But is this really beneficial to our children or have we just fallen for marketing hype? Have we elevated the iPad as a modern idol in which we place our trust and future hopes?
Some schools are giving iPads to young children aged 10 for use at school, supposedly under "strict" teacher supervision and with "rigorous" protective practices in place. How dependable is this though? Some are additionally giving iPads to 14 year olds (and younger) to use at school and then to take home with absolutely unrestricted internet access outside of the school, either expecting that the children will use them maturely and wisely or that parents will be on top of things at home.
Even "Christian" or church schools are doing this. Schools which will only employ Christian teachers are suddenly allowing this modern teaching tool, the iPad, to become a bigger part of and bigger teaching influence on our children than the teacher or parent is.
The reality is that most young people (and older people) really only want to do the non-work stuff on iPads, like social media, games, music, photos etc. A trigger in our brains is guiding us to these things and makes us steer clear of the boring work stuff. So basically these devices are mostly just a major distraction from work rather than an aid to work. It is a major temptation to children and is causing a climate of distrust and friction between parents, schools and their children.
Students started to outsmart the teachers and any so called "filters" put in place literally the day they were turned on in the schools. So while the students are busy finding and watching porn, music videos, illegally downloaded movies, and wasting time on social media sites the teachers have never even heard of, the teachers and school leaders smile and pat themselves on the back for being so advanced and having the latest technology.
Children are not mature enough, wise enough or disciplined enough to have devices which will open up our increasingly dark internet world to them with no restrictions. They will be tempted to use them inappropriately and rather than be an aid to their education they will just become a major distraction with music videos, games, social media use and pornography stealing their study time and potentially much of their young lives.
Busy or naïve teachers and parents will not police their children's use of these devices and are unwittingly losing their children who are being enslaved by gaming, social media and pornography through either increasingly pornographic and homosexual promoting music videos or through the torrent of free and easily found pornography which saturates the internet.
It is possibly naïve of us to think they will use them wisely when even many adults cannot control their own internet use, or that parents will be able to monitor the use of these devices by their children. We have literally invited the world into their young lives to convert them to our dark culture and drive a wedge between parent and child.
Many parents do not know anything about routers or filters. Even then there are so many alternative social media, news, music video sites and apps around that parents will never be able to keep up with, and once addicted, the children will find ways to get around any attempts to restrict them.
Students are not mostly doing their school work on these devices, they are mostly being distracted in a major way during class time and at home by music, games, social media and porn. Teachers think the student is using the device in class for school work but they are probably looking at stuff which would cause most parents to pull their children out of school. Schools are supposed to educate as well as guard and protect the students under their watch, not facilitate them becoming addicted to games, porn and social media.
These devices will increasingly be Trojan horses from the growing number of social engineers actively seeking to corrupt our children, not to mention be the doorways for drug and porn dealers to get access to your children.
Just think of the recent blatant attempts aimed at children by the deceptively named "Safe Schools Coalition" or by "Early Childhood Australia" or by Play School joining in the attempt to normalize (and recruit and groom) homosexuality in Australia by targeting children. Then there are the predators with their sights on our children such as MTV and Disney. Parents will not be able to stop these and others who will invent apps and other ways to get to our children without parents knowledge using iPads.
Ab increasing number of schools around the world are removing iPads and iPhones from their schools altogether and focusing on having a computer room where all the computer use can be more seriously monitored. Schools like Sydney Grammar for instance.
I am concerned that there has been a breakdown in the duty of care schools have to children. It is unwise of responsible adults to be putting such strong temptations in front of such young children and causing such a major distraction during time they should be learning.
I am not convinced that the iPad is the beneficial aid to our children's learning that we have been led to believe it is, rather I think that, for children at least, it is just a flash looking high tech device which will distract our children from their studies, potentially enslave them to debilitating addictions, and will increasingly be very costly to children and their parents.
So, I for one do not think we need to succumb to the pressure to have iPads provided for our children at school. I think they could wait until they are at least 15 at least but would prefer they were not at schools at all, and that a computer room model is utilized instead.
Some worry that the students will miss out! I doubt it. They are so easy to use that students will easily learn all about them in a few hours when they eventually do have one and they really are not missing out on anything while they wait. I would actually be happy to pay higher school fees for a school which resisted their use at a too early age.
Maybe it is inevitable that iPads will become a part of our children's lives, but parents need to ensure that there are restrictions on them. Request that your school allow you to put a filter which will also monitor your children's use such as Covenant Eyes (covenanteyes.com) so that when they do visit something inappropriate you can at least know about it and have a discussion with them about it for their benefit.