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Old 02-11-2011, 08:04 AM
 
748 posts, read 1,763,935 times
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I want to find out what other parents think about the laptop situation.
When we moved here last Summer and started meeting neighbors, they were outraged and disgusted about the laptops, and we couldn't figure out why.

Our kids just brought home horrible report cards. 100% of their work is on those %#^@$ laptops. My 12-year-old can't remember how to write cursive.

The idea was that we could check online to see what assignments the kids have. Problem is, this only works if the teachers do their job and put the stuff out there, which they don't. If our kids tell us they don't have homework, and we check the website and there are no assignments listed, what are we supposed to do?

I've talked to people at work who were so disgusted with MGS that they pulled their kids out and now homeschool. We can't do that. We need to figure out how to work with the system to make sure our kids are learning, not just staring at that screen.

I'm so tired of seeing my kids bathed in that white light rather than sitting at a table with a good old fashioned #2 pencil.
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Old 02-11-2011, 11:42 AM
 
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I live in CA and my kids have been carrying laptops since 3rd grade, now in 7th and 9th. Although not perfect, the benefits definately have outweighed the negative. We were 1 of 3 elementary schools that fed into 1 middle school. Although all the elementary schools had the laptop program our school used it the most. Our students consistently scored higher on tests and were just in a different mindset. I think they were challenged in this area and it overflowed into other areas of their education. We also had excellent leadership and great teachers, so that didn't hurt. Also we had to BUY our laptops, which was voluntary, but most did. From what I understand yours are provided by the school district, if so, you're very lucky. The one negative was their cursive writing suffered but it is something that can be worked on. If that's the worst of it, we can live with it. Shame on the teachers for not updating regularly. We have the same problems sometimes in the high school, middle school was great and elementary was not required. All in all we have had a good experience. Give it some time to work out the kinks. Also, "bathing in the white light", that too shall fade. The newness will wear off.
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Old 02-11-2011, 12:29 PM
 
Location: Near the water
8,237 posts, read 13,454,199 times
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I have a friend who has two boys in a M'ville IB school and she has struggled with many of the things you listed. She has complained and complained, conference after conference and even offered to volunteer to help them with things such as getting assignments uploaded online and she was told "no thanks", and after continuing to let them know that there are issues she was told perhaps "that the school wasn't for her or her children." She ended up going to the board, got some satisfaction but there are still issues.
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Old 02-11-2011, 01:10 PM
 
Location: Wouldn't you like to know?
9,116 posts, read 17,648,168 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobosCurse View Post
The idea was that we could check online to see what assignments the kids have. Problem is, this only works if the teachers do their job and put the stuff out there, which they don't. If our kids tell us they don't have homework, and we check the website and there are no assignments listed, what are we supposed to do?

.

Very simple, you goto the principal and don't leave until you get confirmation that the teachers will do what you want them to do.

If you get any resistance from the principal, you goto the superintendent...

Be the demanding squeaky wheel....that's how you get things done.
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Old 02-11-2011, 01:58 PM
 
748 posts, read 1,763,935 times
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We're going to put together this weekend what we need to say to the principal about this.
My wife and I are both beside ourselves over the situation.

I have a feeling there are huge kickbacks from Apple, but then I'm cynical.

Computers are perfect as an augmentation to traditional education, but it's just wrong to be totally helpless if your battery dies.
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Old 02-11-2011, 04:54 PM
 
364 posts, read 1,162,909 times
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I have heard great things about that district's 1:1 laptop program so I am surprised to read here about the negatives! We just started in UCPS with our own 1:1 laptop program. The students don't use these everyday, but there are advantages to having more resources available for differentiated instruction. I think our world is a techno-world. I think it is beneficial for students to learn to use techonology at an early age and when you incorporate that with higher level thinking- that is when kids grow by leaps and bounds! No, the system isn't perfect. But, I am a teacher and I do update my webpage daily so my students always know what the homework is- I am surprised that is an issue!

About the cursive, this is not in the formal curriculum and thus not taught (often). This can go to the demands and pressures of standardized testing. The demands are on reading so spelling and writing don't always get the focus they need- this isn't a technology issue, but an issue every teacher faces when so much of funding is reliant upon standardized test scores.

You mentioned, "staring at a screen"- is this at school/home/both? Can you look at the websites, etc. to see for yourself what is being taught/learned. I don't doubt that there are terrible teachers out there who may tell kids- "go play on www. abc.com" But, I have yet to know one. Most teachers spend ridiculous amounts of time planning and designing lessons they think will benefit their students. I am sure there are exceptions (I have heard stories), but overall there is a reason to the madness per say.

The best advice I could give is to log/journal what you have seen you child doing with the laptops at home (or what they say they did in school) and bring that to the conference. Then you can inquire about the effectiveness of what you see meeting the curriculum guidelines. I do say, you will catch more flies with honey- so just bring as much "evidence" as you can about the issue you see, and see what they have to say about that!
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Old 02-11-2011, 04:59 PM
 
Location: The canyon (with my pistols and knife)
14,169 posts, read 22,587,501 times
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The kids are gonna download porno and then break the computers after they get overrun with malware.
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Old 02-11-2011, 05:17 PM
 
364 posts, read 1,162,909 times
Reputation: 95
Proper security measures will prevent this (as well as monitoring at home!)......
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Old 02-12-2011, 09:39 AM
 
Location: Charlotte, NC
11,839 posts, read 28,800,514 times
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Don't forget that the school can probably spy on the kids at home as well.
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Old 02-17-2011, 07:41 AM
 
748 posts, read 1,763,935 times
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My son brought home a 25% on his Algebra quiz yesterday. He said he had asked the teacher for help several times because he didn't understand, but she didn't have time.

We're now seriously considering home schooling. My wife has immersed herself in researching it and I know some people at work who do it and love it. We're going to gather as much info as we can. It's a big decision. I hear this area has a great support network for home schooling.
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