Invoke: School laptops
Op-Ed · February 08, 2013

On Facebook: How are the school laptops for 5th-12th grade working out? Are students doing better with their homework? Are filters working? Are students distracted by Skype, gaming, etc.?
Carrie Lentner: Skype, Facetime, etc. are of no usable purpose for school work. I personally do not feel the middle school kids need laptops. High school, yes. Middle school, no.

Rhonda Leith: My daughter's keyboard died the second week of school. The school gave her a loaner while hers was sent in for repairs. However, the loaner didn't have the software needed for her show choir class so she couldn't complete the assignment and was given a failing grade. It wasn't until I went in and spoke to the principal that it was marked incomplete and not failing. I've not seen a great deal of homework being done on it. However, I do hear a lot about Skyping and "Fun Run". 1 Like

Joan Vaughan Donovan: The kids use Skype and FaceTime to work on group projects. It certainly beats driving them all over! 2 Likes

Jessen Namer: The laptops are a huge distraction! All social networks should be excluded from the net on the laptops and used strictly for school work. When I can see that kids are Skypeing and using Facebook throughout the school day, it truly makes me wonder what they are learning. 2 Likes

Terry Andrew: Well, let's see: As a parent I think the laptops are great and I don't understand why the school is supplying them when it could be used for something else. And one thing good from it: They can do school work and stay in touch with their friends, and I think they're learning in school, but what happens to hands-on learning and working with the students' hands on? I just don't get it. 2 Likes

Molly Meeks: Jessen Namer hit the nail on the head!! I think someone on the staff needs to be checking the history on these laptops. That will tell you how much time was spent on homework. All the social stuff needs to be removed from the laptops.

Amanda Regennitter: I am not sure how any of the kids are getting on Facebook since the filters block it. I have tried to get on Facebook on my son's computer and it will not work. I feel they are a good thing since there are some things that my son couldn't do on our laptop since the school uses Macs.

Rhonda Leith: But why does our school system use Macs? I've heard time and time again one of the reasons for these laptops is to prepare our students for "the real world". I live and work in the real world and have yet to encounter a Mac 1 Like

Carrie Lentner: Let's get these kids ready for the real world by teaching them to balance a check book. Stress how important a good credit rating is and how to be accountable and responsible for their actions.

Charles Harbour: Hey! You kids get offa my lawn! Lots of grumpiness here. Part of the new culture is using electronics to solve problems, and the 'face time' provided by Skype actually helps create (in business terms) an instant meeting. Do they mostly chat and gossip? Sure, but they're also learning how to reach out, how to involve others, how to research real life problems on the Web, which is a huge shift from when dinosaurs roamed the earth and I was in grade school. As far as the Macs go, last statistic I saw was that something like 80 percent of all tablets were iPads (which will eventually replace all but the most serious laptops). Plus, Apple gives huge discounts to schools that none of the "Wintel" manufacturers do. So, my opinion is that this is a great program (albeit with some bumps like the loaner), and am thankful to whomever did all of the homework to make it happen. 1 Like.

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