This Is The Technology Generation


There are second graders with cell phones, and offices with thousands of computers.  Kids watch the television instead of going outside, adults are glued to their phones, and teenagers are obsessively checking their texts.  In the midst of all this, technology is affecting schools in huge ways, changing learning as the world knows it.

School districts across America have considered getting iPads for all their students as a learning device.  In fact, many schools have actually given their students iPads or other personal computers already.   According to the Institute of Education Sciences, as of 2009, 97% of teachers had one or more computers in their classroom.

The technology revolution is hitting close to home for the 2013-2014 school year in Summit Public Schools.  This year, sixth grade students in Lawton C. Johnson Summit Middle School will be receiving iPads as an alternative to traditional computers and textbooks.

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"I'm excited to be getting an iPad," Jalen R., a sixth grade student at LCJSMS said, "I think it is a great way to change learning.  Also, it's fun!"

Fellow sixth grade student Charlie A. agreed.  "iPads are a great way to make school easier.  They are great because they are portable, so we can take them anywhere."

Some teachers, however, are not equipped to use new technology, or dislike the idea all together.

Madison P., another sixth grade student, is nervous for her teachers. "To be honest, I am a little worried about teachers with iPads," she said, "What if they mess up a lesson, or can't get homework through to us?  Will we get in trouble, or will they?"

An important question about getting iPads is the price.  Supplying iPads for students is pricy, but in lieu of textbooks, it could even be cost efficient. According to, "With an iPad, books can be stored easily on a digital library where they can be accessed from a single page, and updates is as easy as one click."  

Theresa Martin, a sixth grade social studies teacher at LCJSMS, likes the idea of getting iPads for students, but she is also worried about the responsibilities that come with them.  "With tablets such as iPads, students can connect with each other in ways that haven't been available before,” Martin said.  “Students with disabilities will be able to work at their own pace and be more involved in school. But I am worried about kids getting their iPads taken from them, bringing them into town, or forgetting them somewhere.  Without their iPad, students will not be able to participate, and that will become a prominent problem for those who lose them."

While there are many supporters for iPads in the sixth grade, there is also some nostalgia generated by the new technology.  For example, while Martin is supportive of the idea, she says she will "Miss the traditional learning style and old materials."

There are many ways to look at the idea of getting iPads in schools.  Some may argue it is unnecessary for their children, while others may say it is a great way to revolutionize learning.  Either way, it is inevitable that the class of 2020 in the Summit Public Schools system will be receiving iPads this January. 

LCJSMS Panther Pulse is a column written by students in the Digital Media program at Summit Middle School. 

The opinions expressed herein are the writer's alone, and do not reflect the opinions of or anyone who works for is not responsible for the accuracy of any of the information supplied by the writer.

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