iPad Article

Ok, I’ve always wanted to run/operate a newsletter, and this is an article I wrote for one. It’s about iPads in classes at Eanes. This is strictly opinionated, and I’d love to hear your opinion in the comments! In other words, please comment. Enjoy!

In 2013 (or so), Eanes ISD began giving their students, grades K-12, iPads. Different grades have different expectations. For example: middle schoolers must bring their iPads to and from school everyday, whereas high schoolers must do that, but also can take the iPad home in the summer. I have heard different things from different students and parents, but the questions seems clear:
Are iPads good or bad for education?
There are many good things about iPads. For one, they can make your ‘school load’ lighter. Once all the teachers begin giving homework on the iPads, students backpacks should become extremely lighter. iPads also provide learning opportunities that paper does not. With iPads, you can look something up on a website, get educational apps to learn more about a topic, or even watch videos on apps or on websites.
There are also some disadvantages to iPads. I feel like there are more students failing than usual now that there are iPads allowed in the classroom. My prediction is that some students that are failing are failing because the temptation to play games in class is larger now. Let’s say your teacher says, “Ok, students, let’s pull out our iPads to begin working on our projects.” So everyone pulls out their iPad. In a class of 25 students, I bet that at least 3-5 of them start playing games rather than work on their projects. And how many get caught? Maybe 1 or 2. Teachers might catch someone playing a game, but even if they catch one person, there are more that will observe the capture and turn the game off.
Furthermore, students are often breaking iPads so they cannot use them in class and the school has to pay for them to get fixed. If a student’s iPad breaks and they can’t use it in class to do their work, and they can’t go to the ‘juice bar,’ that student is at a disadvantage for the entire day, maybe even more. What’s the point of giving 100+ students iPads is 40-50+ students are just going to break it?
In conclusion, I take both sides of the argument. There are some good things about iPads and there are some equally bad things. I don’t think Eanes should take the iPads away though, I just think they need to be more strict about the rules. Besides, if they take the iPads away, what would some of the students play games on in their free-time?

One thought on “iPad Article

  1. Kendall,

    As a director of Innovation and Digital Learning for the district I find your comments brutally honest. I’ve seen the good and the bad of iPads in our schools too and feel that the positive outweigh the negative. My question for you would be how do we accentuate the positive more? I’m working with the team from Technology Services to address the other concerns you have and I think you’ll be pleased with what’s coming down the road. We’re going with better cases starting in 6th grade and moving up which should help with breakage. As for gaming, we’re moving our mobile device management platform to a new system which will help with monitoring and regulating of gaming/inappropriate behavior in the future. While that ultimately still falls on the teacher, we can certainly tighten the system up a bit on our end to help out. Many of these systems didn’t exist until recently, which is a bit of the risk you take when being cutting edge with something like 1:1 iPads for every student. However, without feedback like yours, we can’t approve. Thank you so much for your post and all your blog writing. Keep it up!!

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