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I worried when my daughter entered 5th grade and would need an iPad. It seems no one made a plan on how to use them and it's up to the teachers. My nephew's teacher had the kids use theirs to keep them busy if they finished an assignment early. That is the only time he used it. My daughter uses hers all the time, even to communicate with the kids in her class, instead of just talking with them. I see some benefits, but the majority of her apps are flashcard apps, which isn't worth the $500 we paid. They also play with them during inside recess, instead of playing with friends. In addition, they have weekly contests on who can spend the most time on a math flashcard-type app. It sends the results to the teacher and the kids with the most time gets a soda in class. She spends every chance she gets on it, trying to win. I know her screen time has dramatically increased, since she's on it almost all day at school. She even has to take it to music class! On top of that, she's very responsible, but even she has left it somewhere by accident once and we thought it was lost forever. My son will be entering 1st grade next year. He is a sweet boy, but he's already broken one backpack and lost 5 pairs of mittens. He forgets his lunchbox once a week. He goes in the other room to get his homework, gets distracted, and brings back a toy. He is just not responsible enough to care for an iPad right now and every day it gets closer to the day where I'm required to buy him one. If we make it through the year with that tablet not lost or broken, it will be a miracle. I'll have to buy my soon 4th grader one too. We already have one of the highest book fees, which did not lower with the addition of iPads as promised, and now we'll have to buy or rent iPads on top of that, on top of supplies, school photos that happen when school starts, and other fees they hit us with at the begining of the year. It's too much. If they want to require them for Intermediate School and older, I am not thrilled, but I can accept that. However, I do not think the elementary school kids should be required to have them. I hate that we were never asked, but told. The first survey they sent did not say "do you thing we should add this program?". It said, "Would you buy or rent?". I feel like they started it with a "it's happening and we don't care about your opinion" message to parents and continue to send the same message every time someone questions it.

Scott Montgomery, Fishers, IN
2 years ago
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