Apple Classroom not enough to stop iPad distractions

IMG_1777Mauli Patel

You walk into a classroom and notice that everything has drastically changed. Instead of today’s students diligently taking notes and paying attention to what the teacher is saying, they are more adjusted to playing games, texting their friends, or updating their profile on social media sites on school-issued iPads.

The endless distractions provided by iPads in the classroom far outweigh the positives. Apple Classroom was instituted at the beginning of second semester to limit these distractions in the class. While this may seem like a solution, it is far from eliminating the problem of distractions on iPads, no matter what means the school goes to.

Apple Classroom allows teachers to monitor students’ screens or lock students into one app. The app does seem pretty good, but some teachers won’t want to be focusing on the app while they’re trying to teach. Also, teachers may not even want to use it in general, and teachers who are new to iPads might not be able to understand how to properly use it. In addition to this, teachers who do use the iPads have students frequently bouncing from app to app like Schoology and Notability, which makes locking students into a single app a bigger hassle.

The biggest challenge that today’s students face on their iPads is the distraction from notification after notification continuously popping up on their screens. These notifications provide students with even more ways to get distracted during class. If a student is successfully on task and a notification comes through, most people have a hard time just swiping it away and not clicking on it to see exactly what it was.

Administration has attempted to “lock” students out of their games, Twitter, or Facebook with restrictions. But kids always find a way to avoid the restrictions and distract themselves during class, whether it be using their own portable Wi-Fi hotspots to avoid using the school Wi-Fi, or using other VPN apps to lift the restrictions. It is impossible to find a successful way to eliminate every type of distraction.

Those who are in support of iPads in schools would argue that the distractions can be controlled and that iPads are innovative and help students with organization, working in groups, and easily sharing and storing their work. In reality, though, these distractions are impossible to control and the perks of iPads also carry negatives. The “easy sharing” allows kids to cheat and copy off each other much more easily and the “organization” makes it impossible to look over two or more sheets at once.

All in all, the detriments and distractions presented by iPads in classrooms are harming kids’ educations. The institution of Apple Classroom may seem like a solution, but in reality, it is far from eliminating the problem.

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