Schools are finding that as technology becomes more important for instructions, it’s important to teach digital responsibility for kids using iPads, laptops, and other devices. Learning responsible use of the devices that are leased by the school system from Apple.
Now in the second year of iPads, the students of Elizabeth Forward school, students will continue using the devices that were issued last year. Sometimes there are legal problems, both for kids and for parents.
The contract for leasing is for two years, and costs $550,000 a year to lease the devices for the district.
“We want to teach kids digital responsibility,” Superintendent Bart Rocco said as the iPads were being distributed a year ago. “We have a job as responsible adults, too, as educators, teachers and parents, to monitor and regulate (that use).”
During a break from a court hearing last week, Forward Township police officer and district school resource officer Travis Stoffer recalled a quote from Philip L. Little, an education and outreach specialist from Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane’s office, at a school assembly in May:
“Don’t take any pictures of anything you don’t want to see on the front page of the newspaper.”
Stoffer believes “kids will be kids,” but he still stressed that EF kids should not take any naked pictures.
At that May assembly at the district’s middle school, Magisterial District Judge Beth S. Mills said she had handled as non-traffic matters 10-15 cases of “naked pictures, inappropriate texts and bullying” in her Forward courtroom.
“They were testing the waters,” Mills said
Have cases gone down since? “For the most part, they really have,” she said. “I think the kids realize the privilege they have.”
In case they don’t, they could remember what Mills told middle school students last spring.
“If you send a nasty text or email, it will cost you $450,” she said. It can mean 40 hours of community service and “that is independent of what the school may do.”