Laptop-notch?

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Laptop-notch?

Annie O'Brien, news-features editor

Your teacher tells the class to take out their iPads and you hear grumbling around the room. While technology generally has some kinks to be worked out, students have to spend time trying to figure out their iPads in class or trudging down to the tech desk in the library. School Wi-Fi can be questionable and lots of times apps will not open or just not work. But, after a recommendation to the school board, KHS might be getting rid of the iPads for good, changing to MacBook Airs.

“Once the teachers decided that a laptop was the choice, we looked at different platforms of laptops,” Dr. Michael Havener, KHS principal, said. “The faculty decided to stick with the MacBook Air, which is a device that will be able to handle the daily lives of students throughout high school.”

Both Havener and Eric Zigler, technology specialist, recognize the current iPad Minis that students use are out of date and frequently do not function properly. This was one of the primary reasons for their desire to switch devices.

“iPads are not inherently bad,” Zigler said. “You have some classes that are able to do really cool things on iPads. But in a lot of ways, laptops make people more productive. Being able to quickly switch between applications and get the information you need is something a laptop really excels at.”

Andrew Hartman, senior, agrees the current KHS iPads are not fulfilling the school’s needs like they should. He says they have an unnecessary amount of restrictions and are pretty much unuseable because they are so out of date.

“I would really rather have laptops this year,” Hartman said. “The iPads just aren’t effective enough for students to use as their only device. They really don’t work well enough for making presentations or typing papers.”

According to Zigler, some teachers such as Julie Sutfin, physics teacher, have their entire curriculums based around using iPads in class. But he also acknowledges the school has to do what is best for students to succeed. In addition, if the switch is made, iPad carts will be available for teachers to use in class.

“One size doesn’t necessarily fit all,” Zigler said. “Trying to find something that works for everybody is difficult. You need a versatile device where a student can go from working in an engineering classroom and then into an art class. Ultimately, it’s going to come down to which device is going to get us closest to that point.”

Administration sent the recommendation to the school board for 13-inch MacBook Airs for students and MacBook Pros for teachers Sept. 27. Havener said that after approval from the board sometime in the following months, they expect the switch could possibly and ideally happen within first semester. He acknowledges the laptops KHS could possibly get might not even be the best device in four to five years.

“It’s an exciting time for us because we’re updating things that we actually need to enhance learning,” Havener said. “This is going to benefit all levels, not just the high school. We are very fortunate that our community has put financial resources in place for us to have this possibility because technology is such a big part of education in today’s world.”

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