With the advent of the start of the second semester of my children’s School down here in Peru, the high school that my eldest attends has implemented a new policy. The School’s administration highly, highly, highly encouraged that every student bring a laptop to school. The School can’t mandate that every family shell out $$$ to purchase a laptop, but the head pooh-bahs of the School made it clear that any child sans a portable PC would probably suffer in their educational pursuits.
I had my reservations about letting high schoolers loose at school with computers hooked up to the Wild Wild West of the Internet. Yes, the School IT Wizards assured me that the educational facility had appropriate filters set up on their firewalls which was probably as useless against tech-savvy teens as this fence was.
I had my reservations about letting high schoolers loose at school with unlimited access to Facebook and Twitter. If you thought that passing notes was a distraction at school, I can only imagine that allowing high schoolers unfettered access to social media would be as distracting as a room full of laser pointers to a cat.
However, I had my reservations turned around as I was shown the utility of having the kids in classrooms be equipped with laptops. On a particular day in March, my eldest stayed home from school because he wasn’t feeling well. As it happened, on this day, his Social Studies teacher was giving an important lecture about an upcoming assignment. Now my son knew when his class was so he fired up his laptop, started up Skype, called one of his classmates, and my eldest was able to videoconference into the class and hear and see the whole lecture.
Genius, I dare say…genius.