When I entered the venue for the INFORMATION SESSION ON THE ONE2ONE PROGRAM FOR PARENTS, a teacher handed me an iPad so that I could answer a survey. I smiled and thought to myself that things have changed — a lot. Those days in high school — when we had to use DBase and Lotus — are gone. I wonder if kids nowadays even know what these programs are! With all the apps at their fingertips, the programs I know from before are probably obsolete! Of course, if my son wants to know what these are, he can always “Google” them anyway.
The afternoon session proved to be a different kind of experience for me, one that is some kind of wonderful. My classmates (co-parents of section H) and I became “students” once again in the simulation class where the Xavier School teachers no longer made colorful visual aids using cartolina and manila paper. They had bright moving presentations on a screen instead. Moreover, instead of being given handouts, we were all given an iPad each.
Our first task was to make a summary of the video we watched using the Skitch app. It was amazing how we could use different colors and arrows, and write bold texts without needing to bring out our coloring materials. After that, we were all asked to “join” a game to check how much we knew of Internet safety using the Kahoot app. Questions were flashed on screen and we had to key in our answers as fast as we could. We were given points for every correct answer. Being the competitive me, I definitely had to see my name on the screen! So after the first question, I got more alert and tried to key in my answers even faster and more accurately! I finished 5th…but for a first time iPad user….not bad! The app Kahoot allowed everyone, even the shyest in class, to “recite” and answer all the teacher’s questions. Because of this, the teacher also got to know immediately how many got the correct answer, and she could re-teach concepts that were misunderstood right away. Before we ended the session, we were also shown some projects made by the students themselves. I have to admit that the Grade 5 students did a far better job of using the Book Creator app to write an article.
My doubts and fears about the use of gadgets decreased after the day’s experience. The information session may have been a faster-paced lesson than what I am accustomed to, but knowing our sons, this may probably be just what they need. Indeed, our boys will probably respond better to this kind of teaching method. It not only makes the lessons more interesting, but can also make learning easier, more productive and more efficient!
We, parents however, should always remind our children about online safety. While the teachers continuously remind our sons of digital citizenship and the do’s and don’ts of navigating the Internet, we should also be relentless in reminding them to be careful, safe and responsible. Gadgets should not replace quality time with the family. It is still our duty to see to it that our children grow up with the values we want them to have despite having a gadget within easy reach.
To sum it all, please allow me to rephrase a quote from Spiderman, “With great gadgets come greater responsibilities… for both students and their parents.”