The digital revolution isn’t everywhere – SCN Encourager 4/23/13

Hey, kid! Are you using that iPad properly?

Every student in my district – 7th grade and up – has a school provided laptop or iPad. And, of course, I’m grateful that our school staff is vigilant about modeling the proper care and treatment of these devices and insisting that they are only used in beneficial and appropriate ways.

Our district’s tech integration specialist leads this charge, but he can’t do it alone.

Unfortunately, he can’t count on every staff member for quality supervisory help. There are some people around (like me) around who stood idly by while the bus pulled away with all of the “early adopters” on board – and we’re still playing catch up.

Now, I’m one who is too easily fooled by our kids. More than once I’ve had a student proudly demonstrate an app or show me how to message a friend, only to find out later that what I saw was in direct violation of our technology code. “Yikes! Now we’re both going to be suspended!”

Sometimes when I observe our high school students with their laptops or iPads, old clichés pop up in my mind, though. They shouldn’t really, but they do. They include words like privileges and responsibilities and vague memories having to trek three miles to and from school in the snow lugging a heavy Smith-Corona typewriter case.  Whew! It was tough at Rodney Dangerfield High.

“With freedom comes responsibility,” murmurs the crabby guy in my brain, who refuses to be silenced. “I hope our kids appreciate what our community has entrusted to them.” (blah-blah-blah)

Then, on Sunday afternoon, I read this article in the Wall Street Journal written by one of the top executives at Google.

The article points out that 57% of the world lives under the suppression of autocratic governments that allow very little freedom, online or offline.

This WSJ article is a long one. But if you want to feel great about where you live and work, take the time to read it. I know it gave me a “jolt” of fresh perspective sorely needed.

And FYI. I read this article online. (Although, I may be slow tech-wise, I’m getting there. I want to join the kids in breaking a technology code now and then, too!)

Tom Page, SCN
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