It’s Debatable- iPads

This year, every student at Darby was issued an iPad for use in the classroom and home. Many students enjoy having technology at the tips of their fingers, while others dread the
thought of using the new gadgets. Here is a image1look at some of the pros and cons of using iPads in the classroom. 

For:

  There are many merits to using iPads for school. One major perk is students now have access to online textbooks, which decreases the weight in backpacks. Time.com reported that a study done in 2010 at the University of California attributed a large amount of back, shoulder, and neck pain in students is due to heavy backpacks. The amount of papers handed out has also decreased in many ways due to the use of apps like Google Drive and Canvas. Apps such as these allow students and teachers to communicate quickly and efficiently, as well as turn in assignments online. Teachers will no longer have the need for a small forest when handing out papers.   

  The decrease in the amount of papers is not the only good thing about iPads. The vast amount of apps available for students helps them personalize their learning experience. Remind 101, for example, keeps students and teachers connected with each other, giving teachers the ability to remind students about assignments and upcoming tests or quizzes. Finally, studies show that using iPads in the classroom improves learning.  

  Greatschools.org, a site dedicated to furthering student education, states that tablet use in school can have positive influence on students and teachers.

  “UK-based researchers examined schools using tablets and found a range of learning benefits, including increases in student motivation, collaboration between students and teachers, and collaboration among students themselves.” There are a vast amount of benefits to using iPads in school, from physical to technologically.  


Against:

  iPads can be a fantastic tool for learning, but not everyone is thrilled about them. Many students prefer using the traditional method of pen and paper as opposed to technology. This may be due to the fact that writing things down formulates connections in the brain and in turn helps with memory.

  According to lifehacker.org, writing things down makes connections in the brain that typing does not.

  “Writing stimulates a bunch of cells at the base of the brain called the reticular activating system (RAS). The RAS acts as a filter for everything your brain needs to process, giving more importance to the stuff that you’re actively focusing on at the moment.” Typing does not activate the RAS like writing does, so it becomes harder to remember the information that is typed.

  In addition, technology is not always reliable. For example, the battery can die if not properly charged, and the wifi is not guaranteed to work all of the time. Also, parents complain about teenagers always being on their devices, but now students will be looking at a screen all day. Looking at screens for a long period of time causes eyestrain. Eyestrain can lead to headaches, blurred vision, and difficulty focusing on tasks.

  Lastly, giving iPads to students make them less likely to socialize. Students are more likely to sit and play games rather than talking with their peers. For the kids that do not have any devices of their own at home, they see this as their first, very own, tablet. To them it means they can do anything they want with it, including playing games and paying less attention. iPads are more of a distraction than a learning tool.

by Emily Betteridge and Karoline Betteridge

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