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iPad initiative will boost student learning despite criticism


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By George Fairchild
Staff Writer

HensoniPads_Frost_1This school year has seen the introduction of a new tool designed to enhance the learning experience of students as Coppell High School prepares them for the ever-changing technological world of the 21st century.

The iPads are a new, somewhat controversial decide at CHS because some people do not believe they have a place in high school. The iPads do have some flaws, but they also carry an overwhelming number of positive aspects that prove purchasing iPads was worth the investment.

The most simple way to see whether or not iPads are worth is to look at the facts.  According to the U.S. Department of Education and studies by the National Training and Simulation Association, technology based instruction can reduce the time it takes students to reach a learning objective by 30-80 percent.  With iPads, students will learn and understand the material up to 80 percent faster allowing for teachers to cover a wider range of subjects andgo much more in depth in what they teach.

After a few weeks I can tell the iPads are helping me learn and understand the material faster because I am able to use a variety of apps to help me learn and do projects.  The iPads allow all the things I need to be stored in oneplace so it makes it easy for me to do my work at school, the library and at home.

iPads do not limit students learning like textbooks.  Textbooks only give a students a  limited amount of information, but on an iPad, students can use the Internet or download educational apps that can enhance their learning experience.

Publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt conducted an experiment in 2010 in a high schoolin California where a large group of students were given either a normal Algebra I textbook or an online version of the sametextbook on an iPad.  At the end of a unit, students were given the same test. On average, students who used the digital textbook scored 20 percent higher than students who studied using the print version of the textbook. These studies show the clear concise facts and prove that iPads at CHS can expect to deliver positive results.

Apart from boosting the learning of students, iPads also provide other benefits.  Coppell states in its mission statement that it wants to “develop self-reliant learners whomaximize their potential in an ever changing global society.” The global society that Coppell is striving to prepare its students for is filled with technology that is constantly developing and changing.  The need for students to be technologically proficient is huge.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment in computer and information systems is expected to grow by 18 percent in the next 10 years.

Keeping to the traditional style of learning will allow information to pass from teacher to student, but it will not teach the students any real lesson or prepare them for later life in our technology filled world.

In the long term iPads will actually save Coppell money.  It sounds crazy to think that buying thousands of brand new iPads, revamping the Wi-Fi and purchasing apps for all the students could save money, but it will.

According to a study in 2012 by the Federal Communications Commission,  purchasing e-textbooks instead of printed textbooks would save up to $1,000 per student. iPads will allow for students to turn in assignments and take tests and quizzes without the need to purchase endless sheets of paper and ink cartridges.

iPads carry numerous benefits and after the student body at Coppell adjusts to them, people will come to realize just how useful iPads are and how much they can offer us.

 

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