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Technology Takeover

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iPads being used in a classroom at North Middle

iPads being used in a classroom at North Middle

iPads being used in a classroom at North Middle

Sabrina Messite, Staff Writer

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Due to the recent emphasis of technology here at Great Neck North, students are expected to come to school with their iPads – not notebooks. iPads have replaced paper supplies in many departments, as the app Notability has become a more efficient note-taking method for majority of students. Very few teachers provide paper handouts; instead, teachers post the sheets on Google Classroom to be exported into Notability.

Teachers who had never posted homework online before are starting to embrace Google Classroom, and they have completely abandoned paper. While some students are happy with doing their work online, not everyone is a fan of the new school-wide phenomenon.

One large disadvantage for students in their teaches’ utilization of Google Classroom is the stressful deadlines for online submissions. If a student hands in an assignment after 11:59 p.m., teachers consider it to be late, while before this year, students could hand work in physically during class, meaning they had the option to stay up late to finish their all of their work.

Although many teachers insist that their students should have an adequate amount of sleep every night, many students procrastinate and truly need that extra time to complete their work. Another issue with the use of iPads is the tendency for students to have their school supplies dying during class. Students are then penalized for being unprepared, whereas if a binder is forgotten, one can easily borrow a piece of paper. With a dead iPad, there is no quick fix, as the time period needed to recharge the device is extremely long. While it is true that students are responsible for coming to class with all materials, if for any reason they can’t, they are left in class unable to learn.

On the other hand, the amazing quality of iPads is that they help lessen the load of school books in one’s backpack by getting rid of the need for notebooks and binders. It’s also much harder to lose anything, as it is all saved on the device, making school easier for disorganized students who would previously have papers stuffed in their bags.

This switch to technology in the classroom is preparing students for the future. Technology teacher Mr. Resnick believes this change is for the better, as it provides “the students with an opportunity to learn more technologies that will be required of them as they move into the workforce.”

This includes being familiar with applications such as Microsoft Excel that are important in many different career fields.

The technology department is pushing for the continued support of the one-to-one iPad initiative, where every student has an iPad that they use consistently throughout high school.

Ms. Cooper pointed out that although the school is not investing in new devices, the department is improving the use of iPads by amping up the software and looking for new applications in the educational space. While new SMART Boards are slowly being integrated throughout the school, the expensive machines take a backseat to additions that enhance the iPads that we already have. For example, the department has made online magazines available to us through the app Flipster, and has enlarged the collection of books on the Kindle app as well.

Another change that we might see is the replacement of Mac computers with PCs. The Mac computers in the Guide Post office were replaced with less expensive Dells because the Macs broke, and unfortunately, Mr. Meehan suggested that this might turn into a trend if the district decides to replace Macs with less costly PCs. Sadly for those who enjoy using Mac computers over PCs, the school does not have much influence over district initiatives.

Ms. Cooper pointed out that the Technology Committee evaluates technology usage and budgetary needs. This decision-making team is composed of faculty from all different departments in the building, and evaluates potential new equipment based on the courses in which they think the equipment would be useful.

Another technological addition coming to North is a TV multimedia center.

The goal of the center is to teach students about TV production and how to use television in different disciplines, along with podcasting and radio broadcasts. In order to stay up to date with new advancements in the technology field, Mr. Meehan says that emerging technologies to come will be welcomed and taught in this center. The technology department’s goal is to get ahead of the curve, rather than simply trying to keep up with it.

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