Cracking Cases, Cracking Down
Colin Feeney '15
This year, after figuring out that the iPads brought along games and in-class messaging, SI has implemented stricter regulations regarding the iPads. However, they are not widely known.
During the summer, the Technology Department of SI directed the incoming freshman class to buy a case protecting the four corners and the back of the iPad, and they banned keyboard cases for freshman These cases did not provide proper protection--resulting in 112 broken iPads and requiring $37,000 in repair fees.
When Sarah Mulchand ’14 heard of the new regulations she protested, “Keyboards enable students to actually be productive on their iPads.” However, Thomas O’ Halloran ’16 has said, “I like the new rule. As a freshman, I had several friends that had to get iPads replaced because they dropped them with only a keyboard case.”
For this year students in other grades can keep their current cases; however, if students using keyboard cases experience an iPad break, students could pay a portion of the cost for the first iPad broken.
Educational Technologist Mr. Castro counters, “ Keyboard cases all prop the iPad up at a more-vertical angle than the more rugged, flat-backed cases. Thus, to facilitate classroom management, make it easier for teachers to monitor iPad usage, and prevent in-class gaming and socializing, the keyboard cases were removed from the recommended cases list”.
Mr. Castro adds, “While we recognize that for longer papers and assignments the keyboards are helpful, we've been told by students that typing short pieces on the iPad is just fine. To help with the longer papers, the Library has iPad keyboards that can be checked out.”
Gina Bruni’s disagrees. “Students should have the right to customize their iPad to match their own learning and note-taking preferences.” Surely the students would act more carefully with their devices if they knew money could come out of their pockets, but cant they be trusted to determine whether or not they can handle the responsibility of a riskier keyboard case.
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