Now that Shaler Area has deemed itself as technologically “advanced” after distributing more than 1,200 iPads, the raging excitement over the shiny new devices has significantly dropped as students are learning they are far more trouble than they’re worth.
Truth be told, I was somewhat excited about getting my own iPad. One reason for that optimism was I thought that the iPads would eliminate the heavy text books I have to carry around every day. I was extremely disappointed to find out that only one out of five of my textbooks I have to carry around on a daily basis are offered online.
Even if I wanted to access that lone textbook on my iPad, it might take half the period to get to it based how awful the wifi can be. It can take anywhere from 5-10 minutes to even log onto Google Classroom, which doesn’t even work half of the time. Did you need to open a PDF in the first month of the school year? Google Classroom couldn’t handle that.
And then there’s the extreme frustration that comes with using an iPad during class (thank you to the teachers who give the option of using paper). “Just use Notability! It’s a great app you can do everything on it!” That is the biggest lie I’ve ever heard. Watching the mass confusion take over my class when we all tried to peer edit on Notability was comical, if you could even download the essays from Google Drive to Notability.
These iPads, which we were supposed to be able to do everything with, are becoming more of inconvenience than anything. Have you ever tried to type out a 4-5 page essay double spaced on Google Documents on your iPad? It’s time consuming, annoying, and frustrating. It’s a good thing we have so few windows here at the high school. Otherwise there would be a steady stream of iPads flying out of them.
Through simply observing everyone and seeing what they do on their iPad, it’s not hard to realize that they seldom use their iPad for educational purposes. Why would you when you have over 1.6 million apps on the app store to choose from to entertain you? Speaking of which, isn’t it ironic that with all of the problems or glitches, seemingly none of them have been with non-educational games
After seeing the opening month of life with iPads, I’m not sure if it’s worth it.