iPads: For Better or Worse?

By J1 Reporters Lauren Mayer and Kate Schwaller

“The internet.”

Senior, Kathryn Fuxa, said she believes this is the most helpful app on the iPad. So much information is at your fingertips! Although, there is controversy as to whether this is truly a benefit. But Fuxa claims that she has never fallen behind in a class because of her iPad.

Back in 2013, iPads were introduced to Marian a one-to-one educational improvement. However, over the years, there has been discussion as to whether they are an advantage or a disadvantage in the classroom. Teachers and students alike have mixed feelings about this innovation.

“It’s just like in the old times when  students would pass notes. The iPads are a new way of passing notes,” said Dean of Discipline, Ms. Ronda Motykowski.

Mr. Greg Golka, a theology teacher, agrees that the iPads can be a distraction. He often catches students shopping or playing games while in class. Furthermore, both Golka and Motykowski agree that they have to be more attentive toward students. Although the iPad may impact students in a positive direction, it can also be distracting.

*Photo credit: Lauren Mayer This is typically what Marian student’s iPad home screen would look like.

*Photo credit: Lauren Mayer
This is typically what Marian student’s iPad home screen would look like.

Fuxa agrees that she does get sidetracked time to time on Buzzfeed. In addition, Motykowski also said she believes that the iPads take away from the traditional writing and rewriting of notes as a way of learning.

While the iPads may be distracting at times, they can also expand the learning experience. In Motykowski’s Women’s Health class, the students use iPads for a variety of reasons. In the first week of the class, they are required to make an iMovie introducing themselves to the class. Throughout the semester, they use them for many fitness apps, such as a BMI app, and MyFitnessPal to monitor their eating and exercise habits. “We use the iPads to take tests and to do a majority of our projects,” sophomore Caitlin Wessling said in an email interview.

Golka’s class uses the iPads to gain access to an online Bible, read different articles, and for reflective writing. “Having the iPads means more tools are available, making things quicker and easier,” Golka said.

“The iPad saves me from having to carry two huge textbooks,” freshman Zoë Zier said. She does not find the iPads distracting at all to her schoolwork. She likes the accessibility of her grades using PowerSchool and how simple it is to turn in assignments in Ebackpack. Overall, Zier finds the iPads to be an “efficient, fun, learning-experience.”

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