I was part of the parent transition meeting for 5th graders at the Middle School this year. It was a privilege to share what is happening with the 7th grade Chromebook pilot project we started in the fall. We added to this project in April by handing out chromebooks for all 6th graders to use at school.
Next year is when things really change. We will have chromebooks for all 6-8th graders to take home. That is what I was sharing with the parents of the soon to be 6th graders. I had 1/2 hour with the parents.
I shared a video on chromebooks highlighting what this tool is all about. There was one chromebook on each of the tables in the library where we were meeting. So, the parents were able to see first hand what this device really was.
I also created a short FAQ on our chromebook project. I used this as talking points for the rest of my time. There was a little time for questions at the end.
Link to the Chromebook FAQ
This was the first time many of these parents were able to see chromebooks and what they can do. It was also the first time for parents to begin thinking about whether they will have this device in their home next fall - or if it will remain at school. That is completely the parents' choice - and we honor their decisions.
All of that was great - but the conversations after the presentation were where my AH HA moment came!
Following the last session I had a very interesting conversation with a concerned parent. We were discussing monitoring digital devices out of the school domain. The parent made some very valid points and mentioned things we will consider before the rollout for 6th graders in the fall.
But, the conversation also got me thinking about why I am so passionate about 1:1. My daughter is a 12th grader. She is a good kid, has grown up in a home where her parents feel reasonably involved in her life and what she is doing online.
But...I handed her a smart phone a long time ago and basically walked away. I assumed that she knew how to act online. I assumed she understood how to be private and safe. I assumed she was a good kid and would be fine. And I teach this stuff!!!
So far she has been - at least as far as I know. But, as a parent that is a major FAIL! It is like giving her the keys to the car and waving goodbye without telling her all all the ways to be safe. We would never do that - but in fact I did!!
Here is where my passion comes in!
We have another chance with the next group of students. We can spend time helping them to understand why the rules are there. We can provide practice with the rules in a safe environment so if they make mistakes - we are there to help them out of the jam.
I have faith in this process. I have faith in our kids. I have faith in all the adults in their lives who are there to help them. Together this can be a WIN!
I know it is scary!!!
But - we really are in it together!
That sounds so cliche - but it is what brings me to my job each day!