After slow start, students give technology an A+
(Page 3 of 3)
Seidner said that she has her students keep the iPad flat on the desk so that she can see what they are doing. In addition, she has the ability on her own device to check with apps individual students had open during her class period, monitoring the use of the devices to insure that students are doing work rather than playing games.
In addition, Seidner continues to give paper and pencil tests so that students cannot share the test answers with others or send the tests to students who have the test later in the day.
“We have the teachers sharing strategies all the time,” said deputy superintendent Bob Fenter, who is in charge of the initiative’s roll-out.
Chelsea said that she likes it because she does not have to learn to spell.
“If you don’t know a work, the iPad will spell it for you,” she said. “That makes it much easier to write.”
She adds, however, that while the device is “helpful,” it can also be addictive.
“I now use the iPad and other devices — such as her phone and game conslole — about 75 or 80 percent of her day,” she said. “We use it all day in school, even at lunch, when we are playing games. Nobody talks to each other at lunch anymore. Then, we go home and do our homework on the ipad, talk to friends and text on our phones or play games. It’s only the last hour or two of the day, when we can get disconnected. I try and get off the devices as much as I can.”
The bottom line for educators is, does the use of the technology facilitate education and allow students to work smarter and better.
Seidner say that it is too early to tell.
“I’m not sure then are learning smarter, just differently at this point,” she said. It allow me to monitor the students more thoroughly and it engages the students more than a regular lesson. It will take some time to evaluate its impact on the education of individual students.
Fenter said that he considers the experiment a success and that the devices will be used in the high school beginning next year.