Entire sophomore class to now get iPads

photo (22)By Jack McDermott

Online Managing Editor

Freshmen will remember one of their first times at Prospect as the thrilling experience of waiting in a long line for the tools that will change education, iPads.  Next year, due to a recent decision by the district, these same freshmen will wait in the same line because all sophomores will now be getting iPads.

Getting these expensive tools, however, was not an easy task according to Technology Supervisor Rudy Gomez.  In order to get the money for an entire grade’s worth of iPads, every sophomore teacher needed to fill out and present a proposal to the central committee for the district.  In order to be successful, teachers must propose how they plan on using their iPads and need to convince the committee that Prospect teachers would use the iPads more effectively that other schools.

“The leadership team listens to proposals and they decide if the new teachers are really ready to change the way they teach, and if these new teachers are prepared to provide students with different learning opportunities that weren’t available to them before,” Gomez said.

In fact, the presentations are like a competition because there is a limited amount of money that could be handed out throughout the district.

In order to receive an entire grade’s worth of iPads, the teachers practiced last year with new possible curriculums and the freshmen teachers prepared the students for another year with the tool.

In the end, according to Gomez, all the work paid off.

“The iPad is a tool, a resource, that has tremendous benefits if the teachers themselves change how they teach,” Gomez said.  “Students learn at all different abilities and levels so teachers need to learn how to reach every single student and their particular learning ability.”

Although the iPads are popular with the majority of students, others believe that in order to “reach every single student,” the school should allow the choice to learn without iPads.

Sophomore Ola Brzezinska would describe herself as bad with technology and disliked the fact that she had to use an iPad in some of her classes this year.

On the other hand, sophomore Faimy Saji really wishes that her entire grade got iPads for the year.  She really liked her iPad and the benefits it brought, but didn’t like how she would only use it for notes in the majority of her classes.

Saji believes that by having the iPads in all classes throughout the grade, students will be able to use the tools much more effectively.

Saji’s wish of having all iPads next year was supposed to be fulfilled, as the initial plan three years ago was to get the entire school on iPads before the 2014-2015 school year. Although the district is well on its way to eventually reaching this goal, the entire school will not be on iPads for at least another year.

Gomez, however, does not believe that missing this goal was a problem.  Failing to make sure teachers are ready would just make the iPads become useless and the teachers continue teaching the same exact way.

“Our district philosophy has never been to go too fast and just hand out devices,” Gomez said. “We need to make sure that our teachers are ready.”