Students in Technology 1 to 1 Program trade tablets for laptops


Ali Dodd

Subjects in the Technology 1 to 1 program can use the laptops for any of their classes.

PCs have been used at this school since it was founded. Now, laptops have become a commodity. It’s been six and a half years since Apple sold their first iPad which spawned the use of tablets for work and play. As laptops and iPads become common tools, the district is launching a Technology 1 to 1 program using these devices to test how effective they are in the classroom.

I tried [creating to presentation] myself on an iPad and I could not stand it.

— Karen Gipson

The iPads were used during the first quarter of the 2016-17 school year. The consensus is that the iPads were helpful in the classrooms for fetching information from websites, viewing educational videos and performing certain tasks that apps can make easier. However, they proved inconvenient for taking notes and doing a lot of work over a long period of time. They were also found to be more difficult to type on.

“Creating a Powerpoint or Prezi or any kind of presentation is so difficult,” French teacher Karen Gipson. “I tried it myself on an iPad and I could not stand it, so I went back to my computer.”

At the start of second quarter, the iPads were turned in and exchanged for Apple Macbook Airs. The laptops have proven much more useful than their tablet counterpart, being more capable and more familiar to their users.

Physics classes use the new laptops to run simulations. Unlike iPads, the Macbook Airs can run Flash programs.
Ali Dodd
Physics classes use the new laptops to run simulations. Unlike iPads, the Macbook Airs can run Flash programs.

Many students found issues with their devices that caused trouble during class.

“Technology isn’t always cooperative,” junior Jared Hicks said. “That makes it a problem if the teacher is trying to do a lesson and even one person’s laptop or iPad isn’t cooperating or isn’t connected to the wifi.”

Another for the technology program is internet connectivity. However, school technician Adam Blair, who works on the tech program in the mailroom, does not worry about Internet being a roadblock. Blair believes that the main cause of problems will be user unfamiliarity.

“I think a lot of the issues we’ve had have been mostly been related to user unfamiliarity,” Blair said. “There’s a big learning curve [with iPads and Macbook Airs].”

There are risks and challenges the school must face in order to launch the Technology 1 to 1 program next year, but it is a foreseeable goal.

“[They need] time with it,” Blair said. “Once the teachers have a couple quarters to use these tools with their lesson plans or figuring out how to use this tech, the program should go smoothly.”