By Ryan Kupperman, executive news editor
Incoming freshmen for the 2017-2018 school year will have severe iPad restrictions compared to the current freshmen and the rest of the school. The freshmen will be enrolled in a Schoology course that they will have to complete as the year goes along to get these restrictions slowly lifted, but how they complete it is still undetermined. By sophomore year, the restrictions should be completely lifted.
However, according to Teaching and Learning Facilitator Matt Hamilton, it is not fully decided what will be restricted. An email sent out to all the teachers states that Game Center, AirDrop, in-app purchases, Apple Music/Radio, Siri, and iMessage will not be accessible on the iPad. In addition, Apple ID can only be used for updates and backups; the App Store will be disabled and students will only be able to use Self Service to download apps. iTunes will also be disabled, and Bluetooth will be locked in the “on” position. The device name will be set to the serial number and cannot be changed, and students will not be able to change their wallpaper.
Hamilton confirmed that the school will have more figured out by the end of the summer and “nothing is definite as of yet.”
Also according to Hamilton, the decision to restrict freshmen on the use of their iPads is result of parent and staff feedback to make students earn their “digital citizenship and digital literacy.”
The current Prospect student body is not affected by these changes, but most current freshmen sympathize for the incoming freshmen because of the amount of non-school work they do on their iPads daily.
Freshman Bobby Tortorello is one of these sympathizers. Tortorello reports that he uses his iPad for non-school purposes at least every day for such things like playing games and constantly downloading something from the App Store. Because of how Tortorello spends time on his iPad, he is able to put himself in the place of an incoming freshman.
“I wouldn’t be able to have any fun on my iPad,” Tortorello said. “It would be boring… doing only school work.”
Freshman Mia Kowalczuk says she uses non-schoolwork apps every day after school and feels there should not be any restrictions. She also says she needs certain apps for her school work, such as iTunes, Google Docs, Google Slides, the Infinite Campus app, and Spark Notes.
“I would be mad, because what if you are out of school and you wanted to do something else on your iPad besides just schoolwork?” Kowalczuk said.
Although students do not agree with the limiting of their iPad functions, parents and staff through district 214 believe it will help teach students proper iPad use during the school day.
An email sent from Hamilton states, “We hope this course will provide a uniform process for the induction of students into districts 214’s [one on one] program.”