The iPad Issue: LOCKDOWN

Natasha Malonza, Editor

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Since their introduction to the New Providence curriculum, iPads have been both a bane and a blessing.

Although students might disagree, many teachers are against the distractions that the iPads pose in the form of access to the Internet and games.  Early on, the school addressed these concerns by blocking certain websites, like Facebook, and by blocking apps like iMessage.  While these were valiant efforts to bring about change, the teachers quickly realized that the students of New Providence were adaptable, and when one thing was removed another rose to fill its place.  Now a new wave of change has arrived.  Forget banning one app or two:  the school is taking away the app store.

Over the past year, administration and teachers have discussed the issue of students being distracted with games and other social media options, focusing mostly on how to fix it.  After collecting a few potential solutions, a survey was sent out to the students, teachers, and parents weigh in on the issue.

To one question on the survey (“Is the iPad beneficial?”) the answer was an overwhelming “yes” from both students, teachers, and parents alike.  However, not all questions elicited such a unanimous response.  When asked “would you like gaming access to be restricted?” parents and teachers said “yes” while students said “no”.  Majority rules, and the lockdown option was chosen.

“The lockdown will start in February and run until June,” said Mrs. Andersen, NPSD  Department Head of Technology and Information Services.

Alright, so some apps will be taken away, but some will remain; what determines which apps stay and which ones go?  First, teachers will be given the chance to request apps that they use by writing down the name and the reason why the app is useful to them and their students.

“These apps will go into the self-service app,” explained Mrs. Andersen.  “Basically what we’re doing is creating our own app store for our educational program”.

The next step will be to create a form for the students to request apps, and only apps used for organization, studying, collaborating on projects, and learning will be considered.

Most of the students seem to be dreading this whole process, but what could actually go wrong?  When asked about this, Mrs. Andersen only identified students losing their notes and trying to get them back as a potential problem.

“We will be sending out videos like the morning videos, and reminders to let students know what they should be doing, because overall I just want a smooth transition,” she said.

An FAQ document will be sent out soon to answer any additional questions.

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