opinions on computers

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by klmno, Aug 29, 2008.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    difficult child's school district "gives" students ibooks to use for the school year (6, 7, & 8th grades). Parents sign a form and pay an "insurance" premium of $50 per year. difficult child had problems with it the first year because he was going on websites that were not allowed. This cost him a couple of suspensions from school. Last year, he did fine with it until spring when he and his friend were trying to take certain chips out then put them back in- apparently, difficult child lost control and beet the insides of his- ruining a chip. Then, they were horsing around later that night and difficult child accidently hit the screen and cracked it. That entire incident cost difficult child an arrest and me about $900. now, personally, I feel that giving these kids these ibooks at this age is worse than handing my difficult child a $1000 bill. And I am not too happy about being legally and financially responsible for it (I would not have given him something so expensive and expect him to walk around with it and take care of it at this age) and I am not happy about the fact that if he doesn't show the same responsibility with it as an adult would that he can (and has) get arrested.

    I was just wondering about the opinions of other parents. And, if you wouldn't be comfortable about your difficult child being given this, while the school treats the kid like they have to have it yet they make the parent responsible- how would you handle it? I have brought up to difficult child tongiht that I might not sign that paper "allowing " him to get one or accepting responsibility or pay the fee this year. He is irate over it- although I am more upset with the school than him about it at this point. I held him responsible and paid for one and he has been punished legally and at home for it. Fine.

    And I think it is great that the kids have this opportunity- however, if it is a requirement, then the school should take responsibility. If it is an option, then difficult child shouldn't be treated differently because he doesn't get one. If it's such a great idea, then why do I feel like most kids this age are not ready to handle an expensive piece of electronics that connects them to the world I'm supposed to protect him from? (They aren't just used at school- they assign one to each kid at the beginning of the school year and the kid has it until the end of the school year- unless they do something wrong, then they get it taken away, get suspended, and the parent has to pay for any/all damage).

    Suggestions?? Opinions??
  2. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    If you paid insurance, why did you have to pay for damages? It's insane to give kids his age an i-book. The insurance policy for this situation should be written to cover "Stupid Kid Stuff". Personally, I'd tell them "thanks, but no thanks" if they tried to give him one again.
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I wondered that too, Witz- I guess the insurance covers accidents and theft but not a "difficult child losing it".
  4. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    I hate the fact that our society wants instant computerization in all aspects of life. I think that 6th, 7th, and 8th graders need the time to learn how to use a library before searching for materials on the internet.
    Their research should be via the library.

    A computer lab should be used for in classroom learning. - No home work in that area because not everyone has a computer. I don't think schools should be requiring one - they should also not be "borrowing" them out either. Computers are so expensive - if parents wanted to spend money on one, they would have bought one.

    Kids can be taught computer skills without having one at home - that is what computer labs are for.
  5. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I have had computer problems with our school district with Wiz. Now, mind you, our district does not give the kids laptop computers - heck even our TEACHERS don't get laptops!

    Wiz did have an alphasmart (handheld very durable computer that had no internet ability) and came close to damaging that. we did NOT pay a fee to use this, and only would have paid if the damage was intentional. Wiz KNEW that we would NOT shield him if we even thought for a second that he intentionally damaged it. Most parents are nto like this, at least not here.

    I DID do everything to refuse internet access to Wiz in middle school. The teachers ALL insisted that this placed a SEVERE hardship on them - 3 even told me in person that they simply could not teach him if he couldn't go online. (I actually walked one teacher into the library to show her 22yo self the encyclopedia - she had NO IDEA that you could look up information in one!!!!)

    So the school/teachers may well put pressure on your son and yourself about difficult child not having the computer. You will also hear the "everyone else has it - he will feel so different" argument that we heard. I reacted with different is good. We LIKE different. (Jeez, is it any wonder they didn't like me much???LOL!!)

    I can see that teaching is a rough, tough, labor intensive and thankless way to earn a living. I CAN'T see that kids NEED ibooks to learn. I don't even think they NEED teh internet. It is nice. It can be helpful. But it isn't NEEDED.

    I would INSIST on something in writing signed by the principal AND superintendent to the effect that NO charges of any kind will be pressed against your child and that NO fees of any kind past the $50 will be assessed or tehre would be NO ibook unless my kid paid for it up front and WE OWNED IT.

    You are going to get a LOT of grief from difficult child and the other kids. You iwll even have kids who are mad at difficult child try to say he damaged their computers. This does seem to happen. It is also why kids should have desktop computers to USE - not laptops to take home. If they need a laptop capability, then they need to use something VERY durable like an alphasmart. in my humble opinion kids even in high school are jsut not ready for this financial burden.

    I think this is an unfair burden for the school to put on parents. Esp because kids DO have accidents. I think taking chips out goes WAY above and beyond what teh school expected, but I think your child was far from the only child to try it. If they insist on him having a computer - you should insist THEY shoulder ALL responsibility. Especially with all the strikes against him that your difficult child has.
  6. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member

    I'm puzzled as to why there's insurance also if it doesn't cover such things. The Sup. for the SD I work for is determined that all students have laptops. That includes elementary. The program is called 24/7 and there are many advantages of laptop use in education. I know for many of us who are not "digital natives" it seems excessive, expensive, and frankly unnecessary. However, that IS the direction education is going. It's merely a reflection of where society is going as a whole.

    This is coming from a total book nut librarian who is a fanatic about students using the library. Most SDs subscribe to online databases and encylopedias now. It's much cheaper and much easier to keep up on the latest information . New sets of encyclopedias are VERY expensive. I never purchased one for my library and the one from 2003 that I do have is very rarely used.

    However, I do believe in students being able to access information through books in the library. Both sources are necessary.

    At this point, my school does not have 24/7 laptops-the principal declined to participate in the program as it was not manditory. Her primary reason was loss and damage. MOST of our students do not have home computers due to economic hardship and certainly could not pay to replace an Ibook. Plus, I have a hard enough time keeping students from trashing the library books. I can't even imagine what would happen to laptops. Though, all the teachers have Ibooks with smartboards in their classrooms. They're cool. I'm trying to score one for my new library!