It’s been a year and a half since Beaver Local started teaching out of it’s new facility, and with that time, Beaver Local School District has made a successful transition into a more technology driven paperless school. Each student, whether it is kept at the school or taken home, has their own iPad that is issued by the administration. Not only does the administration provide students with iPads, but they also supply the teachers with them, along with Macbooks to help assist with daily lessons. Classrooms are also equipped with 80 inch televisions and Apple TVs.
Every day, students use their iPads to access notes and assignments their teachers send out. Students can access these resources through two main programs: Blackboard and Google Classroom. With these “internet classrooms” or classroom management systems existing, students can easily contact their teachers and work on assignments when they are absent so they do not fall behind in their studies. These programs also help mimic the management systems used in colleges and universities around the world to help prepare Beaver Local students for their futures. The iPads are not just used for boring, old assignments, but also for fun activities to help students understand content that they are going over in class. Some activities that the iPads are used for are webquests, where the teacher assigns some sort of stimulation for students to work through and making fun videos that go over content that is being learned to share with their class. Students can complete all the traditional paper and pencil based tasks on their iPads but now have the potential for so much more at their fingertips.
Even though students have mixed feelings about the iPads, they will admit to some of the things that they like about them. Alexis Sell, a freshman, likes that the iPads hold more storage than her phone, giving her more room to work on her school assignments and allowing her to take it on the go. Sophomore Hannah Virden commented, “I like that we have full access to all of our assignments in one handy spot. I feel like it keeps me organized and more on task.” Agreeing with her, Bella Sweigard, another freshman, added that she likes that she can keep up with her grades daily.
While the iPads may be useful in many ways, there are some problems that can occur. One problem would be if a student does not have a form of internet connection at home. Those students would then have no way of accessing their assignments, therefore, they would not have a way to submit them. Another problem is students not using their iPads for educational purposes. At any moment during the school day, students can be seen switching off of their assignments and onto things like video games and social media. This means, teachers have to stay diligent while managing their classes to make sure students are really on task. So, yes, while the iPads may be helpful in many different ways, there are still a few things that need to be straightened around.