School Issued iPads
iPads in the classrooms has been a wonderful addition to the learning experience.
This is our 3rd and by far the most chaotic year with this iPad program. When my daughter was in the 4th grade, the school system decided to start issuing school provided iPads. There was a fee to pay (insurance) to allow your child to bring the iPad home without worrying about it being broken. The fee would be your insurance to cover a replacement of something should happen throughout the year.
I paid the fee the first year and the iPad sat in her room unused and on the charger nightly. She primarily used it in school but since I paid the fee was burdened with having to lug the thing back and forth to school. So the following year, I opted out of the fee and she just used it in school when the class worked on assignments. There was absolutely no difference between her bringing it home and leaving it there. Her grades remained consistent.
This year, middle school wasn’t so straight forward. They didn’t include the paper to sign and return along with all the beginning of the year paper work. Instead they decided to have all parents watch a video online, sign a paper, and bring it in to the school. All parents were crammed into this one room with two long lines in front of a table of three women taking paperwork and checks. In a separate room attached to the right of the entry door was a computer room with parents watching the video or waiting for a computer to be available. There seemed to be no order. Parents and teachers seemed so annoyed. After standing in line with a mixture of parents who were paying the fee, had questions, or just wanted to drop the paper off like me, I finally was able to hand the woman at the table my paper and leave out of that room full of chaos.
Here’s a few helpful hints I learned:
1) If your child’s teacher says all their work is web-based, more than likely they don’t need to bring the iPad home. They can sign on anywhere (home laptop or any personal device they have with Internet). Save your money and time by opting out of taking it home.
2) If possible, be prepared by printing out any forms beforehand, fill them out at home, and bring them with you. Since they are pushing more of a web-based learning, they probably will have everything you need online.
3) Make sure to have your child make a list of all school websites along with the usernames and passwords. they will need throughout the year posted in their homework area. This will reduce their anxiety by having this reference page at home.