A district is ditching iPads in favor of laptops, with the encouragement of teachers and students. The consensus is that iPads present difficulties for older students with word processing and keyboard entry, and they are a distraction that students associate with games.
The Auburn school committee conducted a survey of students and teachers in grades seven through 12. Technology Director Peter Robinson reported that the results favored laptops as 88.5 percent of teachers and 74 percent of students favored them over iPads.
Robinson said that the results “are pretty darn clear.” The survey findings “made the decision for us.”
The Maine Department of Education and Apple have offered Maine schools a swap at no additional costs, for new Apple MacBook Air laptops. The new laptops cost less than the Apple laptops from three years ago, which are what the district is using. Students can also choose new iPads.
According to Maine Learning and Technology Initiative Director Mike Muir, Maine “underestimated how different an iPad is from a laptop.” He also cited the need for additional teacher training on the classroom use of iPads.