Editorial: Are iPads Worth It?

Each MISD middle school student has the opportunity to get a school-issued iPad for educational purposes, such as class research, assignments or notes until they leave the district. However, when students get to high school only a minority use the iPads for their intended use: as a classroom learning tool.

The district should reevaluate the program because iPads are not a useful asset to a students’ education enough to be bought in large quantities.

For the district to provide expensive iPads to thousands of students, the cost racks up. Instead of wasting money on these nonessential devices, the money could go toward something more important, such as providing students AP exam discounts, school events, higher-quality lunches or field trips. Overall, these options help a wider range of students versus the minority who actually use their iPads regularly.

When middle school students first receive iPads, it is usually a distraction to them. Many are excited to have one because they don’t have their own device aside from a phone, so iPads are popular. However, because studying and grades are not high priorities for many middle school students’, they use the iPads more for entertainment than for learning, especially since they have less homework at that age. Today, students already spending enough time in front of a screen, a tablet to play games is not necessary to an education.

While iPads provide the opportunity to learn, many teachers do not incorporate them enough into lessons to be worth their cost.​ ​As a result, a number of students do not bring their iPad at all to school or do not even know where it is at home. This is because they do not need them in class and if they need an electronic device, most students will use their phone or laptop to research or a journal to write notes. Additionally, some students actually prefer a paper copy of readings and assignments rather than a digital copy. Therefore, the iPads are not as helpful as expected in classrooms.

Because not every student uses an iPad, the school should limit iPads to teachers who need a class set to enhance their students’ learning experiences. IPads should be available for checkout in high schools because students will use them for their intended use, rather than for entertainment.

Essentially, iPads are not worth the money as they pose as a distraction and are an expensive waste.​ ​Students,who rarely use their iPads and feel they are unnecessary, should petition to the district for the iPads to go only to high school students and to teachers for class sets, if needed.