District iPads create more problems than solutions


In its third year of existence, I think we have enough retrospective to safely say that the district’s 1:X initiative is a failure.

This is not to say that it has been totally ineffective. I’m sure that some kid out there is getting straight A’s thanks to the convenience and technological superiority of their school owned iPad.

But I’ve never met that guy.

The students whom I’ve encountered instead have a laundry list of complaints, pretty much the opposite of the “thriving, 21st century digital citizens,” as the 1:X mission statement optimistically predicted that students would become.

The iPads, first of all, are about as reliable as a screen door on a submarine. Since they are connected to the school’s Wi-Fi network, even when used at home on a personal connection, any sort of failure in the district’s patchwork system will result in loss of Internet connection.

As if that wasn’t enough to drive someone to renounce all technology and join an Amish community, then you have the overstuffed bureaucracy that manages the maintenance and repair of these iPads. As of now, there is no readily available information on the Hebron High School website regarding who to contact if you have a problem with your iPad. The lack of information seems almost sinister, as if behind it all is an ex-KGB intelligence officer in an dingy office scattered with pirozkhi crumbs, plotting the fall of the United States. The site is not even updated with the new technology administrator, although this is understandable; since the inception of 1:X, there has been a virtual revolving door in the position. The amount of effort required to do something so simple is the reason that most iPads find more use as paperweights than in classrooms.

In addition, with some exceptions, teachers find iPad use in class distracting at best. And who can blame them? It takes a superhuman effort for many to focus on what is being said to them in a lecture when they have the entire Internet literally at their fingertips. Of course, the district tried to remedy this problem by restricting the apps that could be downloading onto the iPad. Unfortunately, they went about it in their usual clumsy way, and what was supposed to be a streamlined checking process has become a marathon that seems to have no end in sight.

With the myriad issues that the school and even the district is having with this attempted “groundbreaking, transformative installation,” I’m forced to think that the administrators in the shadowy headquarters of the district are possibly the most shortsighted people on earth. But maybe not. After all, former superintendent Dr. Stephen Waddell retired soon after the advent of 1:X. The more I look at it, the more this appears to be a dastardly plot worthy of a James Bond movie. The only difference is that, unlike Bond, there’s nothing we can do but grin and bear it.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]