When we begin a computer or iPad program at a school, I’m often asked if the kids are responsible enough to look after it. Especially as us parents are often forking up the cash for the shiny new tool. I have to let you know that YES. They most certainly are. At one school we have over 400 laptops and 160 iPads – in 3 years we’ve had 1 laptop stolen in a home burglary and NO laptops lost by kids either at school or at home (or on the walk home!). But, to keep your kids tech safe there are a few important things you need to know however.
Our kids do understand the value of technology. Maybe not for the money that it costs but for the things they can do with it. They certainly don’t set out to lose it or break it. A lot of schools are going with laptops or iPads these days. And primary school kids love to use and learn with them. Maybe your school is asking you to pay for the technology too – schools don’t do this lightly and they want to give your kids the best learning experiences they can, while not sending families bankrupt either.
We all want our kids to be responsible adults with their behavior and with their belongings. And Primary School is where this often starts.
Us teachers ask you kids to be ‘monitors’ or have jobs in the classroom. This isn’t just to get them working :0) but also to feel what it’s like to have a responsibility in their daily lives.
Our kids do lose stuff – I can’t deny that at school picking up lost or abandoned clothes or toys is a bit of a part time job. They do lose things and it drives us mad.
I bet we all hear this a lot…
However, we parents tend to think that if they can’t keep track of a simple piece of clothing, then how can they possibly care for an expensive piece of equipment.
And here’s my answer –
It’s not the same thing at all.
Their jumper (sweater) doesn’t let them play, learn, find out how to do things or collaborate with their friends.
Their sweater isn’t totally necessary to their day…their computer is.
So, Here are my top 5 tips for teaching your kids to take care of their new technology.
Be very clear with your child about where the laptop/iPad gets stored at home and at school. If they go to after school care, find out where it will be stored. It should be locked away somewhere. They should always have somewhere secure to leave their laptop/iPad
Go over the tech and talk about which bits are particularly fragile. On a laptop that’s the clips that keep the battery in, the ports (holes) in the side and the screen. On an iPad it’s the ports (holes) and the corners.
Make sure they have some kind of protective case and they ACTUALLY USE IT. Anytime the computer/iPad is moved it needs to be in a case – any. time.
Talk to your kids about what to do if it does get lost or damaged. Tell an adult (teacher at school, you at home) and explain exactly where, when and how it might have gone missing. Sometimes kids don’t tell us these things cos they think they will get in trouble. We need to explain that it only makes it worse if they don’t tell us right away!
Check in regularly to see that they actually have the laptop or iPad and that it’s in good condition. We are still responsible for teaching our kids how to look after things of course!
So, your child can handle looking after their technology tool. But just as with anything else, they need our help to learn how to do this.
They love their tech tools and want to have them in good working order. We just need to work with them we can be sure they are getting the most out of their learning tools.
Your turn – any stories to share or other tips to share?