Interview: Student Gives Mixed Reviews on iPads in the Classroom

By Theodore

Joseph Wang is a freshman at Friends Seminary, a private, New York City high school which supplies many of its students with iPads for academic use. Joseph says they mainly use the iPad for note-taking, since most of the textbooks used by the school are not available electronically. “So far, we have one textbook on the iPad; but next year, we plan to have two.”

The note-taking program on the iPad involves “writing” on the screen. Joseph says the program is helpful, but it could use some improvements.

“It’s kinda’ hard because there’s a delay between what you write and when it appears on the iPad screen. You can type, but its kinda’ weird doing it to take notes.”

Despite the issues with the new technology, Joseph says he prefers the iPad textbook over traditional textbooks.

“I like the iPad textbook because I can write on it without [physically] writing on it, which could get messy. The only problem is that it freezes sometimes.”

However, Joseph told us about problems he’s observed with the iPad beyond textbooks and notes. He believes they have negatively affected the social and academic skills of his class.

“I’ve seen a lot of people, like a quarter of my class, getting distracted playing video games during class. If you come to my school, you’ll see the freshman class hasn’t bonded as well as juniors and seniors. The freshmen are the only ones with iPads. Their iPads are a big distraction and interfere with social interaction.”

Despite these problems, he believes that iPads could be the future of education.

“ . . . [If one] could lock student [access] to only textbooks because distractions are a problem. An iPad is a lot less heavy than your physics textbooks and biology textbooks.”

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