By Alex Gonzalez, Staff Writer
A number of schools across the country are integrating iPad’s into their teaching curriculum. Governor Livingston began using this technology last year, and all students now have their own personal iPad. Student opinion at GL is split about the use of iPad’s in the classroom. While some students believe the school has given them a tool for learning, others see the new technology as a way to play games in school. I admit that I am one of those students who gets distracted by the games. I believe that the money spent on iPad’s might have gone towards other resources, such as new textbooks or air-conditioning for the hottest areas of the school, like the science wing.
According to a 2012 article in Beta News.com*, a website that focuses on technology, “The first issue that teachers often encounter in the classroom when using iPads is that students find creative ways to distract themselves in class. The typical reaction to this is to lock down the iPad and prevent students from accessing YouTube and the internet. Once again the iPad becomes nothing more than a shiny toy.” Beta News goes on to say that “in most cases tablets are purchased without a clear plan” and that in many instances I-Pads are being “forced into the classroom without teachers having a set plan on how to incorporate them into their pre-made lessons.” At Governor Livingston, however, there is a plan and teachers have been trained how to use the iPad’s in their classes. Although the iPad’s are used as a learning tool at GL, I agree with some of the comments made by Beta News. I have spoken to students who believe the iPad’s help students learn, but I have also heard from students who feel that the iPad’s are a distraction to their learning.
Some of the students I’ve spoken to at Governor Livingston have had problems with using the iPad’s in an efficient and appropriate manner when in a classroom situation. In my experience, I have heard many people talk about their iPad’s being a distraction. Some students have said that they would rather take notes with paper and a pen rather than on an iPad.
In our new and changing learning environment students will be using iPad’s and other technology more and more, especially when they get to college. Learning how to prevent the technology in our lives from becoming a distraction in an out of the classroom is a skill that both students and teachers must learn.
*Although the Beta News article is from 2012, the information is still relevant and applicable to the issue our school is facing.