On Nov. 11, Stuart’s freshmen (number of iPads) for the 2014-2015 school year. The new devices were paid for by the Virginia Department of Education’s new eLearning Backpack Initiative that combines technology and education in schools. Now, the traditional method of finding answers in textbooks or looking up words in  ancient dictionaries are being replaced by  sleek iPads that students can use to work on projects and collaborate with others.

 

 

According to the Virginia Department of Education’s (VDOE) website, the eLearning Backpack Initiative gives students the chance to use technology when they aren’t in school. Each iPad is equipped with access to digital content such as online textbooks, MyOn, Study Island, Naviance and other educational apps. The eLearning Initiative’s goal is to “improve student achievement and graduation,” according to the VDOE website.

 

The main reason iPads are convenient is the fact that now, students don’t need  access to a school or library to work on school projects, they can work from home. “My computer at home sometimes doesn’t work,” said freshman Nick Wick “so my iPad gives me another opportunity to do assignments outside of school.” Freshman Jannaty Hussain agreed, “I think that iPads really benefit my education, I can research for projects when I’m not in school and when I have spare time, I can play games and read.”

 

On the other hand, Stuarts freshmen teachers can have a different opinion on the new devices. Some teachers believe that the iPad’s  efficiency could be increased if they came with the ability to sync with other devices. “For example, if we could hook up iPads to the Smartboard in my classroom, the students and I could interact more with assignments,” said Algebra 1 teacher Gina Corbit Rice.

photo by: Samia Warsame