I remember the middle school orientation at the start of the year, where it quickly became apparent that it was basically required for each kid to have some kind of device they could do certain tasks on and use to read their online textbook. Parents were saying, "So should I just buy her an ipad, or some other kind of tablet? A laptop? Just say the word." I was like, "Do whut?"
I don't have an ipad. I have my beloved iphone 5 and a four year-old laptop that, though nice in its day, is now missing the left-sided shift, capslock, and 's' key covers.
Not being able to hit the left-side shift has done interesting and probably permanent things to my typing.
Laura has an ipod touch that she got a couple Christmases ago and a Kindle Fire that she spent her 11th birthday money on. (That kindle is nice--I think those are a good deal.) Her Kindle Fire is what she takes to school and works on. Hank has none of this. He has a Nintendo DS that he plays with sometimes. He has our xbox, Legos, and the air and sky. I have not been inclined to put a smart phone-type object into his six year-old hands. Having that kind of thing is not part of his six year-old life.
Really, it's not even about the money, at a certain point it's about the having, maintaining, and keeping up with all of these small expensive objects. And indeed, since our older kids started doing BYOT in school, I know of a handful of lost and broken devices among my friends and neighbors.
Of course, the teacher writes in the letter that no child will be left out, that it's not mandatory, that there are a few classroom devices for kids who don't have one, etcetera. On the way to school this morning, Hank brought it up. "Mom, the permission form for BYOT is in my folder." (The way he says BYOT, with emphasis on each letter, is adorbs. Bee, Why, Oh, TEE.)
I said, "Well bud, what are most people doing for BYOT?" He had the precise metrics: 16 kids in his class have an ipod touch, he said. And Christopher and Max have ipads. The remaining six of them can use the classroom computers and the three classroom ipods.
Having to use one of the classroom devices sounds fine to me. Hardly a deprived situation, right? And he didn't complain or whine about it. I just said, "Well honey, you don't have an ipod, I don't think you really need one."
But this morning I told Laura that I would like for her to do her brother a favor and lend him her ipod every Friday, with the understanding that if it gets lost or broken, I'll underwrite the loss, and she was fine with it.
What do you think? Is this the norm where you are?