By Alexis Burns ‘19
“The biggest impact the ipad has given is to the quieter students, who don’t talk much in class. They a way to be heard and to participate in class,” according to Ridley High School teacher Ms. Watts. The iPads and newer technology used in the classroom have been helpful to many students and teachers. This advanced technology is changing the way we learn.
The iPads are used a lot in our school. For writing, reading, taking notes, communication, just name it. Teachers require different apps for students to have in their classroom and for their learning benefits.
Mrs. Strehlau, who works in the tech suite, says that one of her jobs is to help teachers incorporate the iPads and educational apps into the classroom by installing, purchasing, and updating apps onto the iPad.
Ridley students use apps such as Canvas for assignments, google documents for writing papers, PowerSchool for checking their grades and gpa, Quizlet for studying, and more to do school work and to communicate with each other. Mrs. Strehlau stated “I think that the iPads have helped the school.”
In Ms.Watts’ English class, she uses the iPad for student discussions, to presenting projects, and to enhance learning and teaching skills.
Technology has made a huge impact on learning. The iPad has allowed students to participate and allow themselves to be heard through class discussions and responses. It also helps students communicate with their teachers and other students through apps like Remind. “My students use Remind so they can ask me or their classmates for homework and classwork they missed or forgot,” says Ms.Watts.
The technology also gives students a quick way to gather information through the web. They can look up dates for history classes, definitions for English or other languages, pictures for art, or find calculators online for math. Before all of this technology, people actually had to read books in the library to find information.
Many students have to download apps onto their iPads for different classes. Emily Coghlan and Maria Russo, both juniors, listed apps that they use for their classes and for their entertainment. Russo and Coghlan said they use Google Drive, Educreations, the calculator app, Safari and Google, Netflix, YouTube, Google Docs, Google slides, Duolingo, and Canvas.
Russo mentioned how she does not use her iPad much in school and uses it more at home. Coghlan also commented, “I think technology is beneficial but having laptops would be ten times better and more helpful than the iPads.” She thinks that typing would just be much more simple and it be easier, quicker, and more efficient for students. Both girls believe that technology has been beneficial to our education.
These apps have many different uses. Duolingo is an app that can be used to teach and learn different languages. Students use it to brush up on their spelling and pronunciation, or it can be used to learn a new language entirely.
Another app, Educreations, is great for projects. It allows the user to draw, write, and add voice overs on their projects and easily present or send them to their teacher.
Quizlet, an app often used for studying, has also helped students here. Quizlet allows the user to make and take quizzes, play games that will help them memorize, and use flashcards.
Technology in the classroom has benefitted many, but there are always those who take advantage of it. According to Mrs. Strehlau, “students can be tempted to play games.”
Coghlan said that she realized “the games people use on their iPads when they are bored, they only use in class and not at home, so it can be a bad thing.”
Ms.Watts noticed that students used to be able to sit and write five paragraphs by hand in one class period and now some have trouble writing proof paragraphs. She also finds it distracting when students will not put away their devices when it is time to unplug. Technology also has its faults. It can be annoying and distracting when it does not work. It cannot be depended on for everything.
Everyone uses technology everyday. It may be to check their texts, emails, shop, or just browse the web. It is a new generation and technology is taking over. It has benefitted students greatly. Technology has brought a new way of learning into schools, which they have profited from and using it more in the classroom will help us continue to revolutionize our education.