District 211 re-approves iPads
The Board of Education, based on a presentation from the district-wide 1:1 committee, made the decision to reapprove iPads for District 211.
The 1:1 committee consisted of teachers and administrators from all five schools who recommended the re-approval of iPads after exploring the possibility of moving to Google Chromebooks in upcoming years.
The main reason for the committee was “to re-evaluate if iPad use is appropriate and responsible, as other schools had begun using Chromebooks,” according to business teacher Patricia Ertl.
The committee did much research on the Chromebooks and their capabilities. The group looked at many different versions of the computer and many different schools in the community that used them, or that switched from iPads to Chrombooks, in order to evaluate whether or not they were better than the iPads.
Ertl said, “We looked at District 54, which has Chromebooks, to see how they were implemented there.”
The committee found that the iPads were better than Chromebooks due to their increased capabilities and their many useful student apps, such as Notability and Apple Classroom.
Blue Team Assistant Principal Mark Langer said the iPads were better in “portability, charge, apps available, and teacher familiarity.”
As iPads are approved for next year, the system won’t change. However, the class of 2020 will receive new iPads.
“Freshmen were given a used iPad this year because we wanted to wait to see if we were going to switch to Chromebooks,” Technology Coordinator Paul Kim explained.
Conant students support the district’s efforts to find new and better ways of technology to help its students learn.
Lea Cejvan, ’17, said, “We are in a technology advanced era, and I am glad that Conant is continuing on that route. It will be better for both students and faculty to keep up with modern education methods, which could do so much more than just a paper and a pencil.”
“I’ve gotten used to the iPad as an educational tool, and I hope that Conant continues to use them,” Gabby Freiberg, ’19, added.
The re-approval process will not happen annually, but instead will occur with the advent of new technology.
Kim predicts, “For the next two or three years, there will likely be no change.”
However, Kim added, “We will do our due diligence to ensure students are given the best opportunities with what technology is out there.”