I chose to read and respond to the SpeakUp report “Mapping a Personalized Learning Journey – K-12 Students and Parents Connect the Dots with Digital Learning” because I was interested in the ways I could help the parents of my students become better informed about their children’s education.
The report focused on students’ personalization of their own learning, the ways parents are supporting them, and the resources available to them at school. On a positive note, the report stated that 64% of parents would support their child’s learning by purchasing a mobile device for academic use and that parents’ general goal was that their children learn the right skills to be successful in life. However, the majority of schools polled did not offer the courses that students were interested in learning.
I was surprised that such a large percentage of parents would be willing to purchase a mobile device to help their children academically and I’m quite skeptical that 64% of parents would actually make the purchase and pay the required monthly service fees. It’s one thing to idealistic in a survey, it’s another thing to spend $500 + monthly fee for an electronic device for each of your children. It seems the risk with such surveys is that they lead to parents wanting schools to use iPads or tablets in the classroom and then demanding that the school districts be the ones who pay the cost. With the cuts and budget deficits in education as they currently are, I don’t see how public schools could possibly afford to provide students with devices that may or may not end up being used appropriately in the classroom. In my own classroom I would love to implement the use of electronic devices, but not at the expense of other school resources. If students have access to the internet at home or at a public library, I would love to start a class website that they can access for all their assignments and additional resources that would be helpful; for this they wouldn’t need an expensive mobile device.