October 28, 2017
Recently, NBC-CT posted an online article concerning some parents’ objections to the distribution of Chromebooks to all students in one of their elementary schools. Concerns included danger to student privacy, using technology to replace teachers and access to inappropriate sites. The district administration has made attempts to allay these fears, but some parents remain unconvinced.
I think the district administrators should hold parent meetings to demonstrate how the educational apps maintain student privacy and how students are prevented from accessing inappropriate sites. Assuring parents that the technology program will not be used to replace teachers is more problematical.
Online instruction can be used as a replacement or supplement to in-class teaching. My guess is that it will first appear at the high school level when some students want to take a course not being offered or when an insufficient enrollment does not warrant another teacher. Also, some advanced placement (AP) courses may be provided online. Finally, some instruction may be made available to supplement in-class courses.
Hopefully, Cheshire’s technology program will continue unabated. Chromebooks can be a significant instructional tool to facilitate learning, especially when provided to all students for use at school and at home; as is the case in Cheshire.