When the school year began, Blind Brook High School’s students were greeted by the building’s familiar beige hallways, plentiful stairwells, and benevolent teachers. With the timely return of students excited for the school year, and masks no longer concealing our smiling faces, there was something else in the district significantly new to freshmen and returning students alike: iPads. Each student at Blind Brook High School has received their own school-issued personal device.
This new addition to the district’s technology is anything but lackluster. The iPads come with a detachable keyboard as well as a stylus. They are also equipped with an iOS Self-Service app, allowing students to install school-provided apps as they choose. With an abundance of features that allow for easy annotating, drawing, and setting reminders, the new iPads are sure to elevate productivity in the classroom.
Many agree that the school’s new devices have evolved from the old Chromebooks. While, like Chromebooks, they require careful handling, the iPads are more compact and easier to carry in one’s bag, as they are smaller and don’t require a case. In addition, they don’t lag as often, but students may still encounter technical problems every now and then. Like any new technology, the iPads will definitely take some time to get used to. However, the change overall is for the better.
As technology advances and iPad usage increases, many classes in the district are going paperless. Apps such as Notability and Classkick are used for many class assignments, from annotating a passage about plant cells to completing a digital worksheet for geometry. Even our school’s art courses utilize Sketchbook and FlipaClip apps to make phenomenal digital creations. Reducing paper usage can save materials and make learning engaging.
Although this is only Blind Brook’s first year providing students of all ages with iPads, both students and teachers in the district are adapting to these new advancements quickly. Taking advantage of the iPad’s benefits while simultaneously facing the devices’ technical challenges can help students and faculty learn about overcoming difficulties. And those are lessons that can be applied to many of life’s challenges.