as a River Valley High School student, I am embarrassed to find out that a shouting match erupted between a parent and the school authorities — over the use of the iPad in class.
You know one of those face-palm moments where your parents treated you like a baby even though you’re a 16-year-old adult? Yep, that was one of those moments.
Parents are, generally, a stupid bunch. They are clueless about technology.
I wasn’t there at the teacher-parent meeting, but I saw Bryna Sim’s article about the whole incident.
The ludicrous comments from some parents just confirmed my prejudices.
One questioned whether introducing the iPad would really improve learning.
Hell yeah. Give me a textbook with videos and step-by-step animation anytime. These nice touches make difficult concepts easier to understand. Plus there’s always the Internet.
The awesome iPad is also much lighter. Primary School kids would benefit the most. I really pity my little sister: The bag she carries looks bigger than my elder brother’s army fieldpack. Imagine carrying that to school everyday.
Another commented: “The school is already doing so well without iPads. There is really no need to introduce it.”
That person needs a knock on the head.
Technology is the future. The faster we get familiarized with technology, the better prepared we are for the Information economy (I learnt that in social studies).
But this comment takes the cake: “Another fear the parents have is that their children will get addicted to games and other sites on their iPads.”
I can’t help but LOL at that. I wonder why the the reporter is hesitant to name what these “other sites” are.
Well, let me spit it out: Porn. Of all varieties: Lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, straight, oral, anal, BDSM. My parents will flip if they know I’m typing this. But you know how I know? Because the boys in my school watch porn on their iPhones all the time. In the classrooms.
I guess parents can be forgiven for being the way they are. They are products of a bygone era — fearful of the new and fantastic. In time, they and their ilk will be discarded like trash — forgotten and ignored.
But you know who is the most ignorant of the lot? Bryna Sim, the reporter of the said article. And I thought reporters are supposed to be smart.
First, she is concerned that teachers must spend time familiarizing with the device and the apps that come along with it. And she is concerned that teachers would need to devote months to convert textbooks to the digital format.
Sorry to break the news to you, Ms Sim, but even a secondary four student like me understands that teachers are not required to convert textbooks for the incredible iPad — leave that to the professionals. Furthermore, textbook publishers are increasingly selling textbooks in digital format.
So stop pretending like you’re concerned about the teacher’s need to do “regular marking, teaching, setting of papers” and start doing more research on your article.
Second, Bryna is concerned that using the awesome iPad will “breed greater selfishness and alienate teachers from students.”
As I recall, people have been saying the same thing about the telephone and the Internet. And where are the fear mongers today?
I think the opposite is happening with the iPad. It draws people together in a loving embrace. Students and teachers can talk about school work, discuss lessons, and ask questions, all on the iPad. It breaks the ice, as students are often afraid to speak out in class.
It’s simply a great way of building relationships.
I have a friend (from another secondary school) who chats regularly with a male Chemistry teacher. She frequently talks about her schoolwork and even her personal problems. They talk about anything and everything, like friends. They’ve even gone out.
Online interaction, after all, often results in great offline interaction, don’t you think?
So, Bryna misses the good ol’ days of “flipping through heavy textbooks scarred with pen marks of varied colors together”. Well, she can shove them up her ass.
She ends off her article as such: “Can we master technology and control its influence, instead of letting it master our decisions?”
How trite. Even I can write better stuff than that!
As for me, my parents will definitely be getting me the incredible, amazing iPad. Convincing them was easy. I told them that the school has an offer for female students to purchase a year’s supply of a new brand of sanitary pads.
If that fails, my backup plan would simply be to do a little arm-twisting. With Facebook and Twitter, nothing is really private these days. And they have plenty of skeletons in the closet.