There is growing use of laptops and tablets in schools for some parents like Meaghan Edwards; this is not the right path as it is turning children into little zombies. Meaghan, whose kids attended school in Austin’s Eanes Independent School District, recollects how, when a teacher asked for children to have free time before lunch, all of them turned out to their iPads.
Growing usage of laptops and iPads in schools
Schools have been spending significantly to ensure that each student has access to a laptop or tablet as early as from kindergarten. For instance, Fairfax County Public Schools, which is the largest district in Virginia, indicated last year that it planned to offer students Dell laptops as from third grade. Equally less wealthy schools have been issued bonds to purchase laptops, Chromebooks, and iPads.
However, some parents in places where the program is running are calling for a scale back. They have indicated that the devices are negatively affecting how children learn. Parents are calling for schools to eliminate or minimize the use of laptops and iPads by offering alternative “low screen” classwork. They are against kids being glued to screens, and some have even taken steps to transfer their kids to schools not infatuated with technology.
Call for guidelines for the use of digital devices in school
Maryland education and health officials have provided guidelines regarding the use of digital devices in school. The guidelines include having the kids take eye and stretch breaks as well as encouraging educators to provide collaborative learning tasks on and off the iPads and laptops. Similarly, legislators in Virginia are considering the same move of having medical professionals set guidelines regarding the use of digital devices in schools.
For the parents who are calling for a scale back, they feel like the use of the devices is eroding the classroom instructions and thus weakening skills such as handwriting and math. For others, the use of the devices has medical implications in that it is damaging the eyes of kids and posture.