By Susan Shinn Turner
Students in grades 9 and 10 at North Rowan High School are part of a pilot program for using iPads this year.
Last year, all students were assigned laptops, but this year, the lower school students are trying out iPads with detachable keyboards.
It’s been no problem for freshmen such as Salma Munaser, who used an iPad as an eighth-grader at North Middle School.
“I use it for looking up stuff I need and doing my work on Canvas,” says Salma, who uses that program to turn in assignments.
Salma believes it’s easier to type on an iPad, and easier to transport from class to class. She uses it mostly for her exploratory and design classes.
“I wanted a laptop at the beginning of the year, but it’s much easier on an iPad,” she notes. “It’s good.”
“We have been asking for iPads,” says Emily Freeman, 10th grade design teacher. “RSS approached our teacher-led design team about a pilot program. Apple doesn’t make the laptops our students used. So it was either move up to a much more expensive laptop, or use an iPad.”
Freeman wants to make sure the iPads are a good fit ergonomically for the students.
“Mobility-wise, it’s amazing,” she says. “It’s much easier to carry around. The 10th graders are having a harder transition because they think the iPads are a step down and I totally understand. But I think it’s going to be fine.”
Sophomores Nala Hughes, Kimya Lynch and Caleb Burleyson all agree.
“It’s a big adjustment,” Caleb says. “I got used to a laptop last year. This is a big change. Personally, I like a laptop better.”
“It would feel more like a computer if I had a mouse,” she says. “It would be better and more like a laptop.”
“I was kinda upset when we went back to iPads,” Nala says. “We could do more with our laptops. But it’s OK. It helps me get my work done. Hopefully, we’ll get used to it through the year.”
Principal Meredith Williams says that the program will include a survey to get students’ honest opinions on the iPads.