Students and their parents filled the Terry Center on August 14, 15, 16 and 21 for the inaugural iPad distribution nights at Jesuit.
While students did receive their new iPad 2s (16 GB, black) at the event, Mr. Knize, Assistant Principal of Student Affairs, and Mrs. Williams, Jesuit’s Head Educational Technologist, first gave presentations regarding the academic, social and security features and values of iPads at Jesuit College Preparatory.
Mr. Knize was sure to remind both students and parents about the connection between Jesuit and social networks like Facebook and Twitter.
“I use Twitter, but you have to remember that you are representing Jesuit all the time while using social networks.”
Mr. Knize also added that social networks are no longer private. It is certainly true that colleges and employers alike are increasingly investigating their potential applicants’ social network feeds; however, even those who are not employers (i.e. friends or even people whom one may not know) have access to much of your social network.
Additionally, Mr. Knize noted that Jesuit’s mission remains no different, and expressed hope that the outside perception of Jesuit would not change because of the iPads.
“We are not Jesuit iPad Academy. If you look out front by Inwood, you see a blue cross. If you look at the football stadium, you see a blue glowing cross. You don’t see a big glowing iPad.”
In her presentation, Mrs. Williams spoke about a variety of important topics for the school year including responsibilities, storage management, textbooks, iPad homework for Vos Parates (or Freshmen Orientation for the Class of 2016) and more.
“Since these iPads only have 16GB of storage, students need to put what is academically pertinent first. This may mean that you will have to delete a game, video or other media if space is needed for academic materials,” Williams said.
Students received their iPad 2s shortly after both Williams’ and Knize’s presentations. Posters directed individuals to an assigned room where teachers, with the aid of Jesuit work-grant students, distributed a bundle that included an iPad, a Griffin Survivor Case (Link to the product), an iPad USB Cable, a 10W Apple USB Charger and the 2012 Yearbook (freshmen did not receive a yearbook).
The distribution process went smoothly and most parents and students were able to leave within half an hour.
One parent expressed that the implementation of iPads was “a good preparation that is much more sophisticated than I realized.” The same parent believed that “the teachers have done a lot of preparation for a year, and they will be ready – it certainly came out in the meeting. I came in neutral, and now I am impressed.”
“I am a little nervous about how they’re going to run the math thing because his class (AP BC Calculus) doesn’t have a textbook, and I don’t know if they are getting a digital textbook.” But more importantly, Mrs. Ward worries that text may not “position on the digital page correctly.”
Mrs. Ward did offer one last opinion about the usage of iPads in education: “It’s good because it has really made me think. At first, I thought [Jesuit] was just doing it for the technology standpoint, but I think that [Jesuit] is really trying to figure out how to incorporate this into your life.”
One parent in particular based her confidence in the iPad experience at Jesuit on her personal experiences. “I read books on an iPad and see the value in it. I use iTunes University. So for me, it is a great way to learn.”
Another parent communicated that “it is a positive thing that Jesuit is stepping into the new technology realm.” Positive thoughts aside, he also envisioned a “learning curve” regarding responsibility in the use of the iPad, but “the kids are going to have to learn that responsibility.”
In a similar fashion, one mother believes that the kids will “have to learn how to use technology if they want to be in the real world.”
The overall consensus was unanimous. Nearly all expressed strong confidence with some sprinkled hesitation.