Just got back from a mandatory school meeting with my youngest daughter, who now that we’ve moved, is going to a new school and that schools provides Google Chromebooks to the students. All parents have to sit through a one-hour class on school expectations and responsibilities for the Chromebook.
Geez, these people have no clue.
I mean they honestly treat high school students like they’re 6. These kids have grown up on computers. They were raised on the Internet. They know what they’re doing a lot more than you do. But they’re still treating them, and their parents, like complete idiots.
They seem to think this is 1995. They even said, I shit you not, “if you want to allow your children to get on your own personal computer and log into the school servers, we don’t mind.” Your own personal computer? Which kids don’t have their own? Which kids don’t have a dozen Internet-accessible devices of their own? My kids have had their own personal computers since they were 4. I haven’t paid any attention to what they were doing online since they were 13. I trained them well and I trust them and they haven’t let me down yet. If your kids don’t know how to behave online by the time they’re in high school, you’ve failed as a parent.
And the amount of monitoring they are doing is just absurd. They have two different monitoring agencies sending e-mails to the school administration if anyone ever searches for or looks at anything they don’t like. They were telling the story of the school valedictorian last year, who went to the MIT site to read Macbeth, getting flagged because Macbeth has words like “rape” and “violence”. Seriously? Then again, I’m somewhat surprised that these hyper-liberal schools allow students to read anything “inappropriate” in the first place. It might trigger someone!
So my daughter immediately turned to me and said “I guess I’m not using that at home!” Nope, she’s not. Not with Big Brother looking over her shoulder. It will come home, get plugged in and she’ll use her own computer or her own laptop or her own tablet or her own smartphone where everything she sees isn’t closely monitored and scrutinized. I’m sure every other student in the place will be doing the same.
And seriously, does the school think they’re going to catch anyone being stupid? They even said they rarely ever caught anyone doing anything wrong. Of course not! Because if any of the students are going to do something “wrong”, they’re going to pull out their smartphone and do it. Or their tablet and do it. The school has free wifi. They are not going to do it on a device that they know is being sifted through with a fine tooth comb. This isn’t going to stop anyone from acting inappropriately, they’re just going to do it where they know they can get away with it!
Oh, and the best part? The school is proud that this year, for the first time, students will have access to e-mail. E-mail! Of course, it’s a heavily restricted system that you cannot send to or receive e-mail from anyone outside of the school and every single message anyone sends will be read by a school administrator. Guess everyone is just going to have to use their own gmail accounts, huh?
I’m all in favor of schools being tech savvy, but they’re just not. They’re at least a decade behind the times, utterly paranoid, and they think everyone is as stupid as they are. Half of those Chromebooks are going to be hacked the minute the kids get them because the kids know more than the adults. I spent the whole presentation rolling my eyes and I bet virtually every parent in the room was doing the same.