A few weeks after school began back in September, Rich and I attended curriculum night. At the end of all the presentations, a short video, maybe two minutes in length, was shown. The music was fast-paced, as was the data being flashed on the screen. (Good marketing as it created a sense of urgency.) The video was designed to inform parents of the importance of technology in the school system based on the growth of technology over the past 10 years and the inevitable growth of technology in the future. Call me crazy but I hadn't really thought about all the jobs of today that didn't exist 10 years ago until the list was right in my face.
I read on FB the other night that my favorite band ever was going to be performing on Leno Thursday night. That night, I said to Rich, "Oh, we need to set the VCR." I meant to say DVR and have no idea why my brain reverted back to 1999. I can still remember what it was like without computers in the 1980s. When I was in college in the early 90s, I didn't have my own computer. No one did. You went to the computer lab if you needed to type something up or you actually just wrote it out by hand. By the time my kids are in high school, they and all of the classmates will own iPads or similar devices. They probably will own multiple items.
When I wrote my kids and technology post a few months ago, the girls had not yet started the first grade. Math facts have become a big thing in our house as the girls have a 3 minute timed test at the end of the school year. I've found that, for the most part, verbal quizzing seems to be easier and work better. A week ago, we began a different bowel management program with Anna that requires her to sit in the bathroom for 20-30 minutes, which can be a long time for a 6 year old. I found a bunch of free educational apps (1st grade spelling and math) for my iPhone and she's been really excited to be able to play on my phone.
Because she normally doesn't use my phone, this is a big deal. The only downside has been Allie and Emily exclaiming how unfair it is that Anna is allowed to use my phone. At first, I threw out the statement that it's unfair that Anna has spina bifida but I'm not convinced that this is the way to go. A six year old doesn't understand "fairness" like an adult does and I'm not sure it's correct for them to believe that spina bifida is "unfair." Parenting triplets is difficult enough but now we have the added fact that one has a need greater and different from the other two and it's up to us to keep life as equal and fair to all three of them as possible. So what we've been doing is allowing Allie and Emily to play games (math and/or spelling) on our computers or phones while Anna's in the bathroom or afterwards. I tell them that they need to be helpful while I'm busy with Anna and this is their "reward" for doing so.
I'm still a firm believer that free play generates creativity so phone/computer usage is still severely limited in our home. In addition, the girls' timed math test at the end of the year is a written test and so they need to practice answering those questions in written form outside of school. This is definitely a learn as you go situation for us.