TBy Kyle Burgess ’17
The start of the 2016-17 academic school year saw Chaminade students trade in pencils and notebooks for styli and iPads as they took the leap into a new, digital chapter of their high school careers. This transition kept with Chaminade High School’s tradition of advancing its mission of educating young, Catholic men by providing a new and unique way of teaching classroom concepts in an increasingly digital world. While many view the iPad as a device used simply to stream YouTube videos or listen to their favorite music playlist, the Chaminade administration saw the untapped potential of these hand-held computers as a means of organizing and preparing students for an ever-changing landscape in the modern workforce.
“The idea of this complete shift to using the iPad as a tool in the classroom acts as preparation for a rapidly-accelerating world,” explained Mr. Graham Otton ’05, Digital Learning Coordinator for students. “The skills we taught previously to students had to be changed in order for future alumni to succeed in today’s work environment, especially in facilitating creativity and complex problem solving. We aim to assist them in the communication and collaboration fields, as well as teach how to take facts and apply them to real-world issues.”
Group assignments add a unique aspect to classwork that entices members to perform to the best of their ability.
– Francesco Insigno ’17
One such skill that prepares students for their future careers in college and beyond is group collaboration. Applications on the iPad allow classmates to simultaneously work on projects and presentations and share them with their peers. These assignments encourage teamwork and communication in order to do well.
“Group assignments add a unique aspect to classwork that entices members to perform to the best of their ability,” remarked Francesco Insigno ’17. “Everyone is able to share pride in their own contributions made to the final product.”
The iPad also teaches students to become more organized in their schoolwork. Gone are the days of purchasing dozens of folders and notebooks and hundreds of sheets of loose leaf paper for each class. Instead, the iPad allows for students to save their files to folders for each respective class without ever experiencing the fear of losing a trimester’s worth of material.
Emmet Cornetta ’17 is a firm believer in the benefits of improved organization provided by his iPad. “Note-taking has now been made so much easier since I don’t have to worry about misplacing a notebook or folder,” he said.
The skills we taught previously to students had to be changed in order for future alumni to succeed in today’s work environment, especially in facilitating creativity and complex problem solving.
– Mr. Graham Otton ’05
In addition to organizing notes, the ExamSoft application on each iPad stores the grades and questions on tests and quizzes for every class, as well.
“Taking exams and quizzes on the iPad has been a major adjustment compared to years past,” Cornetta added.
Although the workload for many students has remained the same, the heavy weight of their backpacks has not. The iPad’s ability to retain so many notes, tests, and textbooks without adding strain to the backs of students is a testament to its expediency and compatibility with commuters and non-commuters alike.
“The iPad allows me to keep all of my class materials in one organized place without having to fill up my entire backpack,” noted Yannick Aubry ’17. “It also gives me the ability to use the internet to supplement my studies on the train when my notes aren’t available. It is a commuter’s dream come true.”
While iPad usage in the classroom is a new and groundbreaking event in Chaminade High School’s history, incorporating technology into school activities is nothing new on the national scale. Technology has brought education a long way from reciting letters from the ancient hornbooks of Puritan Massachusetts and copying notes from the overheads of the 1980’s, providing students with increasingly improved methods of learning. However, the incorporation of the Apple iPad to the modern classroom in the early 2010’s revolutionized how students could process information. The iPad put the entire internet at students’ fingertips and with it, the ability to surf through hundreds of thousands of webpages filled with knowledge just waiting to be discovered.
Since its introduction to the world of learning, the iPad has continued to prove itself as a reliable learning tool for students across the country. According to securedgenetworks.com, 75 percent of students agree that using iPads has enhanced their educational experiences.
The iPad allows me to keep all of my class materials in one organized place without having to fill up my entire backpack.
– Yannick Aubry ’17
The iPad provides a safe and secure operating system that allows students to download apps and classwork with ease. Its impact has been so great that in 2012 alone, eight million iPads were purchased by educators on a global scale. Many have noticed this large shift to technology, including the textbook publishing companies responsible for producing 90 percent of all textbooks on the Apple App Store.
With so many institutions now beginning to recognize the benefits of embracing the current digital age with devices such as the iPad, Chaminade High School will continue to be on the cutting edge of education for years to come.