After the students at Culver Community High School have had time to adjust to the new devices they’ve been gifted with, the school is proud to say things are moving along smoothly. At the beginning of this school year, students were presented with their very own Apple iPad to use for the duration of the school year. These devices can be taken home and used to do homework, research, talk with other students, read their textbooks on the device, and perform countless other helpful tasks. Unfortunately, they also open the door to new levels of procrastination, because students now have in their hands a device that they can choose to use for either school work or entertainment.
Fortunately, Culver Community is not suffering from this change; in fact, Principal Albert Hanselman says these devices have affected the school in a very positive way.
“We’ve had fewer discipline referrals; our attendance rate is up, our first midterms are coming out and I think they’re going to be positive, so those are positives to this point,” said Hanselman.
While students are used to having to lug around their hefty backpack filled with several large textbooks, the iPad is changing the teaching environment entirely. Instead of slinging their backpack over their shoulder, they will soon be able to carry their iPad around without worrying that they’ve forgotten their textbooks or other work. This is a vast difference, but the children are adjusting to it and learning from it.
“It’s more of adapting to the new update style of learning compared to the conventional or traditional way that they used to deliver the content. You’re still delivering content, it’s just through a different method, so it’s still the same end goal, you’re just using a different device to get them the information,” said Technology Director Daniel Medesi.
However, the iPad will in no way phase out teachers or the concept of school, Hanselman says. The iPad provides another avenue for learning, but it will likely never completely replace pencils and paper. Hanselman said the goal for this technology initiative is to use technology when appropriate, and there are things that can be done by hand that the iPad can’t match. Only one teacher has announced her class has gone completely paper-free and while that may work for her, other teachers may not find that to be an easy, or recommended, approach.
“There’s no substitute for teacher-student interaction. There never will be. This is a tool to help enhance and promote what the teacher wants to get accomplished in their room,” said Hanselman.
Just like technology is constantly evolving, so must the classroom. Using these new devices provides students with the opportunity to become acclimated to using technology in their day-to-day lives, which gives them a step up in the professional world. Culver Community Schools will have to keep their thumb on the pulse of technology, and they’re just getting started.