Modern Technology and Kids

This is the way classroom learning use to be


 This is the way classroom learning  is heading now

and in some instances already exists.

                                                      ipads in classroom

Kids are more wired into technology now then I ever was as a kid. Classrooms are now coming equipped with Smartboards and iPads or laptops. I remember passing notes in grade school, and those days are all over. This will never happen with my kids. Kids text message each other. This is how classrooms are dealing with texting issues so it doesn’t interupt thier learning.

cell phones in classroom

Lucas my oldest, is nine years old, and was given an iPod touch for Christmas. If anyone owns an iPhone, or an iPad, Lucas can text messages back and forth to them as long as he hooked into a wireless network. I find it neat and a little unnerving because his friends also text him. It’s not a phone. Although I found out there is an app where he can turn it into a phone, but my husband and I axed that in a hurry.

We are struggling with him. Lucas is in a hurry to grow up. He’s been like this for years. It’s part in parcel with the fact his Uncle is roughly twelve years older than him, and he uses him as a role model. I noticed it’s not just him. His peers are also in a hurry to grow up. I’m sure you are wondering how I know this.

The answer is simple.

facebookNow I know Facebook standards are you have to be at least thirteen. However where there is a will there is a way.

Lucas made himself a Facebook account. Most of his peers also have an account. Our rule was this, Mom and Dad had to be his friends AND we have to know his password.

Why I like Facebook for younger kids….

The most important is Lucas is able to keep in contact with family who he doesn’t see on a regular basis. I surfed on a few of his peers and it’s a growing trend. Grandpa and Grandpa can keep in touch so can Aunts and Uncles, Cousins….you get the picture.

What I don’t like…..

You can’t delete who his friends are friends with. You may feel his friends are appropriate but then you find out the sister who is a friend is not, or cousin or …. You get the picture.

Now Lucas hasn’t figured out how to see friends of friends but the older people do. It can create conflict. So we screened his Facebook and deleted people who had questionable friends and relatives. I thought he would be very upset by this but it turned out he was more upset about the prospect of not having Facebook at all.

Ron, my husband thinks he’s wishing his youth away by wanting to be a part of all this technology. I’m not so sure that’s the case. I think he’s wants to keep up with everyone else so he’s not left behind.

Now as for my daughter Santa brought her a leappad2.

leappad2tabletIt’s what I call a kids version of and iPad, except she can’t email anyone. It’s an awesome piece of technology. She has learned so much is such a short span of time. She’s already learning how to write her letters and she’s not even three yet. Leapfrog has created great apps for her age and the next age group up. It explores everything from music, reading, writing, art, math, geography, science and cooking/eating healthy. This device doesn’t need cartridges so there is no worry about losing them. She’s entertained when we are on the road, and if she wants some down time on the couch in the evening while we watch TV. She affectionately calls it:

“My compooter.”

How long will it be before a leappad is going to be a mandatory learning tool used in kindergarten or grade 1? Would that be a bad thing?

The difference between my son and daughter in their own technology battles is she is learning something and my son is not. I think that’s part of the problem I’m having, or so I thought.

The way people are using technology is rapidly changing.


For instance, twitter. I had no desire for twitter because frankly I don’t care what you had for breakfast or if you have some bad rash…etc. Last semester I caved and used twitter as part of my course for this blog. Now a new semester has begun and twitter is not an option but a requirement. To quote my Professor last night.

“If you haven’t already done so I highly suggest you download this app to your smart phone and we will be having participation marks on twitter so to separate your personal feed from the class feed please use the hashtag and course number provided on your outline.”


I looked around the room and everyone had some sort of smartphone. I do not. I’m not one to jump on the bandwagon and I certainly march to the beat of my own drum. I like my phone but it’s becoming apparent that if I want to do well I will have to upgrade. *sigh*

So now it’s become clear. An iPod touch was our version of Walkmans and Discmans. Almost every kid owns one, or has access to one. It also begs the question, how long before Lucas’ teacher will be giving these kind of instructions?

“Alright class everyone pull out your iPod touches or iPads we’re going to work on this math problem today using this app ……”


This idea may seem crazy but I don’t think it’s that far fetched. I figure in five years max. my above projection will be a reality.

What do you think about kids having access to all this technology? Cell phones, iPods, iPads, Facebook, Twitter? Do you think the use of social media belongs in a classroom? Do you think they’re missing out on the old school way of doing things? Are you like me and think this is happening way too fast? Or is this a reality check that I’m just getting old? *Gulp* and possibly turning into my parents? Is this the beginning of me being technically challenged?  I hope not.

What do you think?



My Suburban Zoo