have only run into this with my daughters class (she’s in grade 4) and they are only allowed to bring them on special occasions and they are to be played on, not used as a class instrument for learning. Our school actually has quite a few iPads that are rotated around the school for these purposes. However, i still don’t think these devices need to be used in a classroom setting unless they are being taught how to use them properly.
I do not allow my daughter to take any devices to school because I don’t feel they should have them at school, period.
I am so glad I am not alone. I was starting to think I am just that old grouchy lady in the corner. I really think that unless they are being taught to use them, there is no need for their use in the classroom. Especially at 6 years old. 10-12? Ok. I get that. BUT 6!? Shouldn’t the kids learn to “learn” first?
Our school uses tech in the classroom but it is tech that is owned by the school. That way they control what is on the tablet and everyone has the same one. I don’t understand how they could even use tablets in the classroom when they are all different. That is crazy!
That’s also true. How many different types of tablets are there? How would the teacher know what each can do!?
Oh heck no. We have a iPad. I’ve downloaded oodles of educational apps and my kids are allowed to play on it every couple of days provided they take turns and don’t squabble. One iPad, two kids. In the situation outlined you outlined above I would need to find another device so that each kid had one. And then let them be responsible for taking incredibly expensive and breakable tech to school. Again I say, heck no.
There is no way I would let me daughter, who is in Grade 2, take a tablet to school with her. No way, no how. They had a day recently where just for fun the kids were allowed to bring tech in for one day. Tech or a board game. Needless to say I sent a board game with her. She told me that “all the other kids brought tech” and apparently the teacher felt sorry for her and ended up letting her use one of the school’s iPads so she wouldn’t be left out. At the time I thought, what the heck? All of my daughter’s 7 year old peers have their own tablets??
That said, our school has iPads, From what I’ve gathered they rotate them through the various grades/classrooms, so that everyone gets a turn. I was pretty surprised when I first discovered my 6 year old was playing Minecraft at school. (Um.. I’m going to end this novel length rant now. Apparently you hit a nerve).
This is going to date me but I remember the fuss over programmable calculators being allowed in classes. Now we’re talking tablets and smart phones. I consider myself modern and forward thinking but I think kids are exposed to technology at too young an age. My best friend’s son started on computers before he was walking and he has trouble with social interaction as a young adult. My daughter didn’t get exposed to computers until she was in her teens and she has much better social skills than most people her age. I can see the need for technology in the classrooms but the emphasis should be on teaching kids how to interact with each other and learn without the aid of devices like computers, tablets, and phones. We still send paper and pencils to school with our kids, use them more.
Amen! You are not dating yourself. I agree completely with you. Great Comment!
I’m with you on this, too. We can’t even trust that our 6 year old can bring back his sweater from school, never mind a $300 computer!
Last fall another kid kicked his soccer ball onto the roof. The school’s response: “well, I guess it’s gone now.” He took a book to school and some kid lost it on the playground. The teachers and staff didn’t do a damn thing about it. So, can he take my tablet to school. NO WAY!
I love technology. I live on the Internet. But I want my kids to spend a good percentage of their lives NOT looking at a screen. They are not going to struggle to learn how to use the internet any more that I struggled to learn how to use the radio.
Technology is defined as anything that was invented after you were born. Anything invented before you were born is just the way the world is. My grandparents just couldn’t hack the VCR. My parents are still only basic users of the web and that’s probably as far as they’ll get. But we do not need to worry about our kids “learning technology” because for them this is just the way the world is. What we need to be concerned with is how much time they are spending outside and doing physical things with real people. The real dangers of the digital age are childhood obesity, isolation, social ineptitude, loneliness.