How would you feel if your child's school asked you to add an iPad to your Back to School shopping list?
It's not as unlikely as it sounds. According to the Guardian, schools are increasingly asking parents to pay for school equipment due to a lack of funding.
The paper reports:
"An investigation by Education Guardian found at least 15 state schools were asking some parents to purchase an iPad for their child, while offering help to disadvantaged families. Charities estimate hundreds of schools are doing the same."
With one child about to start high school, I've got to admit that this story worries me. I definitely don't fancy getting saddled with a bill for several hundred pounds on account of my child needing an iPad at school.
But I've also got to question the idea that an iPad or indeed any tablet computer is an essential piece of school equipment.
Call me a Luddite, but I'm just not all that convinced that anything my child does during the day at secondary school warrants him carting an iPad around. Factor in the chances of it getting lost, stolen or damaged as he lugs it back and forth between school and home – no doubt in the bottom of his rucksack – and I'd definitely be asking to have a word with the Principal about whether it's a truly vital part of my child's learning experience.
I understand that technology can aid learning in the classroom in a myriad of ways, of course, but traditional teaching methods can't be completely redundant, surely? And what about when the iPads need to be updated, or a new model comes out and the one you've purchased becomes obsolete? After all, we're not talking about investing heavily in one piece of electronic kit that will last throughout your child's secondary school years but rather starting out on a slippery slope towards over-reliance on tech which could prove seriously costly - especially if you have more than one child.
And who's going to make sure my kid is learning Algebra or whatever he's supposed to be doing on an iPad at school, and not just surreptitiously hunting Pokemon while his teacher's back is turned?!
So I definitely don't plan on adding an iPad to my Back to School shopping list any time soon. How about you? Share your views on this topic by leaving a comment below, or come and join the debate over on our Facebook page.