Apple Classroom is making its way to all classrooms at Conant
With every Conant High School student now having an iPad for educational purposes, Apple Classroom will be making an appearance come second semester.
Apple Classroom is controlled by the teacher of a class. Teachers can sign their kids in at the beginning of each class and sign them out at the very end. When students are signed into a class, their teacher can lock them into one app to prevent them from distractions on their iPads.
Teacher and tech liaison for the math department, Jeffrey Melone, is testing out Apple Classroom with his own classes. Since Apple Classroom locks students in, teachers are now able to control what their students are doing on the iPads. Melone said, “We can make sure students are doing what they are supposed to be doing.”
To some students, Apple Classroom acts as a cage, keeping them in captivity from distractions. Students have actually found ways to get themselves out of Apple Classroom. All they have to do is turn off their bluetooth. Melone warned that disobeying teacher orders could lead to disciplinary action such as write ups or having their iPads be restricted completely. “For some students it will be hard to get through to the point that the iPad is a school device for learning,” Melone said.
One flaw of Apple Classroom besides students disconnecting themselves from the actual program is the fact that Apple Classroom only allows students to be locked into one app at a time. Senior Ryan Eder, had experienced Apple Classroom with one of his teachers piloting it. “Not being able to access the calculator or other resources that you might find useful during assignments is difficult,” Eder stated.
Teachers have the capability of shutting off iPads completely with Apple Classroom. Shutting off iPads fully would be pointless for everyday class; however, it could be useful when it comes to preventing cheating on tests, Eder mentioned.
Melone so far has no issues with Apple Classroom. Melone said, “I can see it being beneficial. Back when kids didn’t have iPads and couldn’t use their phones in class, they always had to be on task. Now with iPads, being in the front of the room or even when I walk around, if I am not directly next to them I do not know if they are on the right app. Eventually, I see it being beneficial to this day and era.”
Besides the minor flaws of Apple Classroom, there are still many benefits of the program. Teachers are now able to help students find certain links faster, group students together, and walk through problems with students. Apple Classroom is helping improve the school environment by having the teachers literally connect with their students. Melone said, “So far it has been good. All the tech liaisons from each department and I think we are rolling it out to the population of teachers second semester.”