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Like any tool, iPads can be used…and misused

And Cox says that students playing games instead of paying attention during classtime isn’t the only problem.

Cox reported that her son has received some “very unique” images of other students via SnapChat and that students access SnapChat with their iPads to send embarrassing images of others.

“There’s a lot more problems than just gaming,” added Cox. “There’s a problem with bullying with them, pictures, sexual things.”

In the past, kids in school also suffered from teasing and name-calling while in school. But in today’s high-tech world, “cyberbullies” logging in from home are using Facebook or SnapChat to up the ante when it comes to harassing classmates, Cox said.

Insults that are shouted in the halls by classmates are also posted on social media sites, reaching deeply into the target’s life.

Other misuses of school iPads have been reported. Officials in the Raleigh County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office reported that incidents of minors sending sexual images of other minors or themselves has risen in connection with iPad deployment, and Independence Middle School teacher Marie Hamrick brought an inappropriate drawing that was confiscated from a sixth-grade boy’s iPad to the attention of central office administrators on March 25.

Cox admitted that her “artsy” daughter, a student at Maxwell Hill Elementary, has successfully used the iPad for artistic design initiatives and that the pitfalls of iPad misuse don’t appear to be as pronounced in the elementary grades.

“I’m not against technology,” said Cox. “I have an iPad, a computer, a laptop and an iPhone.

“But you don’t give that kind of freedom to children, and that’s what they’ve done.”

While some teachers have said the iPad has worked to lower some students’ grades, others say the iPad is simply a tool that can be misused like any other, even though there are limits on where they can go on the internet while they are at school.

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