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Throwing Money at Technology

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Charles Pierce

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When Nauset High School Decided to buy Ipads for every student, it was an awful decision. The school was given money specifically for the iPads, so the school is not completely to blame for the decision. The school is, however, responsible for the problems they have caused. Since teachers received little training in the use of iPads, most are having trouble including them in their curriculums. In fact, most teachers have decided not to allow the use of Ipads in their classrooms at all. While the school claims that the iPads were implemented to “Improve learning, develop critical thinking skills, and foster creativity,” They have not done any of these. Learning has not improved in any way, since most teachers don’t even use them in their courses. Most teachers have been teaching a certain way for years, and suddenly the school expects every teacher to completely rework their system to include the iPad. If anything, critical thinking has decreased due to the iPads, since kids can just Google what they are looking for instead of thinking about it for themselves. Even though this was already possible, through the use of smartphones, it is now made much easier through the iPads. The iPads don’t foster creativity in the least, especially when the only use students see for them is browsing social media and playing games.

If smartphones weren’t already a problem for teachers, they now have to deal with the Ipads. While most teachers had a no tolerance policy for cell phones, that is not even possible with the Ipads, since they are supposed to be used in class. If a teacher sees a student using a phone, they know that it isn’t for anything relevant to their class; they know for sure that it is something that they shouldn’t be doing. When a teacher sees a student with an Ipad, there is no telling if they are using it to take notes, message a friend, or play a game. This makes the Ipads much harder for teachers to keep under control.

When the community sees that the high school is buying Ipads for every student, they approve. It is what their taxes are going towards, and of course they would like to see the school advancing in technology. But the Ipads only look good from the outside, to the average Cape Cod homeowner who doesn’t care enough to look into the situation. They see that the school is dropping thousands of dollars on technology for every individual student, and immediately assume that their taxes are well spent. That was the real goal of the iPads, not to foster creativity, or any of the other ridiculously generic statements the school system made to to justify them. The real goal was to appeal to the homeowner, to keep parents sending students to Nauset High School, and to keep up appearances on the outside.

The iPads are not all bad, and there are obviously some benefits to having one. They allow kids to type essays in places they usually could not, and they allow students with bad handwriting to take clearer notes. These are the benefits the school was looking at when they put them into the system. It is a shame that most of the downsides, which could have easily been remedied, were looked over in the process.

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Throwing Money at Technology