Technology is entering a new phase. Nowhere is that more evident than at John Muir and Horace Mann middle schools.
IPads made their official debut in classrooms on Wednesday. By Thursday, students were already using them in a variety of subject areas, such as photography. Students took pictures on them outside for an art class and then critiqued the pictures afterwards.
Many students say they enjoy the iPads more than normal cameras because the picture is clearer and they are not as complicated to use. The devices are also being used in Social Studies classes for research and looking up definitions of words.
Teachers say they are trying to build a solid foundation with the iPads first, but eventually they will be used in all subject areas. They hope to put textbooks on the iPads so that students can simply take their iPad home to complete assignments rather than carry heavy textbooks back and forth. Another plus-side for teachers is that they can correct papers on the iPads as students work on them, taking away the need for multiple drafts.
"The kids love using them," says John Lakus, an 8th Grade Social Studies teacher at Horace Mann. "It's another way to promote education. It's another way to get them to want to learn, and you know that's half the battle."
The biggest issue he's had so far is the logistics behind charging all the iPads at once in the classroom. However, when students bring them home starting in a few weeks, he says that won't be an issue.
When it comes to responsibility over the $500 iPads, Dean Hess, Principal of John Muir middle school says responsibility is shared between the school and parents. He says normal wear and tear falls on the school, but if the device is broken maliciously, responsibility falls on parents.