Evaluating The New iPad Initiative

An update on the exciting uses of the iPad in the classroom



Andrew Pavlovic, Staff Writer and Newspaper Treasurer

The 7th graders have now had the new iPads for about three months. It is an exciting time to be a student in the Sewanhaka District. The benefits include less bulk and smaller backpacks (we hope) and greater connectivity. But of course, with any new technology, there will still be some problems, like when apps do not work or when kids might be playing a game instead of studying. While these pocket computers are a great convenience and exciting learning tool, they still require being monitored.

The iPads have a smart system that does not allow the user to download an app unless it is for educational purposes. However, there are still ways to access game websites. It is important that students do not get distracted and mess up on tests as a result of not paying attention in class.

“With great power comes great responsibility,” said Josh Keaton.

The iPads were paid for with an educational grant to help modernize our schools. It is difficult to estimate how much these devices will cost in the long run, but hopefully having one of the best devices on the market will inspire students and teachers to use them to the best of their capacity. There has been considerable training taking place to help with this transition.

Now, let’s take a took at some of the most redeeming features of the iPad. There are two very effective note-taking tools – Microsoft OneNote and GoodNotes 4. I personally use GoodNotes in just about every subject, and it really saves me hassle from dragging around heavy binders, pens, pencils, and papers. With GoodNotes, I can take a picture of my handouts, and complete them on my iPad. OneNote does the same thing, but I do not feel as if it is as organized as GoodNotes. However, it does enable saving to the OneDrive, a very nice cloud service provided with our Office365 subscription.

All of the 7th grader teachers are using schoology, a learning management system that extends the classroom onto the web. The app allows students to connect with teachers, and receive homework alerts and assignment due dates. Schoology also provides students with a platform to ask fellow students questions about the class. Microsoft Word helps students to complete homework on the iPads. Another app, myHomework, serves as an agenda book on the iPad. These are only some of the amazing features that definitely redeem the cost of our iPads.

​The iPads, however, can be plagued with glitches and downtimes on certain occasions. The smartly-designed fortiguard is amazing for stopping students from going to gaming sites. However, when you go home, and connect to your home WiFi, the fortiguard does not work. The iPads are becoming more common, and are evolving to better suit the needs for education. We are very lucky to have these tools, and they are a great aid to education. I think that our iPads will slowly become more and more useful. We have only scratched the tip of the iceberg, and they are already an amazing tool.