This week I attended the first middle school PTA meeting. Now that we have a middle schooler I was interested in learning more about the school and meeting other parents. While there, a big topic of discussion was the school issued iPads. 6th – 8th grades are allowed to take their iPads home with them. They explained the tiered approach they were taking with them:
- The 6th graders iPads are restricted to only the apps the teacher places on them
- The 7th graders iPads are restricted to only the apps in the school app library
- The 8th graders iPads are restricted to only the apps in the school app library during the day but then have a window of time after school where their iPads are open and they can personalize them how they wish
When I heard this I was happy with the policy for the 6th and 7th graders, but taken aback by the 8th graders basically having free reign.
They did say there are apps that they’ve restricted all together, however other parents weren’t happy with this either. I don’t have an 8th grader, but from what the parents were saying even though it’s only the second week of school it’s already very hard to figure out how to manage this.
Many kids in the district already have phones and possibly tablets as well. Parents have chosen how to monitor them but these school issued iPads coming home with this open window has raised a lot of concerns.
Not only do kids play games when they are supposed to be doing homework, but we have all heard about cyberbullying and how tough it can be for kids these days.
It’s a very interesting topic as we continue to move forward in this constantly connected world. I completely understand how valuable having iPads can be for kids, there are some incredible apps out there that make learning fun and help them with subjects they may be struggling with. There are obviously concerns as well. I hope there is a way that this will work out well for everyone. I’ll be at the next meeting hoping there will be a positive update.
What about you? Do your kids have school-issued iPads or other devices? Does the school have restrictions in place for them? How do you monitor your child’s devices?