Face-Off: Does iBoss help or hurt?
Graphic by Futo Wada
Sarah: The recent implementation of iBoss on some students’ iPads has caused a slew of complaints. Many students have expressed dissatisfaction with the system, saying it is not necessary. However, iBoss is actually a useful tool to help students stay on task and learn good study habits.
Favour: Forcing iBoss on the student body has rightfully ruffled some feathers. Though it is no longer in effect for all students due to some technological difficulties, many students, including underclassmen, are still affected, and the concerns that came up still hold true. Some students may have differing opinions regarding the use of iBoss, but for most students affected, iBoss has made accomplishing minimal tasks a nuisance.
Sarah: Although students may think that iBoss is a nuisance, the benefits of iBoss outweigh any minor inconveniences students may experience. The restrictions are simply a reasonable way for the school district to keep students safe and on task. The district has invested a lot of money in providing the students with iPads, and it is perfectly reasonable to put measures in place that ensure these resources be used responsibly. If students wish to visit sites that are restricted by iBoss, they can do this using their own personal devices, not technology given to them with the purpose of education.
Favour: While I don’t disagree with the notion that the school has the right to handle their property as they see fit, I do think that there needs to be some guidelines regarding what they deem unsafe or inappropriate. For example, iBoss doesn’t allow students to access Netflix at home, which impairs students who have to use the website to do their homework for a class like Spanish. Some students are fortunate enough to have another device that they can use to get to the website, but that doesn’t apply to the entire student population. And for those students who aren’t fortunate enough to have the resources to acquire multiple technological devices, their iPads are the only means that they have to accomplish their assignment.
Sarah: You bring up some valid issues with iBoss that should be resolved in order for it to be the most helpful it can be. Some websites that are blocked can occasionally be used for assignments. However, overall the iBoss system is a good way to teach students to use their time responsibly. By eliminating as many distracting websites as possible, the temptation to go on them is removed, and students are more likely to focus on their homework because they have no other options. After a while, this helps them form good habits, because they will become so used to working on the iPad that there will be less temptation to get distracted, even if the restrictions are eventually removed. Technology has a permanent place in our lives, and it is important that students learn proper time management early on.
Favour: I agree that by restricting certain sites, iBoss eliminates certain distracting factors from students’ day to day lives. But I also believe that it’s not necessarily something that breeds positive results. By restricting those sites at home, it handicaps students in a way because it doesn’t prepare them for life after high school. At this age, teens know, whether subconsciously or consciously, what sites are deemed appropriate or inappropriate to visit. And while most are able to make the right choice, those that choose not to should be privy to facing the ramifications. There won’t be a safety net that protects us from facing consequences in the adult world, and if high school is truly meant to prepare us for the rest of our lives and equip us with the right tools, then it should mirror that sentiment as well.