This school year was a bit different for us. For the past couple years, our school district was awarded grants for each student to have a computer of their own. My son started middle school, and on Meet the Teacher night, they handed out Chromebooks.
In the beginning, I wasn’t very happy that school seemed to be going completely digital. We have several computers at home, both laptops and desktops, and even chromebooks. I was worried about kids keeping up with it. It felt like such a hassle, but I’ve finally seen the light.
When my son got his computer, we’ve created a routine, so he can easily keep up with it. Here’s a few tips we’ve found helpful if your child is going digital this year:
- Create a charging station. In my son’s room, we’ve laid out a charging station where his phone and his Chromebook go to at bedtime. This way both are charged and ready to go the next day.
- Get a quality case. At my son’s school when they handed out computers, they did not issue cases, so we bought a tight fitting neoprene case. He chose one with handles like a briefcase, so it’s easy to carry from class to class.
- Unless it’s charging, keep it in the backpack. This way we aren’t on a last minute search when he needs it most.
- No food or drinks allowed! When my son is working on his Chromebook, he is not allowed to eat or drink. Spills are one of the easiest ways to break a computer, so we just avoid it.
What I love about the kids going digital at school:
- No more lugging home big textbooks. – My kids love using eBooks instead of textbooks. Not only are they easy to search, but the backpack is so much lighter this year! No back problems for kids!
- Homework can’t be forgotten at school. – With my older child, there were times I had to get her to school when the doors opened so she could get the homework left in a locker. Homework now is mostly on assignments in their Google docs.
- Homework is easy to turn in and marked done. – For this same reason, it makes homework easy to turn in digitally.
- Teachers are easier to contact. I love that teachers are so easy to reach with their school email going directly to their smartphones. When we’ve had a problem, I’ve easily been able to get in touch.
- They’re learning important computer skills for the 21st century. Using a computer on a daily basis for school work has made my kids much more tech savvy. They are learning how to find what they need.
When it comes to kids and learning, what do you think is more important? Available technology or quality teaching? Surprisingly, it varies a lot around the country. Some parts think one is more important than the other. I feel that both are equally important. Without one or the other, students can be missing out.
Growing up, I had a lot more access to technology than my peers. I grew up in the late 80s and early 90s, when the internet was still “bulletin boards” for the tech savvy. My father was an engineer and computer programmer, so I had the latest and greatest computers and technology. We had home computers for as long as I can remember.
When I became a mom, I found it important to teach my children how to use technology. All three of my kids are very tech savvy and have been using computers since they were toddlers. My 5 yr old can unlock a smartphone and work her apps like nobody’s business. And, I’m so proud that my tween and teen have become very good at researching and finding sources online for projects and papers.
Children need a good foundation with quality teaching, but they also need easy access to the latest technology. If a good foundation with quality teaching is not there, technology doesn’t always make up for that deficit.
Looking for more great #FallBackToSchool ideas? Click HERE! Don’t forget to share your favorite back to school tips with @FollettNews on Twitter and @FollettCorporation on Facebook!