Privacy is such a large part of the Digital Citizenship discussion. We talk to the students about not sharing passwords, usernames, etc with their classmates. We had lessons on Identity Theft and Over-sharing digitally before we passed out the first iPad. So the decision to ask the students to share their Apple ID’s and passwords before we left for Winter Break was not one that came about lightly. As a school we had already experience two lost iPads. The thinking was if a student contacted Mr. McHolland over the break and said they’d lost their iPad, we would be able to track the iPad hopefully before it becomes a statistic. I know, if someone really wanted to take the iPad, the location services would be the first thing the thief would disable. So, yes it was a bit of a straw grasper.
So Winter Break came and went without a hitch. Matter of fact, I didn’t hear a peep about students loosing LTE service, Apple ID issues, or and thing of the sort. School resumed in the middle of Chicago’s blistery winter. The wind chill factor was registering below zero. Because of this, Chi-beria. The weather forecaster encouraged citizens to limit their exposure to 10mins. So most of the area school’s closed down for two days the first week back to school. We returned on a Friday, to some pretty cold temperatures, but the wind chill factor was in a safe range.
Chicago’s new nick name has become
After school, Mr. McHolland encouraged the children to leave the campus, all after school activities were canceled. Staff cleared the building pretty quickly. When I got home, I did what most Chicagoans do on cold nights like this, I began to prepared a hardy dinner for my family and I started thinking about what movie I wanted to watch with my kids after dinner.
In the midst of dicing and slicing, my cell phone rang. I looked, and saw that it was Mr. McHolland. He told me that one of our Chute students didn’t make it home from school, and that his father was really worried. Mac asked me if I could pull up the students Apple ID and password, and then send a signal to see if we could perhaps use the iPad to locate the child. My tenure at Chute has been in a role of classroom teacher. While I have always been aware of some of the dangers that our students face from time to time, I have never been aware of exactly when they were actually in danger. Needless to say, I was truly shaking, hoping, praying that our efforts would bear fruit.
Since I’d used a Google Form to compile the student Apple ID information, I had the spreadsheet in Google Sheets on my cell phone. I looked up the students name, logged into the find my iPhone App, and located the iPad. Since I wasn’t aware of where the student lived, I told Mr. McHolland the square area of where the iPad was located. Low and behold, it was the student’s house. Mr. Mac told me to send the signal so that the dad could follow the tone. The dad found his son, asleep on the back stairs to their apartment. His son had left his keys at home, and couldn’t get in. So, the young man sat on the back porch, and fell asleep. It was cold, close to 8pm, when he was found. School dismissed at 3:35pm.
I recognize that this story could have had many different endings. I am so glad, this was the outcome. The Chute family is still intact, our birdies are all accounted for and safely tucked in the nest.
Did I see this as a possibility when I asked the student’s to share their information with me? No way! But I am so glad I did.