A textbook on the desk, opened to a page, and a blank notebook on the side. Curled in a chair, he should be doing history homework, but instead, he is playing one of those colorful touch games that utilizes animals and cutting ropes and flinging pigs and such.
iPads are simply devices of entertainment. I heavily urge my school district to reconsider their decision of giving students divergent technologies. iPads are counterproductive, usurping valuable energy and motivation. Sure, they are fun, and sometimes even immensely useful, but nonetheless, they are only things, electronic gimmicks that not necessarily contribute educational success.
First, I would like to make one thing clear: I think technology is a necessary conductor of quicker and higher success. My friend uses an iPad as an ebook habitually. My laptop functions as a portable workplace, electronic sketchpad, music making studio, etc. Running with music not only compels me to run further but also faster. I type faster than I write longhand. Technology has made life more efficient and ‘cool’.
However, the demographic at my school given the iPads can care less about using it as an eBook, or a faster way to write. Based on common sense and observation, they naturally turn to the more fun functions of the iPad: games, music, art, etc because they can. When I surveyed a couple of iPad-wielding friends, here were some actual responses:
- Now I can get on Facebook during school.
- The star walk app is really useful–I can see where the stars/constellations are without having to be outside. I dont know if it’s more productive.
- I’m so happy I got one, but iPads are definitely bad because they distract me from doing actual work.
So therefore, we are thankful, school district, but iPads, by nature, are too divergent.
Spending more on cooler things doesn’t necessarily translate into higher academic success. I strongly believe that blindly splurging on technology is quite deconstructive to the classroom atmosphere.
There are many other other alternatives of utilizing technology to promote learning; collaboration projects on google docs or college classes on coursera are both excellent. Let’s not focus on spending as a means of learning, but learning as a means of learning. I hope for the best.