This weekend instead of going out to Halloween parties I decided to drive home from school (only 30 minutes) to babysit and make some extra money. I’ve been babysitting this family since I was a freshman in high school so i’m extremely close and familiar with the kids (four boys) and the parents. The mom Stacy and I got to talking and somehow it came up that her son Brandon who’s in 7th grades’ entire school has switched from textbooks to iPads. She said that all he comes home with in his bag is a planner and an iPad.
I thought she might be pleased with the change. I know my back wouldn’t be half as messed up as it is now if I didn’t have to carry all my books in middle and high school. I was surprised when she told me she absolutely hated the change and wanted them to switch back to books. She told me that he brandon and his friends constantly get in trouble for playing games and facetiming each other in class. While she doesn’t stand up for his actions, she knows Brandon is not the only one who is participating in these activities and wonders why they wouldn’t disable downloading games and facetiming and make sure it was only used for educational purposes?
I definitely agree with Stacy on this matter and was also confused as to why they wouldn’t disable these functions when giving iPads to middle schoolers. Another disturbing thing she mentioned was that the homeroom teachers allow them to play games, or at least turn the other cheek. I became best friends with people in my homeroom class in middle school and then on to high school so this concerns me. If I had a shiny device in front of my face I definitely wouldn’t make an effort to make conversation with people I barely knew.
I thought this was important to discuss because this is really where our classrooms are heading: full on technological. And according to this mom, the iPad idea definitely has a few kinks to work out.