Rich kid vs Poor Kid

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Today I picked Charlotte up from archery and the first thing she says when she gets in the car is “I can bring the iPad to school!!”

I’m like…uh, no.

She gets all “WHY NOT???! We are using it the classroom.”

Me...uh, no.

Turns out she is right. They sent home this letter letting parents know that now she can take her iPad to school.

technology at school

I get that technology is important for our kids.

I use it in my daily life and work. My kids are exposed to it on a learning and gaming level. And I don’t expect her school to put forth money to purchase a tablet for every kid. But why exactly should I provide one for her to go to school with in the THIRD grade? In my experience an iPad breaks easily and is a serious contender for theft. Charlotte rides the bus in the morning with more than just elementary school kids. She stands at the bus stop with high school kids and while I am not jumping to the conclusion that one would steal her backpack or iPad, it definitely makes her a target.

Aside from all of that, the hard truth is that I realize our family is unique in that I work in technology and have an abundance of it. We already equalize the schools with uniforms, so handing Charlotte a $600 tablet in the 3rd grade is like telling every other kid in the classroom her parents income.

What about the kid next to her that is on subsidized lunches or the ones on the 4th hand me down pants? We do not live in an affluent area so I can imagine this “new rule” will just lend to segregate rather than inspire.

What say you?


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  1. Tammy S says

    I think it is just ridiculous! I think that if the school wants them to have tablets to use for a project then they should do it during a technology class. I have very tech savvy kids who use their devices for most everything in school. But we are talking middle school or high school when they should be using these. I would never let my daughter go to school with at iPad in 3rd grade or any grade at elementary school. I would have a hard time with it in middle school.

  2. Career mom says

    As a woman that went to college for computing and a mom of 2, I say if you can afford the technology for your kids, get it for them. Jobs in technology are rising and honestly from the hiring that I do, America lacks enough qualified candidates for these jobs. But if you are not going to monitor the apps they use, get then involved in the development process of apps and all the technical aspects that go into the tablet then forget it. Carrying around a tablet to play games in third grade is then useless. My kids both have one and they are 6 and 18 months. My 18 month old is amazing on it and has all educational apps. My kids are not allowed to have gaming systems just iPads and they don’t take the iPads to school yet. They could because i bought cases for them thst are age appropriate. Technology is what you make of it.

    • Joe says

      I think you missed the thrust of this piece here. I don’t believe Trish is talking about affording or denying opportunity for *your* kids, but rather a concern over socio-economic segregation between *all* the kids at school. It isn’t about whether or not your kids have or use technology, but rather whether or not they should flash it around school. I can understand that your concern, and therefore your interpretation, is going to be centered on *your* kids -that is the sign of being a good parent! However, also having some concern about your children’s cohorts, classmates, eventual friends and enemies, social climates, and self-understanding and wisdom is the sign of being a GREAT parent.

      That being said, I think teaching sharing, understanding, and acceptance would be even better options than restricting possible educational opportunities. “Poor” doesn’t have to be an emotional / moral insult or a blow to self-esteem. I was born into a poor family, and still am rather poor myself! We didn’t have ipads back when I was in school, and schoolmates were very adept at observing my (and my friends’) socioeconomic status anyway -through clothes, school supply branding, toys, lunches, etc… If a kid wants to be snotty about money, they will already have a pretty well refined “radar” for it. This is more a concern of parenting and social climate than any electronic device, IMO. And to explicitly point out, socio-economic segregation has always been there. Some classmates didn’t care, some shared what they had, some teased, avoided, or even got into fights over it. Again, this is parenting at work -not that the more sensitive or superior students had bad parents, but the issue of money can be uncomfortable and “under-cover” -definitely not as in your face as many other parenting issues, so it is often forgotten or unaddressed, which makes it open season for kids trying to establish social hierarchy and identity.

      So, while I do agree with what I think you were trying to say, I also agree with Trish’s completely valid and necessary concerns.