Our school announced this week that it’s starting a “Bring Your Own Device” policy starting mid next year – the kids school. The primary school. The FAQ says they’ll start with years 5 and 6 (Standard 3 and 4 in the old numbering system) 9 and 10 year olds. The school says they recommend and prefer iPads.
Just letting that sink in, I have visions of my 9 year old, with her own iPad probably in a blue-green case (because they’re her favourite colours) tucking it into her school bag and scootering to school. I have visions of a box of pencils, pens, 1B5 workbooks and iPad with charger arriving in the OfficeMax order in January. I think of the bill. I times it by 3. I think of my 5 year old – she’d probably want a pink case. I imagine 6 year old rough and tumble boy who does jumps and tricks his whole way home on his banged up scooter and think about an iPad in his bag. He’ll probably have a blue case too. I’m sure he’d like it with puppy dogs on the cover.
And then I look down, to the iPad in my hands. It’s about four years old. I share it with my kids and husband. It’s synced to my phone – my hand me down 4S. I’d love a 6. But it’s not in the plan, and now it’s even further down the list as we find a way to buy the kids theirs over the next couple of years.
– my concerns:
Financial – simply to pay for three devices, accessories and “suite of educational apps” we are required to buy too. Replacement costs for it they get broken/lost?
Practical – my kids are kids. They can’t eat a meal, or have a drink without making a mess. Who is going to be ensuring they are being super careful? The teacher probably, but there are 25+ kids in each class, how closely can they be expected to monitor it? What about when they get popped in the bag on the way home?
Academic – there is free thought and a world of opportunity that comes from a pen and a blank piece of paper. Not to mention losing out on time to write.
Access – I don’t want my kids to have access to the world of the internet. I don’t want them out there without adult supervision. I don’t want them to learn about a world where your esteem is built on your amount of likes. Not yet.
Communication – devices stifle communication. I’d actually rather they learnt to type if they were going to have to do something. Find a way to put out lots of words.
Technology – I simply don’t think they need it rammed down their throats. None of us were born in a world of computers – yet we’ve all picked them up. Our children have had screens shoved into their faces since they day they were born. There’s no hurry to integrate them into life. There’s plenty of time.
Dirt – I’d rather they weren’t sitting inside staying clean and swiping at screens. I can’t remember the last time they climbed a tree. That’s what they should be doing. Climbing trees and getting dirty.
It just seems so unnecessary. Give me gardens and kitchens any day.