iPads in school? - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
 
Thread Tools
#1 of 8 Old 09-03-2011, 07:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
VocalMinority's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: surrounded by testosterone
Posts: 1,314
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)

 

Cross-posted in "Parenting Teens" and "Blended Families"

 

We have a new dilemma in our blended family:  the iPad.

 

My biological sons (twins, freshmen in HS) have "Non-Verbal Learning Disabilities" (which, similar to Aspergers, puts them on the Autism spectrum) + vision and fine motor issues.  They're allowed to use assistive technology in school.  The original agreement with the high school (at the end of last year), was:

* As many of their textbooks as possible would be loaded on the Kindles their paternal grandmother gave them two Christmases ago (Kindles can blow up the font size of text);

* Much of their writing and note-taking could be done with Neos.  Those are small, portable word processors (updated AlphaSmarts, if you're familiar with those).  They're relatively cheap (~$170 new, or $50-$100 used) and offer the basic convenience of a laptop, without any of the sexiness.  There are only 4 lines of visible text, no graphics, no internet access.  (No distractions!)

 

Then, at the beginning of this year, the Vision Specialist threw a wrench in the works, by telling me (in front of them and my ex, their Dad) that the public school system (which she works for, although the twins attend a Catholic school) could provide them iPads!  She also went on about how the kids all think those are so cool and prefer them to the Neos.  Lovely.

 

Let's skim right over the fact that I was originally told the school system could not provide Neos, so I bought those myself.  (But they can provide iPads?!?!?!?)

 

My objections to the iPads - reasonable or not (please comment!) - are as follows:

 

1- The twins have a pretty normal, middle-class upbringing, with me.  In all fairness, I guess I'm more back-to-basics than the norm.  Our microwave broke and we realized we can live without it.  Same with the coffee maker - now we make coffee the old-fashioned way.  Our electronic stove broke and we replaced it with a beautiful 1940's gas unit, without an automatic pilot.  Our a/c broke and we realized that, in our well-shaded, well-ventilated house, we really only need to turn on its replacement when it's over 90 degrees.  We only buy used cars and drive them 'til they die...partly on principle.  You get the picture.

 

DH and I both use computers heavily, but have only owned used laptops, until we got super-cheap deals on our current, new ones.  The twins and my step-son (12, lives with us) shared a desktop unit, until DSS's grandmother bought him a netbook (cheap, as laptops go).  Then DH and I found good deals and bought the twins a netbook to share, for their birthday; and a 2nd one, for their next birthday.  So now all 3 kids have their own, rather basic computer.  I would really like a tablet computer like the iPad, but we planned to wait a couple years, until prices fall under $200, for me to get one.

 

I don't like kids feeling entitled to have the latest technology - or to own expensive things their parents can't even afford to buy for themselves.  I don't like buying kids things like laptop computers (even cheap ones) - which the kids know were a financial sacrifice, and something special...then replacing them with something more exciting only a year or so later.  

 

My ex grew up wealthy, with busy parents who bought him anything he wanted.  I distinctly remember when we were in our early twenties, with infant twins.  He had a great job, compared to most of our friends.  We had a nicer apartment than most of our friends and two cars - one was even very nice, and new.  We had fabulous health insurance at a stage of life when most of our friends were uninsured.  But we couldn't afford a digital camera when they first came out and cost $800.  My ex was too sensible to have bought one, anyway, while the early technological kinks were still being worked out.  But the knowledge that he couldn't walk into a store and buy one, had he wanted to rendered him depressed, moping on the couch, for at least a week!  I don't want my kids to wind up like that!!!!!  Since we broke up, their Dad appears to have become much wealthier than his parents, and there's the definite potential of the twins growing up just like he did.  Thankfully, my ex is considerate, when I ask him to refrain from buying them things.  I try not to take advantage of that and be too controlling.  But I did ask him not to buy them iPads yet, and he hasn't.

 

2- DSS is drooling for an iPad.  It seems horrendously unfair, to me, to let the twins have them (ostensibly because they "need" them, for school) and not to get DSS one.  DSS has his own issues, with entitlement.  There's a lot of bitterness and competition from his mother, who lives far away and does her best to try to sway DSS to announce that he'd prefer to live with her, in part by buying him all the latest stuff.  In the past, for example, we have refrained from buying DSS an iPod Touch for his birthday, because 6 months before his had Mom given him an iPod Nano and we didn't want to be competitive, or replace her special gift.  Then she bought him a Touch!  I don't want to feel - or have DSS or anyone else think - that we're actively trying to win that competition.  I don't think it's a competition parents should ever engage in, as it creates spoiled kids with unrealistic expectations for their future lives, when they're supporting themselves.

 

3- The twins really love technology, Facebook, etc.  I do worry that having anything "cool" or that seems like a full-fledged computer, in school, would be distracting.  And getting through high school is going to be a lot of work for them, as it is.

 

So, if you read this long thing, what do you think?  Am I wrong to consider DSS, in making decisions about the twins' assistive technology?  Should I be giving more weight to how having something "cool" at school might bolster the twins' attitude about learning and help them, socially?  Am I simply a nutty, old-fashioned killjoy?


One woman in a house full of men:  my soul mate:    or... twin sons:(HS seniors) ... step-son:  (a sophomore) ... our little man:   (a first grader) ... and there is another female in the house, after all:  our
VocalMinority is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
#2 of 8 Old 09-05-2011, 08:00 PM
 
Butterflykate's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Posts: 38
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We are having this issue now, a little different... but the school added ipad-2 to the stationary lists for all students this year in the year level mine are in.

I am against i-pads due to the working conditions of the factories they were made in, in which the workers committed suicide. In fact they now built a safety net surrounding the work-place so people can stop throwing themselves off the building. I refuse to buy something that may have driven the people who made it to such desperate actions.

Anyway, the school is telling me that if I refuse then I would be creating great difficulty for them, with the hidden message I should be home-schooling.

I already suggested alternatives to the ipad-2, but to no luck with the school...

I think in a few years we are going to see another type of school pop up. Right now we have religious schools, public schools, co-ed, single-sex schools... and I am sure it won't be long before we have technology independent schools where the students use technology but will not become dependent upon it.

My greatest fear from this push from schools for the i-pads is that the children will then not learn how to function or cope without them... Technology changes. What happens to these children... when how they use to work everything out is changed. I remember how much trouble I had going from Windows xp to Vista,and then to windows 7. Having them relearn a system every 5 years may be difficult..

Your within your right to say no, for whatever reasons. Just remember to be straight forward with the school.

Well that is my rant for the day, back to lurking smile.gif
Butterflykate is offline  
#3 of 8 Old 09-06-2011, 06:52 AM
 
karne's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 3,558
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

Re: the above poster, I think many people share the concern of quickly evolving (thus quickly outdated) forms of technology, etc.  However, for kids w/SN, LD's, technology can allow them to access information, communicate, or keep up with their peers in a way that is worth considering.  Technology is a part of our children's lives...it's a big part of my life, and I don't consider myself overly invested in technology!

karne is offline  
#4 of 8 Old 09-06-2011, 05:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
VocalMinority's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: surrounded by testosterone
Posts: 1,314
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)


Quote:
Originally Posted by Butterflykate View Post

We are having this issue now, a little different... but the school added ipad-2 to the stationary lists for all students this year in the year level mine are in.

I am against i-pads due to the working conditions of the factories they were made in, in which the workers committed suicide. In fact they now built a safety net surrounding the work-place so people can stop throwing themselves off the building. I refuse to buy something that may have driven the people who made it to such desperate actions.

Anyway, the school is telling me that if I refuse then I would be creating great difficulty for them, with the hidden message I should be home-schooling.

I already suggested alternatives to the ipad-2, but to no luck with the school...

I think in a few years we are going to see another type of school pop up. Right now we have religious schools, public schools, co-ed, single-sex schools... and I am sure it won't be long before we have technology independent schools where the students use technology but will not become dependent upon it.

My greatest fear from this push from schools for the i-pads is that the children will then not learn how to function or cope without them... Technology changes. What happens to these children... when how they use to work everything out is changed. I remember how much trouble I had going from Windows xp to Vista,and then to windows 7. Having them relearn a system every 5 years may be difficult..

Your within your right to say no, for whatever reasons. Just remember to be straight forward with the school.

Well that is my rant for the day, back to lurking smile.gif


My kids are dying to know what school this is, where the iPad 2 is required!?

 


One woman in a house full of men:  my soul mate:    or... twin sons:(HS seniors) ... step-son:  (a sophomore) ... our little man:   (a first grader) ... and there is another female in the house, after all:  our
VocalMinority is offline  
#5 of 8 Old 09-08-2011, 07:16 AM
 
DaughterOfKali's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: New England
Posts: 12,203
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I replied on your other thread.


Independent Consultant- Thirty One Gifts www.mythirtyone.com/ShopLiz

Origami Owl http://lizcioci.origamiowl.com

DaughterOfKali is offline  
#6 of 8 Old 09-09-2011, 04:41 PM
 
beachcomber's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Vancouver Island, Canada
Posts: 1,441
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

I think you make logical arguments against allowing your twins to have iPads. They don't need them. They have all the technology they require to do well in their classes and at home. Your stepson would feel totally left out. The twins should not feel entitled to the latest and greatest just because, if you get what I mean. It's all reasonable. If they didn't have anything else or needed specific apps only available on iPads, it'd be different but ... I'm not seeing that.


Weary SuperMama superhero.gifto my  amazing neurodiverse 6 y.o. DD hearts.gif and to my on-the-go neurotypical 3 y.o. DS wild.gif

beachcomber is offline  
#7 of 8 Old 09-09-2011, 09:04 PM
DBZ
 
DBZ's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 3,781
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

That is crazy that any school would require an iPad.

 

If an iPad could do stuff that other things could not do, then I would get it, if i had the means. My daughter is 3, has cerebral palsy and is non-verbal. Everyone keeps telling me to get an iPad. Well I can't. She is going to get some older technology machine to help her. The only complaint I have heard about when it comes to special needs is replacing it, if it gets broken or stolen.


Kara, single mom of 4 girls (5, 8, 16 and 19) crochetsmilie.gif
Kids have strokes too! superhero.gif 

DBZ is offline  
#8 of 8 Old 09-19-2011, 10:06 PM
 
forumyonly1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Mesa, AZ
Posts: 511
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)

i have absolutely no room to talk.. because my 6 year old has an ipad... but he is completely non verbal it has done AMAZING things for him.. we bought a refurbished ipad for 350... and to hear my son say words i've NEVER heard him say before?? to watch him do math and spelling things that i would have never known he could understand? completley priceless! i would work 3 jobs to pay for it if i had to..  my son has severe autism and doesnt understand the value of different objects..   if you dont feel it would benefit your sons.. there is no reason to get it...  if you do , but dont want them to just be handed them.. make them work for it! set up a job chart with different dollar values and let them earn it.. might be beneficial for them to learn the value of things and still get the benefits of the ipad! just a thought!  do what is best for your family.. dont let any one pressure you one way or the other!


Amanda~ mommy to Brayden (06/05), Noah (08/07), Alex (11/08), Lucy (09/10) and Kara (10/12)
forumyonly1 is offline  
Reply

User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off