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  • In February of 2013 over 4,000 students from grades K-12 of district 16 schools were given an iPad to use for their studies for the following school year. While some people think this could be a great technological advancement for the students and teachers of district 16 schools, many people think that the iPads will cause more harm than good.
    The iPads are now in schools, but the process has been a long time coming. According to various articles on, the electronic devices were paid for from a voter approved technology levy that brings in about $1.06 million per year for 2012. The levy was authorized for eight years at an estimated total project cost of $8.6 million over the eight-year period. The levy for the iPads was passed in November of 2011. That means there was almost a year and a half wait from when the levy was passed and when the iPads actually went out to students.
    Between when the levy was passed and the handout, there had been many meetings about the iPads, including the student/parent iPad meeting that had been held for many months prior to handout. The meeting dealt with all the details about what will happen when the iPads are handed out to students. It discussed what students were and weren’t allowed to do on the iPads, and when was and wasn’t an appropriate time to use them. The meetings also discussed all the info everyone needed to know about how and what for the iPads would be used for.
    Many district 16 teachers were picked to be lead teachers with the iPad issue. Those who were chosen participated in more than 20 sessions offered in the summer of 2012 learning the ins and outs of iPad use in the classroom. According to one of the lead teachers, Spring Lake Park High School teacher Scott Wicklund, in the learning sessions, teachers learned how to care for their devices and explored using them. They also learned ways to manage and use the digital devices in the classrooms and they learned about useful applications.
    Since the handout of the iPads in 2013, there has been mixed feelings about the whether or not the iPads have been a blessing or a curse. “I have caught 5 students watching videos on YouTube in my class just this week.” said Westwood Middle school teacher Matthew Christenson.
    While some teachers seem to see the new iPads as a problem, others see them as a blessing. “There are no more excuses. A student can and will get their homework done because there is no excuse not to, it’s not like they can say their dog ate their homework anymore because everything is turned in electronically on the iPad.” explained Spring Lake Park High Schools German teacher Daniel Buck.
    While the teachers seem to have mixed reactions to the new iPads, the students are pretty much all in agreement that the iPads are a good thing, at least for the purposes they want to use them for. “The new iPads rock! This is the best!” stated Spring Lake Park freshman Corbin Peterson.
    The students of all schools in district 16 seem to agree that the iPads are a good thing, but why is that? Many students say that the iPads are actually helping them study and turn in homework on time, while other students like the iPads simply for the reason that they can now watch YouTube videos in class and the teachers won’t know.
    “I am always so bored in class, but I am a very good student and I like to get my work done and get good grades. A lot of times I will just watch videos on my iPad in class so I don’t fall asleep from boredom and then after school I can do all my homework on my iPad while I’m waiting to go to baseball practice. It is just easier for me that way” explained Peterson.
    No one is quite sure what exactly will become of the iPad, and many have mixed feelings about the issue. Most of the students want the iPads to stay, “I hope they are around for a couple more years, that would be awesome.” stated Peterson. However, some teachers don’t feel the same way as the students. When Christenson was asked about the iPads return he said, “I have found them to be a nuisance, and I hope that they are gone very soon.
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