Tablets: problem or solution?

Over the past three years, Elder has tried to become a more technologically advanced school by requiring students to have computers. Schools such as Seton, St. Xavier, LaSalle, Mercy and St. Ursula all have had tablets for a while now. Elder’s class of 2014 is the first class to have these tablets. However, are they helping the students receive the best education as possible? I was fortunate enough to interview freshman Jacario Fairbanks about his tablet. He said he liked his tablet because there are several different things you can do on it. I asked him how often he plays games and he said, “Probably around three periods a day.” I then asked him why, and he said that class can be boring at times. He plays them to keep himself occupied. Fairbanks is not the only freshman who misuses his tablet. There are a bunch of other underclassmen who also misuse their tablet. I was one of the students who received a Netbook computer my freshman year to see how it would work if the freshman were to start to get tablets. I personally thought having that computer was the worst. The computer would constantly freeze, and I would easily get distracted because I had the whole Internet at my fingertips. Elder’s tech guys constantly tell us how much the computers will help us in the classroom. They believed the students could become more organized with note taking. The tech guys installed a program on everyone’s tablet so the teachers can see what students are doing on their computers; to make sure they are not playing games. This program is called DyKnow. However, are the teachers checking this program enough? I have several classes with underclassmen this year and I can tell you that most of the teachers don’t actually check this program. It seems like students are constantly on Facebook and Twitter playing games. However, this problem is not just happening here at Elder. Fairbanks said that he knows friends who go to different schools who have tablets as well. He said that his friends always talk about how they can do anything they want online. The Elder tech guys try to block just about everything, to avoid students from goofing off in class. Somehow, students find ways to get around the system. I asked Elder Tech Guy, Jon Diers why the tech guys wanted to start using these tablets. He said that a main reason is because everything is starting to be done through electronics. There are several schools around Elder that have tablets. He believes these tablets will help the students be able to use the computer properly. Mr. Diers made some really good points. He strongly believes these tablets will help students. While some people constantly see the bad in these tablets, there are many positives. These tablets are helping the kids with their computer skills; the students become better and faster typers and can eventually learn how to be better organized in between all the games.