By Logan Hall ’14
Incoming freshmen sat eagerly awaiting the okay to bust open their brand new iPads and learn how to use them Friday, August 10 in the Info Commons.
Instead of Tablet PCs like classes prior to them use, the class of 2016 will be doing their schoolwork on the iPad.
Mr. Jim Bopp, assistant principal for technology and instruction, said he is in favor of the iPads, but noted they are simply provided to help students with their learning.
“It’s important to keep in mind that iPads and Tablet PCs are just tools, they’re not an end in themselves,” said Mr. Bopp.
Mr. Bopp said that it is not as important to focus on the iPad itself, but to keep in mind why they are being used.
“We need to keep a focus on what we’re accomplishing with these tools and not get too wrapped up in the tools themselves,” he said.
Many Brophy students have already become more “comfortable to Apple products,” according to Mr. Bopp.
iPhones, iPads and Mac computers are extremely popular amongst the student body, so bringing several of the Apple products to the campus only seems like the right thing to do.
As for inappropriate computer use, the odds of getting away with surfing the web or knocking off a few levels on Angry Birds decrease substantially due to the fact the students are always in “Tablet mode.”
“As a teacher and former dean of students, I have unbounded faith in the ability of students to distract themselves from work both in and outside of class if they so choose,” Mr. Bopp said. “I suspect that ICUs will be easier to detect when they happen on the iPad, but I don’t think that’s going to keep students from succumbing to the occasional distraction. The only real solution to ICU is increased maturity.”
Thad Petty ’14, co-president of the Brophy Tech Club, agreed with Mr. Bopp and estimated that it is 90 percent less likely for students to get away with an ICU.
Petty has been using the iPad in class since last December to test it out for the tech department. He said he enjoys using the iPad and sees many benefits of incorporating them into an academic environment.
“The iPads can do everything that the Tablets did, but the iPads battery can last 10 hours,” Petty said. “They are also very efficient, they don’t blue screen a lot.”
The Brophy Tech Club will play a role in the utilization of iPads at Brophy.
The club will help fix minor issues with iPads that the technology department does not have time for, as well as assisting freshmen in learning how to use their new devices. The club is also currently developing Brophy’s first ever app.
Freshman Max Sarver ’16 said the iPads are a lot easier than pen and paper and that the apps that he has learned about will make the note taking process much more simplistic.
“We have Notability that helps with writing and assignments, also there’s Dropbox which is like a flashdrive, and finally there’s iBooks where we can put text books on it,” Sarver said.
Another freshman enjoying the new iPads is Jake Peterson ’16.
“Well our backpacks are going to be really light because that’s all we have to carry around,” Peterson said.
Peterson thinks that gaming will be very difficult and that with the new iPads, he will be very focused.
Loaded onto the freshman iPads are all of the Microsoft office programs as well as Apple’s versions of these products and Notability. Notability will function similarly to OneNote, and will be students’ main source for taking notes.
Students all have iBooks and iTunes University for books, apps, music and videos.
Also included on the iPads are several apps for artistic students including Sketch Book Pro, Garage Band, Photogene and iMovie.
As for Blackboard, the freshman will be using the new Blackboard app, which does not request login each time it is opened.
Teachers have several apps of their own that they will use for individuals subject, such as specific apps for math and science.