Ipad’s in High School Classrooms
Our parents went through high school using slide rules instead of calculators. While technology changes, so do the instruments used in education of high schools. In April 2010, Apple Inc. released their newest gadget that is now used to replace books and laptops in high schools across America. The new tablet that Apple has produced is the iPad. The iPad is extremely light, remarkably thin and has the newest software to make reading books, checking email or surfing the web incredibly easy. The big question is, whether this new piece of technology has helped high school students in their studies. Over four hundred districts in America have iPads in their high school classrooms. However, new technology in a classroom may not always have a positive effect on a high school student. With the iPad in a high school classroom there are more opportunities to do faster research and introduce multimedia subjects to the classroom, however, iPads can also break, run out of battery or cause lots of distraction in which books or textbooks may not. There are many pros and cons to why iPads should be replaces with books or even just an accessory in high school classrooms today.
Every student gets excited when there is a new piece of technology they can explore and play with. Over the last year or so Ipads have been introduced to hundreds of schools across America. High school students nationwide are getting their hands on an iPad. The first question I ask high school students when tell me about their new gadget, is whether or not the iPad benefits them in their education. My core example in the usage of iPads in high school classrooms would be Monte Vista Christian High School, a small private school located in the farming hills of Watsonville, California. This year, Monte Vista has replaced most all their books with iPads. Every student is required to carry around their very own iPad, which is synced with the correct books by the school when the school year starts. The student must still pay for their books, however, they are much cheaper than hard copy textbooks and will safe the student money in the long run. Now are having textbooks on a technical device a better thing to have? Many teachers and students agree that the iPad is quite the distraction when it comes to focusing on material in class.
Teachers try to limit any distraction in the class, while the iPad creates it. When reading a textbook, students are forced to engage in what they are reading. It is more difficult to be on your phone or being doing other homework, when all you are expected to have out on the table is your textbook. However, when using an iPad, there are an endlessness amount of distractions and other things a student can be doing other than their classwork. On a late Thursday afternoon, I drove out to Monte Vista to speak with their senior class English teacher, Marcus Schwager. Mr. Schwager explained to me that, “The iPad is more for the student than the teacher. Ipads are more of a distraction than books, reading books would be more of an effective way of teaching” (Schwager). On an iPad you are able to have numerous apps, music, games, movies or even you could be surfing the internet or on facebook. It is much harder to keep a high school student focused on what they should be doing while they have a lot more distractions open to them. However, Mr. Schwager made a point by saying that, “Ipads have a larger impact on more struggling students. If a student is already tuned out a little bit, than they are more likely to play video games, or get off track, and the iPad makes that a lot more tempting. But if it is a good student, whether you are reading off a screen or a book, it shouldn’t make the biggest difference in the world” (Schwager). In saying, iPads may be more of a distraction when teachers are trying to keep their entire class on track and focused on the material they are...
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