Thursday, August 29, 2013

Back to school time...

Next Tuesday my two sons go back to school.  I am very ready but I'm not sure that they are.  I've purchased their supplies but neither of them are excited.

We met my 6th grader's teachers last night and I found out some interesting things about our school district:

They are embracing the "BYOD" (bring your own device) attitude in the middle schools and high schools.

They're just starting this concept so they're still making adjustments to the rules, etc. as they learn about the potential pitfalls of kids bringing iPods, iPhones, tablets and other electronics to school.  They say they want to encourage kids to use them as a learning tool when it is possible and appropriate.  Personally I won't be allowing my son to take his iPod to school.  He'll want to play games on it and is likely to lose it or get it stolen.

Another interesting thing - for my son's class on "21st Century Skills", they'll be piloting the use of Google netbooks.

They are small laptops with almost no software preloaded, so the support for them should be fairly minimal.  The kids will learn how to use web based tools for socializing, creating presentations and other things.  They're going to applications like Google docs and others.  It will be interesting to see how my son adapts to applications that he's never used.  His computer time at home is usually limited and he mostly only plays games.  For him to actually have to use a computer to do project work will be interesting.

I'll post another entry in a few months on this topic regarding how it's going with the technology that my son is learning.  Maybe he can teach me how to use some of these tools, since I've never heard of the ones his teacher was talking about.  I'm intrigued...