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Letter | iPads at school are a positive addition to learning

May 8, 2013 · 4:55 PM
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My name is Trevor Gullstad and I am a sophomore at Mercer Island High School. I recently read the letter to the editor written by former student Greg Kim, criticizing the district’s one-to-one iPad program.

I was surprised by Greg Kim’s strong criticism, as he is no longer a student at MIHS and has not participated in the iPad program.

As a current student at the high school, I find my iPad very useful, and I believe that they are well worth the cost.

I spoke with Jennifer Wright, the executive director of Learning and Technology Services for the Mercer Island School District, to learn more about the one-to-one iPad program.

Wright told me that the district explored the possibility of Kindles, iPads and Android-based interfaces. The district selected iPads over the other two candidates based on the Kindle’s limited function and the iPad’s greater app availability. The district then piloted the iPads for two years, testing the devices in various grades and classes. This spring, 10th- and 11th-graders were given their own personal iPad.

Since the iPads were implemented at the high school for juniors and sophomores, a month ago, I have found many uses for the iPad. I make use of my iPad in all of my classes and for homework every day. For instance, in biology I draw out my hypothesis for the experiments and take pictures of the results, which I am able to compare in the photo stream. When I do my chemistry homework, I use the interactive periodic tables from the app catalog. For math, the TI-Nspire CAS app is only $30 compared to the $175 handheld device. In Spanish, I use my iPad instead of a white board for class activities. In addition, iPads can replace paper copy books and textbooks with eBooks and textbook apps. iPads can also be used to research, take notes, film lectures and type essays and reports.

In today’s world, personal devices are used every day at work and at home. College students use laptop computers for nearly everything they do. It is important for students to learn how to productively and efficiently use personal devices, in order to achieve success in higher education and career settings.

I personally find my iPad extremely useful for both school-related work and personal uses. I previously did not have a personal device and in only four weeks of use, my iPad has become an essential tool for learning and creating. The uses for the iPad are limited only by each student’s imagination and creativity. Imagine how they will be used in the future years to come.

Trevor Gullstad

MIHS Class of 2015;

written and sent from my iPad

 

 


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