Our Public School Is Requesting 3rd Graders Have Tablet Computers

by Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] on May 16, 2012

in All About Me,Being Mom,Family,Kiddos,Observations

Surfing the ‘net in our panties: it’s how we do. Though this picture was taken 4 years ago, it could have been taken yesterday, save for the pacifiers and nakedness. Now it’s just me and Patrick who surf the ‘net in our panties.

Pleasantville School [name changed to protect my kids from you weirdo stalkers] will be a BYOT school beginning August 2012
(Bring your own Tech)
Students in 3rd, 4th and 5th are requested to bring an ipad (tablet devise [Kindle Fire, etc.]) or netbook to school daily. Laptops and other devices which have internet access and good battery are also acceptable (iphone, ipod) .

Each classroom will have several devices which students who do not have personal tech will be able to share and use while in the classroom. However, they will not be able to load personal work or applications on the school machines.

Pleasantville School has always been cutting edge and we plan to continue to move our students forward.

The above was included in an email I just received from my girls’ public elementary school’s principal.

I wouldn’t want to be behind the principal’s desk today. I can only imagine the emails and phone calls with which she’s being bombarded.

Honestly, I’m kind of super excited that this is happening at my girls’ school. I’m not happy that I’ll be the one paying for the new tech my 8-year-old will be toting back and forth to school, but if I didn’t pay for it, the school would have to take money away from other things to pay for it.

They’ve already taken substitute teachers, cursive writing, recess for older kids, non-microwaved food, teacher’s aides, proper art & music curriculum, and copy paper out of the budget.

I’d rather buy my kid her own technology and have control over it than have more money taken out of her classroom. GOD KNOWS, they apparently need more money (or maybe just smarter people) for figuring out how to create and assess a standardized test.

To fill you in, Florida is where the State School Board makes arbitrarily tougher requirements for passing standardized tests, only to get the results back and find they set the passing score too high and have to pass an emergency rule lowering the passing score.

Without it, only about a third of students would have passed the writing portion of the Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test, or FCAT, compared to 80 percent or better last year.

(Education Commissioner Gerard) Robinson acknowledged some things “slipped through” the Department of Education but promised they would be corrected. The department failed to sufficiently stress changes in this year’s test to school districts and teachers, he said. ~Miami Herald

I don’t want those yahoos responsible for getting my kid the best of what she needs. Whenever I can have control, I accept it without protest.

We are super massively extra fortunate to live in our neighborhood where the elementary school is the #2 ranked public elementary school in the state. Of course, this is Florida, so that’s not saying too much, but out of all the other schools in this assbackwards state, we’re in the tops.

To be one of the best, it unfortunately means making sacrifices. In this case, it’s a monetary sacrifice, and I’m not complaining. In other cases, it’s time sacrifices or discipline sacrifices. But to be the best, the expectations are high, and having been a teacher, I know what it takes and which fights to start.

Buying my 8-year-old $200 worth (I’m looking at you, Kindle Fire) of technology that will help her be a better learner, be a better student, and be a better member of society is not a fight in which I’m participating.

It will be a sacrifice for us to shell out several hundred dollars for her education, but at least we know 3 months ahead of when it’s required. We can be responsible parents by having Anna help out with the purchase so she understands the value of what she’s getting.

We will NOT be those parents who protest the evolution of learning just because it’s uncomfortable and different from how we did things growing up.

We are fortunate to have the opportunity to make this sacrifice.

We’re not above asking for help in supporting our kids, so if you’re buying anything from Amazon.com any time soon, how about using this fancy affiliate link to Amazon so they will pay me for your purchase? My make-believe budget thanks you.

UPDATED with this video that better explains BYOT (Bring Your Own Technology):

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{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

1 DogsOnDrugs.com May 16, 2012 at 12:43 pm

My daughter (in 7th grade) is being provided a school-issued netbook (for which we pay $150 to the school), and while I like her going paperless/bookless, I worry about her keeping it safe/intact. She had a Kindle that she brought to school last year, and it broke within a month due to flinging her backpack around, etc. Each time she hoses the netbook, it’s a $50 insurance premium to replace.

And if my daughter was in 3rd grade? Forget it. She’d have “decorated” the screen with glitter and then given it away to a friend in exchange for some hair scrunchies.

I love the tech, I just wish it was way more kid-friendly.

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2 Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] May 16, 2012 at 1:05 pm

The only concern I have is for the safety of the device we get her. As responsible as she can be, she will only be 8. I’m hoping there will be instruction in the classroom as to how to handle technology and expensive devices as well as incentives (we may put into place) to keep it safe.
An Awesome post on Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing]´s blog … Yeah, Buddy.

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3 Erin May 16, 2012 at 12:59 pm

The more I think about it, the more I agree with you. Our school hasn’t asked for anything like that yet but we were planning on having the grandparents chip in to get L a Kindle Fire for her birthday in June so it wouldn’t be a big deal if they did. My only concern would be a long the lines of what the above commenter said…that it would get ruined.
An Awesome post on Erin´s blog … A Legacy And The Beauty Of Facebook

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4 Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] May 16, 2012 at 1:07 pm

Anna already has a Kindle Touch, and though it’s 1/2 the price of a Fire, she’s taken it to school w/o issue. Granted, she doesn’t read on it often, but if she had her own device that was to go to school on a daily basis, there’s more of a chance for damage. That’s my only concern, too.
An Awesome post on Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing]´s blog … Yeah, Buddy.

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5 Amanda May 16, 2012 at 1:23 pm

While I really like the idea of technology like that in the classroom, it broke my heart when you listed all they’ve cut from your daughters’ school, especially proper art and music.
An Awesome post on Amanda´s blog … who wants a postcard?

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6 Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] May 16, 2012 at 4:36 pm

They have 45 minutes of art and music on alternating weeks if it’s not a holiday and if the teacher is there that day and not subbing in for another teacher. It’s ridiculous.
An Awesome post on Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing]´s blog … Yeah, Buddy.

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7 Corey Feldman May 16, 2012 at 8:18 pm

They are powerful learning tools. My kids 3&5 share my old iPad. I am amazed at how much they can do and are learning through it.
An Awesome post on Corey Feldman´s blog … Third update re: recent downturn with depression and anxiety

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8 Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] May 16, 2012 at 10:31 pm

Exactly that – they are tools. The kids and teachers won’t be using them to Facebook or Twitter or waste time on Youtube (like we do). I’m all for better teaching tools like electronics.
An Awesome post on Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing]´s blog … Yeah, Buddy.

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9 Kacey May 16, 2012 at 11:52 pm

My concern would be for the children whose parent’s cannot come up with $200 for a tablet and who will then have to deal with the stigma of being the kid who has to use the class Kindle. That seems like a crappy thing to do to kids who are already dealing with the awkwardness of early adolescence.

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10 Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] May 17, 2012 at 1:31 pm

It is crappy to think not everyone can afford to buy their kids a $200 tech tool, but with anything, we can’t protect them from everything and everyone.
An Awesome post on Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing]´s blog … Yeah, Buddy.

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11 Delicia May 17, 2012 at 2:20 pm

I don’t have a smart phone, and can’t even afford to buy *myself* this tech. I understand what you said in your post, and if I had to, yes I would somehow find the money to do this for my kid(s), but it would cause a serious financial hardship on us or borrowing the money from family.

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12 Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] May 18, 2012 at 11:28 am

We don’t have the money readily available either, but I’m willing to sacrifice and save and borrow for my daughter.
An Awesome post on Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing]´s blog … Yeah, Buddy.

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13 Al_Pal May 17, 2012 at 6:18 am

Was gonna comment, but I’ll send it to you privately!

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14 Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] May 17, 2012 at 1:33 pm

Got it, yo. Thanks for your concern. :)
An Awesome post on Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing]´s blog … Yeah, Buddy.

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15 Kelly C May 17, 2012 at 4:37 pm

I think it’s wonderful. I just feel bad for the parents who legit can’t pay for it. My child went to a public elementary school that required uniforms. Very specific uniforms that cost over $60 per outfit. And he needed at least 3 to make it through the week. Plus a gym uniform ($40). Then he also was required to bring in school supplies that totaled more than $100 per year. I always felt bad for the parents who couldn’t afford it. And the child who had to walk into the classroom empty handed. So, I can understand how some parents might be upset about having to pay $200 for a device that will more than likely crack,break, get stolen or will be lost at some point throughout the year.

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16 Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] May 18, 2012 at 11:27 am

Right, and I’m pretty sure that’s why they told us now so we have 3 months to figure out how to pay for the device. But there’s also the option to borrow from school, so no child will be left out.
An Awesome post on Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing]´s blog … Yeah, Buddy.

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17 Lori May 21, 2012 at 3:38 pm

“Now it’s just me and Patrick who surf the ‘net in our panties.” lolz

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18 icons pack October 8, 2012 at 1:44 pm

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