Wake County Schools

Wake schools: Parents must choose 'all or none' on tech for students

Posted July 22, 2015

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— The Wake County Board of Education on Tuesday approved an "all or none" technology policy that will force parents to decide whether to allow their children to have access to technology in the classroom.

The board approved the measure at its Tuesday night meeting, saying it will begin in 2015-16.

Every student in the district will have a signed form on file regarding technology use and access. Parents will be required to select whether or not their child or children can participate in instruction involving any form of computer technology, including desktops, laptops, tablets or cellphones. It also includes Internet access.

"This is an 'all or none' policy," Marlo Gaddis, the system's senior director of instructional technology and library media services, said in a statement. “It is important for parents to know that they must sign the form indicating whether or not they give permission for technology access, knowing that to deny it could present some challenges in the future as students prepare for the use of technology in college and careers.”

The system says teachers will make accommodations, where possible, for students who are not allowed to use technology and digital resources. Certain tech-focused classes, such as Computer Assisted Design, Gaming Design and Computer Science, will not be available to those who opt out.

In a release announcing the policy, the school system said that "digital literacy in general would be limited" for those who opt out.

10 Comments

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  • Paul Jones Jul 23, 2015
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    But technology isn't a religion. There's nothing to believe in. Tech is just a tool. And in our society, it is the tools to get work done.

    Being dependent isn't a risk. Yes, I know there are cashiers that can't count back change, but technology isn't the reason. One either had the ability to think or one doesn't.

  • Belle Boyd Jul 22, 2015
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    Some people don't believe in technology like the Amish. Or there are parents that only want their kids to be on a certain number of hours not their entire "life." I'm not against technology, but I don't like the idea of becoming dependent on it. You can use other tools like books and hands-on activities to teach kids. The Internet just gets you the info faster.

  • Paul Jones Jul 22, 2015
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    Parents shouldn't be given the choice on this one. Most jobs that require much thought at all require the use of technology. What reasoning could one give for wanting their children to be miles behind everyone else?

  • Belle Boyd Jul 22, 2015
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    I watched an episode of Welcome Back Kotter where they introduced the first computer into the classroom. The kids got bored with it just talking like a robot. They wanted their teacher back because he made things interesting. Technology is not bad, but we need to learn not to depend on it so much.

  • Dean Logan Jul 22, 2015
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    I'm sure as soon as they get ABC Mouse for 1st - 12th grades, everything will be better.

    Does all or none technology include a virtual teacher to teach the same class to all children? Then we can start eliminating teacher position and replace them with class monitors for cheaper, since all those extra teachers won't be required.

  • Johnny Byrd Jul 22, 2015
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    Technology in the form of computers, Pads, internet etc. is definitely needed instruction for our children, The ONLY objection I would have is that it puts one more decision of what our children should morally be taught in the hands of one person (the teacher). Most are great at providing an "education" but there are many who have bigger agendas than our worst politicians.

  • NC Native Jul 22, 2015
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    The more choices they give, the more complex it s to manage all of the kids and what access each should have. Makes sense to me. Make the system easy to execute.

    As far as technology in the class, I completely agree with Jim. If we want our kids to have an advantage (or to even keep pace) with the ever evolving global workplace, we better step it up. I'm not saying that we should rely 100% on tech, but to ignore it's increasing dominance and our dependence on it in the real world would be foolish. Start em' young.

  • Jim Preis Jul 22, 2015
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    Books were technology at one time too. In my opinion, there is no practical reason for not choosing to use better tools. Arguments to the contrary will cite the 5% "trauma" cases of my Johnny seeing a, gulp, a BREAST; to which I would respond that's not a reason to abandon the educational benefits that technology offers. And yes I have an 11 YO in WCPSS.

  • Charlie Leagra Jul 22, 2015
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    So typical for anything Wake County - of course you have a choice, but make the one we don't want you to make (because it's harder for us to deal with) and it will be bad for you and your kids.

  • Belle Boyd Jul 22, 2015
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    We are becoming too dependent on technology. I understand using tech in computer classes and some other classes, but not in every single class. In college, professors don't always allow you to use computers or technology in class unless it is a computer class where it is needed.