Thursday, March 20, 2014

School technology theft is booming

When Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools introduced a  "bring your own technology"  program,  some predicted that it would lead to a surge of lost and stolen gadgets at schools.

CMS Police Chief Randy Hagler says such thefts have indeed become common,  to the point that they frustrate his counterparts in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department.

"It just drives their property-crime numbers out of sight,"  Hagler said this week.  "It affects what the community sees as crime trends."

But Hagler doesn't think the problem is driven primarily by students bringing digital devices for classroom use.  While student laptops and tablets occasionally go missing,  smartphones are by far the biggest target for thieves.

The solution?  The simplest one is to activate a tracking app,  Hagler said.  Most often,  that leads to a successful recovery.  Schools are also working on individual strategies to discourage opportunities for thieves, he said.

And CMS is getting security cameras installed in elementary and middle schools,  which officials hope will deter thefts and identify those who swipe someone else's technology.  They should all be in place when school starts in August.

Lost, stolen or broken devices are the responsibility of the family,  not CMS.  Parents and teachers,  what are you seeing and thinking?


Wiley Coyote said...

Lost, stolen or broken devices are the responsibility of the family, not CMS. Parents and teachers, what are you seeing and thinking?

When my son was a senior - several years ago before BYOT - he left his phone sitting on the desk in one of his classes. He was out of the class maybe two, three minutes before he realized he forgot it. By the time he got back to the class, the phone was gone.

Yep, 100% his fault he forgot it, no question. However, what does it say that not one student turned it in to the teacher or the office?

Of course we never got it back and I had to have it cut off and get him a new one, but it still bugs me that no one had the decency to do the right thing and turn it in, knowing full well it didn't belong to them.

Ettolrahc said...

I can imagine just how what happens at CMS can skew the crime numbers at CMPD.

I was hoping for once all folks here in Charlotte would see it as well.

Shamash said...

Today, everyone makes so many excuses for kids that I'm surprised they even treat this as a crime.

I wonder if it is even a "suspendable" offense if caught.

I suspect not.

Maybe this is another example of cultural differences that should be addressed through "sensitivity" training.

Some kids just might not have learned that stealing is "wrong".

(Or maybe "wrong" is too strong of a term in their culture.)

After all, some people may interpret leaving a valuable object behind as a sign that the owner doesn't want it any more.

It's like leaving your bicycle out on the front porch overnight.

Shamash said...

Or maybe like leaving a babystroller in the front yard, behind a gated fence.

Notice how the other two women in the background are also pushing baby strollers?

I wonder where THOSE came from?

(You really can't make this sort of stuff up anymore...)

Anonymous said...

NC is the craziest state. I would like to see the numbers in Mint Hill after Rocky River opened. Don't get me wrong, the teachers work hard at that school. I think Rocky River does better with many of those students then independence did. Mark Nixon was a no nonsense principal. He was also known for being fare. He was not scared to suspend someone.

Anonymous said...

Could we see the number of incidents by individual schools? That could either confirm or refute the "culture" references, which ordinarily should not even come into this except for the "disparate impact" discussions.

Shamash said...

And what about the numbers for "Project LIFT"?

(Adds a whole new meaning to the phrase, doesn't it?)

Ettolrahc said...

I see someone on here felt kids from Mint Hill went to the new Rocky River in the town of Mint Hill.

Strangely while it was promised to Mint Hill, those folks kids were instead taken from Butler and sent back to Independence, upon completion of the New High School, not yet named, which now gets East Charlotte kids.

They did slap a few coats of paint on Independence. And the Mint Hill Mayor and Town Council fell like accordions for it all.

Not one Mint Hill kid goes to Rocky River school, and yet Mint Hill Police and Fire have to respond all the time to that school.

That is why so many Charter School are in or being created in that area now.

Sometimes CMS just wants you to support more bonds and taxes, and like telling you anything to get it.

But is a great site to see how horrible CMS schools are.

Anonymous said...

10:14, I don't have those numbers at hand.

Wiley Coyote said...

Ann Doss Helms said...
10:14, I don't have those numbers at hand.
March 20, 2014 at 10:48 AM

...see...someone stole the numbers.

The numbers by school would be interesting but I doubt we'll ever get those.

Anonymous said...

Ettolrahc, CMS mus t be listening to you. A 10 million dollar gym/office complex is just being completed at Independence. After that is finished a 8 million dollar vocational building will be fitted to offer students there a chance to learn tech trades. Studentsnat surrounding schools can opt to attend there for the engineering, autotech, cosmetology and other offerings. The Mint Hill border cuts right through the softball field at Independence so it is in Mint Hill too though it has a charlotte p.o box. Mint Hill has talked about annexation though that would incur costs. Independence has a lot to lookforward to.

Anonymous said...

Wiley, before byot phones were allowed to be visible or to be used. Why did your son have his phone out?

Anonymous said...

Ettolrahc, the queens grant charterschools were built long beforeRocky River was. No other charters in Mint Hill.

Wiley Coyote said...

His phone had an on/off button.

Technology at the time included an on/off button.

They could not be on in class.

At the end of class, he was talking to another student, picked up his bag and left.

He was running his mouth instead of paying attention and didn't pick up his phone.

Either another student on the way out or one coming in took it.

Anonymous said...

Etto, a flurry of charters are slated to begin in south charlotte....Matthews all the way to Ballantine. None in Mint Hill that I know of. Do you think the citizens of Matthews and Pineville are unhappy with Butler and Ardrey Kell? P.s. Wiley, I meant before byot phones were NOT allowed in view

Anonymous said...

The phones are a constant distraction in class, especially in the elementary schools. Gee, you think a student might race through their school work just so they can play video games on their phones? It's happening everyday in CMS.

And what about inappropriate sites, cyber-bullying and inappropriate photos? That's happening too, just ask the local middle schools about that.

Carol S. said...

I blame the parents.

Why are they buying their kids such expensive and powerful devices? That's not happening in my house.

Anonymous said...

"fell like accordions"?

No idea what that means.

Anyhow, it makes sense that theft rates have increased with BYOT because there's that much more equipment available to be heisted.

I bet the theft rate at Mooresville increased noticeably when they started supplying all that extra technology a few years ago simply due to more opportunities.

It's also an opportunity for educators and administration to further emphasize student responsibility.

The key will be if the theft rate says elevated over the next few years.

Shamash said...

Interesting short article on using smartphones in the classroom.

Since I wasn't sure how they could be used for "education"...

Anyway, just a few ideas.

One thing, though, is that the use of some of these free tools probably opens up a few privacy concerns.

And think of the marketing potential for a company that has all the contact information for all these school kids, teachers, and parents.

I wonder when (and how) that will be tapped.

Shamash said...

Probably meant "folded like an accordion"...

Anonymous said...

I agree:

"But is a great site to see how horrible CMS schools are."

same thing could be said for some of our lcoal charters, check out Cabarrus Charter Academy, Community School of Davidson and even the exhaulted Pine Lake Prep for your reading pleasure. You will find plenty of parents complaining about those schools as well, Queen's grant too for that matter.

Ettolrahc said...

Yes they complain as most Americans just love to complain.

But the real thing is to look at the results coming from those schools instead of how someone felt the aura of the school might be.

That is the only reason I posted the Great Schools dot org site.

Maybe you did not notice how superior they are to most at CMS.

Ettolrahc said...

And yes Independence can go no where but up.

Anonymous said...

1/3rd of all thefts in NYC are cell phones! They are small, expensive, easily pawned off. 'Not just a school problem. Cell companies refuse to install a permanent shutoff device to thwart thieves because victims turn around and buy new phones. Big windfall for the companies.

Anonymous said...

News flash, don't take devices to school.. Kids steel.. Back to you blogers

Anonymous said...

I wonder how much real learning is going on with the Personal tech devices?

Anonymous said...

Wow! CMS' pet project of "BRING YOUR OWN TEACHER" (BYOT) to school has surprise, surprise - resulted in negative outcomes.

Sexting on school grounds and during the school day, cyber-bullying on Instagram and Twitter on school grounds and during the school day, and now our sweet little children are stealing each other's smartphones on school grounds and during the school day. And CMS has no responsibility in this matter, despite making it socially unacceptable for elementary and middles school kids to not bring such a device to school each day.

CMS resources are now being consumed to police and manage the student's use and misuse of these devices on school grounds and during the school day. And parents are being told to purchase and activate "tracking apps" to remotely track and manage these devices.

No wonder the local Charter and private school roles are bursting at the seams...... Shame on you CMS for creating such a monster and then saying it's not your responsibility

Daddy daycare said...

From the most recent My School Rocks pg.10 (with our friend Heath on the cover), "BYOT is a fun and modern way to use your device", "use during indoor recess, most classes are allowed to play on their devices", "I think it's awesome to play games at recess", "BYOT is great because playing games during free time", "BYOT it's easier to write notes on a device instead of on paper".

I would say that these are all reasons not to have BYOT. Our children are not gaining an academic advantage or becoming smarter because they can play on hand held devices, or watch a video, or Google, cut and paste.

Anonymous said...

Good read - 10 reasons why Handheld devices should be banned for children under 12 years old.

Philip said...

As a parent I agree with some of these technology concerns. Just because you attach the word "technology" to something, it doesn't make it more beneficial to our children, especially the younger ones.

They need to learn the basics, communicate, write and PLAY before they start getting introduced to technology. Save that for middle and high school when it is more appropriate.

Gotta protect our children's childhood folks. Just say NO to BYOT!

Anonymous said...

Teaches have things stolen all the time. Even when we lock them in our desk. Welcome to the new age..

Anonymous said...

Tho shalt not steal..

Oh I forgot, they removed that sign at schools.

Anonymous said...

I'm a CMS elementary teacher (3rd grade) and I think BYOT has been wonderful for my kids. We blog, they collaborate on projects using Google apps for education, they use them to help them research because our "laptop cart" is an outdated piece of crap, they have access to hundreds of books on their individual levels, they're showing off their learning in innovative ways, and they're learning how to code. The tech they're using today is the worst tech they'll have their hands on (remember Pong, anyone?) and we're preparing them for a job market we don't know a whole lot about because uses of tech are evolving daily. Used correctly, tech tools are an excellent learning catalyst. Teach your kids to keep them out of sight when not in use and install a FREE tracking app.

Ettolrahc said...

Thanks for saying that piece of crap when it comes to technology.

That is the same thing I have heard from a lot Teachers in CMS. Boards that do not work or in the wrong classroom and no one can get them moved to where they will do real work.

A lot of things including the million dollar closets which contain tech no one used and of course books and modules aplenty.

That is why I have been hoping we will have Ann contact me and I will get her on to those in each school.

Maybe she can get to just what was bought, from whom and why. Perhaps we can see the cozy relationship vendors have to CMS.

What do you say Ann I will get the information to you from the Teachers, all you have to do is to be willing to do something about it.

Anonymous said...

Mint Hill no longer reports crimes at Rocky River in the only newspaper that shows crime in the area, The Matthews-Mint Hill Times. It used to, but not anymore. I wonder why MH doesn't show township crimes? Could it be so people (who?)can believe they live in/around a super safe wonderland? It is not so.