A few Watertown High School students have a new tool to use in the classroom, one which many of the use outside of the classroom – iPads.
The high school bought 30 iPads for a pilot program to see how they can be used in the classroom setting, said WHS Head Master Steve Watson.
“There has been a big push for one-to-one technology access in schools, especially in secondary schools,” Watson said. “We thought it is worth exploring and see in what way to implement it.”
Several teachers applied to get access to the 30 iPads, and they were chosen from different subjects.
In English, they can use the tablets for research and to improve writing and organization skills, said Toni Carlson, a teacher at the high school who is working on the pilot project.
The iPads can be used to improve pronunciation in foreign language classes by letting them record and play back when the read something.
School Committee member Michael Shepard said he is a big supporter of technology in general, but he worries whether having iPads will make a big impact on students.
“The research on technology in the classroom is not very pro technology,” Shepard said. “It has little or no effect on raising test scores or achievement. I am concerned that we apply in the right way.”
Watson said that test scores may not be the place where technology has an impact. Carlson added that students will learn skills that will be useful for them down the line.
“Many jobs these students will be getting do not even exist now,” Carlson said. “In most of them they will be using technology.”
Watson said he would come back to the School Committee with a report on the impact of the iPads at the end of the year.
What do you think? Should Watertown High School buy iPads or other technology for every student? Or, is that not the place to spend money? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.