iPads are becoming increasingly popular among students of all ages. I am a high school senior and I do not own a laptop. The iPad has pretty much consumed my life as a result. I use my iPad for a variety of purposes - from downloading and reading e-books to typing papers and sending e-mails. I was actually considering selling my iPad when I go to college, but my college friend convinced me otherwise because he noted that the iPad is like the ultimate notebook in a college class. One can download textbooks, jot notes via keyboard or stylus, record lectures, and much more. 

There has been some talk in my classes that our school could potentially convert from textbooks to iPads in the future. My guess is that most students are all for this idea... I mean, who wouldn't want to borrow an iPad for an entire school year if it was available to them? My friend from Buffalo Grove High School has two iPads - one was his own, the other belongs to BG. BG lends out iPads to their AP Economics students. On a side note, it's ironic because my friend made the point of telling me that he has no idea why they would buy iPads when they are in need of money for more important issues. At any rate, the iPad is indeed a helpful tool overall. But along with its potential improvement of efficiency regarding textbooks and such, there are some not-so-beneficial factors to take into consideration when deciding whether or not our school should purchase them and lend them to our students. 

For one thing, iPads are extremely costly. Are we (or our parents rather) willing to pay for such a big investment? We're not just talking about 50 or so iPads here. If the school were to pay for iPads for every individual in the student body, the figure exceeds $1 million. 

Just to throw a few more factors out there...

What happens if someone were to lose their iPad? Would they have to replace it/pay for the original price of the iPad? In either case, a large sum of money will be lost.

What happens when Apple comes out with newer models? Won't our school need to stay up-to-date on the technology so as to be able to use whatever the next brilliant features that Apple puts in each new model?

Views: 2889

Comment by Marlisa Wang on March 22, 2012 at 8:43pm

I remember reading the article about the possibility of switching to all iPads instead of textbooks and paper. iPads would definitely be more efficient, but there's also a list of cons that comes with it. I personally am horrible at technology. If we were to store all our homework, textbooks, etc on the iPad, what would happen if something went wrong and everything was completely erased/lost? And also, the internet in Fremd is already as slow as it is...imagine if we had the entire student body on the internet at the same time. :/ I own an iPad and I have to say they are definitely really cool and very useful, but I don't know if I want to rely entirely on it. 

Comment by Anders Dinterman on March 22, 2012 at 10:41pm

The integration of the iPad in the classroom would offer a great amount of advantages, but would bring with it an equal amount of disadvantages. The iPad would obviously be more efficient in terms of paper usage and would open a world of new learning methods. But I think that the disadvantages outweigh the advantages to the iPad. Staring at a screen all day long would have horrible effects on the eyes of students. Nick Macius makes a valid point in arguing that the iPad would surely just become another distraction for most students. The internet would take a large toll in terms of speed, and you also have to think about the huge cost it would take to provide iPads for the entire school.

Comment by Sawsan Kahil on April 16, 2012 at 9:37pm

This is popular topic has its pros and cons. Having iPads instead of endless textbooks and paper material is great for two main reasons. One is that it may engage students more. Using technology like this may serve as a refreshing change from the usual "turn your books to page...” and also relieves the burden of carrying 40 pounds on our backs. Another plus is the environmental advantages. Imagine all the paper from trees as well as ink that would be saved. The entire positive aside, this is a potentially destructive decision. If the iPad doesn't engage students to their studies it almost guaranteed distract them. it is an entertainment tool after all. Also, like what you mentioned about the price, periodic updating, and the possibility of loss or destruction are all major disadvantages that school boards will have to consider. These are just my thoughts. Thanks for the post!

Comment by Olivia Nortillo on April 17, 2012 at 7:35pm

I like the idea of iPads in classrooms because it's a step for schools becoming more in tune to the technology developing in the world. The use of iPads in classrooms also gives us the opportunity to cut costs on paper products and the removal of inefficient and many times unnecessary ways to produce learning tools for students.

There are also apps out there now for the iPod and the iPad that we're able to use in school like Evernote and Notablility. These kind of apps can help us take notes on devices that we use everyday. I don't know about other people, but I always have my iPod with me and have been using Evernote on my iPod to take notes in my world history for a while now and I really like the availability of the app. I think the use of technology in classrooms allows many students to use things that they already have instead of making students spend lots of money on notebooks, loose leaf paper, pens and pencils for their school year. There are benefits and downsides to the movement of using iPads in our classrooms, but in my opinion, the benefits outweigh the downsides.

Comment by Laurel Stewart on April 19, 2012 at 10:43am

iPads are a good idea for classrooms in theory. But when you weigh other factors like the cost and the likelihood that many will be damaged and require a costly repair or a new iPad all together, the risks outweigh the benefits. However, it would be more environmentally friendly by helping cut down paper usage.  It would definitely be nice not to have to carry textbooks around, too.

Comment by Simone Corpora on April 19, 2012 at 10:58am

I think the idea is good, but just not realistic. At least not for high school students at this time. Using an ipad for college courses seems much more practical. The school lending the ipads to each individual student for them to keep and  take care of doesn't seem like a very good idea. Students can be careless and unaware of how valuable an ipad is. Once you're in college the ipad is something you have bought with your own money and this can make you more concious of how you treat it. We have a problem with things being stolen at our school and people might try and steal someone else's ipad to sell, and then the person is reliable for the cost when someone else stole their ipad. In the post you said it would cost 1 million dollars to supply a whole school with ipads, and that would take a huge grant. Another problem is that Apple is constantly coming out with the next generation and within just a couple years the ipads that the school bought would be outdated. It would be helpful if students had to carry less books and papers from class to clas, but  we just aren't quite there yet. I have a brother in college and he said the ipad has saved his life. I wish that I could say that, but as a high school student I don't know how it would benefit me. Great topic to begin thinking about, and great post.

Comment by Margaret Chojnowska on April 20, 2012 at 2:07pm

I also think that bringing in IPads or other tablets would be a great idea but like you said the cost is overwhelming. i think that maybe schools could do some fundraising and maybe they could take away money in little places here and there to be able to afford the cost of many ipads. also, many students have ipads already so those students wouldn't need to rent them and that would leave more for the individuals who cannot.

Comment by Hannah LaBarge on April 26, 2012 at 9:10pm

I honestly like school textbooks.  I have a kindle and I'd rather have an actual book in my hand, and the kindle screen is as close as it comes to looking like a book. I hate the thought of having to read everything on a screen.  Plus, imagine all the irresponsible students with an iPad.  Half the student body would be sitting in class playing Angry Birds on their iPad while they pretend to take notes.

Comment by Pierre McCauley on May 8, 2012 at 6:04pm

I have had frequent discussions on this topic of replacing textbooks with IPads. In my opinion, I do like the idea, but there's always a flaw in every good idea. You see good ideas are "good" for a reason. I did not use the word perfect or even great by any means, because those words can describe something that is virtually flawless. The reason why IPads replacing books is a good idea is its balance of positives and negatives. For the positives, it will reduce the amount of space carried in our backpacks and lockers. It also can save the amount of wasted paper. Plus it would be what we call "cool". I mean who wouldn't want an IPad or just to borrow one for a whole year. I wouldn't mind that at all. My problem with this theory on converting books to IPads or tablets is the total cost for the products. Many factors play out in the final cost of the IPads like the quantity needed, repairment and replacement costs, updates, hardware updates and application downloads. When you think about all of that at once, you are pretty much blowing tons of money that could be used to address other issues. There are a lot of schools that are in need of renovation and just need funding in general. One textbook by the way is cheaper than purchasing one IPad. Even supplying laptops would be cheaper in my belief, because you can reuse them and their operating systems. I'm not bashing IPads; it's a "good" idea, but you have to look at the real world to support the idea to make it a "great" idea. It's like living in a fantasy, but when you retract from that fantasy, you will see why thi has so many flaws in it.

Monsieur Pierre

Comment by Dorothy Feng on May 23, 2012 at 12:28am

I think that although having iPads for school is a brilliant idea, the consequences and risk factors can easily overwhelm the benefits. There are just too many things to consider. I think that instead of putting forth the romantic idea of giving each student an iPad, they should just be more lenient with students who want to use their own iPads in class. That way, there is no pressure for people to go out and purchase one and no need for those who can't afford it to get one. 

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