Recurrent Family Christmas Shit Cycle) and the leaving work/crazy shit.
While I may be a bit sceptical about ipads coming from a staunch PC/Android family, I do see enormous benefits in a one to one ipad program for our school. However I have some very serious concerns about the way the program has been rolled out and the equity issue. After raising the matter with the school, I was told that having her own ipad would accelerate my child’s learning but when I mentioned that we may not be able to afford one without forgoing something else (I have just left my job - so funds are being carefully monitored) I was then told that she could use a class set but it was made pretty clear to me that this is definitely a second best option and that should extra money become available, I should then purchase an ipad for her. No sensitivity was shown concerning my current situation and it was all very awkward and tense. Later when I thought about it, I thought equity schmequity.I'm interested to know if there are any other one to one ipad programs in other primary schools? Do they have models where some kids have their own ipads 24/7 and some kids use the school ipads in class? I haven't even touched on the issues around whether ipads are the right technology and whether primary school children need to be that immersed. This model just seems so unfair to me. Especially without an honest discussion about the issues.
All the DEECD material I have read makes it clear that an ipad is a personal device and that the best results come when students have their own personal ipad. This appears to be what the school is aiming for. But what of the kids that don’t get their own ipad? What of kids who don’t have access at home, who don’t have all their work loaded up on their own personal ipad? Will their learning be accelerated in the same way? I suspect you can’t have it both ways. How are kids going to feel using the bank of school ipads when other kids have their own personalised ipads? What if there are say three students in each class who don’t get their own ipad? Will they and their families feel a bit second best, a bit not advantaged? Is that we really want in our State school? At the end of the day we could buy an ipad for Grace if all the other kids have one but there may be families who might not be in that position. In the job that I have just left, I regularly saw families from this area (including working families) choosing whether to spend their money on food OR rent (which is now hideously expensive around here). The EMA and school kids bonus would just disappear into keeping the household afloat. People may not show it (and they shouldn’t have to) but for some these are hard times. Just because you are poor shouldn’t mean that your child gets a second best education.
What I would like is for our school community to have a genuine, honest and non-shaming discussion around equity and the other issues people have raised. We might not come up with the perfect solution but I think we can do better than this model as it stands. I think if we are serious about having a one to one ipad program then it should be just that. Every kid gets one, end of story. We could look at different model such as the one at Moreland PS (it is compulsory and the school owns the laptops and leases them to families), and I’m sure there are other things we could come up with. There could also be special behind the scenes arrangements made where necessary.
So there you go Christmas Mc Crankypants. Hopefully I'll find some joy in the season soon - I usually do, even if it is a bit last minute. We're going on the annual family excursion to Norflands this afternoon, and you know, I just can't wait.