From: Darla Stevenson
Subject: HB 131
Date: Wed Feb 26 15:25:26 MST 2014
Dear Education Committee Memebers,
As a parent who has had a child attending Dixon Middle School, in Provo, for the past two years (has been part of a pilot program where every child has an ipad) I can tell you first hand the benefits are not worth the expense and risk involved.
The educational benefits gained from internet access all day at school come mostly in the area of social media, and "passing notes in class" has never been so easy!  My daughter tells me all the time about how kids have their ipads out and are emailing eachother or otherwise communicating during class.
At home she, and her friends, are on them constantly, playing games together, chatting or browsing the internet.
As a parent I have limited my daughter's time, but when she is on, she never has to look for someone to talk to because so many other kids are always on.
There are safety controls on the ipads, but they are by no means fool proof.  More than once my daughter has stumbled on something inappropriate and brought it to my attention.  I'm sure there are times she hasn't brought it to my attention, too.
I think a much more reasonable and responsible solution would be to have computers available in the classroom and use extra money to help families who don't have computers at home or can't afford access to the internet (a small minority, I am sure), so their students have access to computers for homework.  This could easily be done in an after-school or before-school lab.
That is only one suggestion.  Honestly, I'd like to see more books and handwriting, so they are still able to learn
 and communicate if the power is out.
Most sincerely,
Darla Stevenson, concerned and experienced Provo mom