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Apple Classroom: Breaking the Trust between Teachers and Students

Shruti Pai, Writer

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With the start of the new semester, the Presentation faculty have started beta testing a new program in several classes: Apple Classroom. This software was designed to allow teachers to monitor and assist their students with their devices during class activities.

While Classroom might make it easier for teachers to direct students’ focus on the lesson at hand, the lack of trust created between teachers and students as well as the impracticalities and future consequences it can have on students outweigh its benefits and put an unnecessary burden on them during school.

There have always been instances of students being off-task in class, and these are to be expected with the authorized presence of any devices in a school. The system is maintained, however, by the trust teachers have that their students will be present and engaged. With Apple Classroom, teachers will have the ability to view your iPad screen at any time during class, lock you into a certain app, and lock your iPad from use.

This will only discourage students and give them the notion that even though they are trusted with these devices, they are not trusted to use them properly. The distrust that will form can potentially damage the mutually friendly relationship between students and faculty that Pres is known for.

Students who use their iPad for non-academic purposes during classes inevitably face the consequences of being unprepared for assignments and receiving lower grades on tests. While detrimental in the short run, this allows students to learn how to use technology responsibly on their own, letting them want to stay engaged and on task for their own benefit.

A teacher controlling a student’s device for her and overseeing what programs she uses will keep students on task, but not by her own choice. This prevents students from acquiring the responsibility and focus necessary for success later in life. Students need to experience the consequences of being off task in high school in order to succeed when there is little to no supervision of their actions  in the future.

So far, Pres has managed very well with iPad use in classrooms. This means that the incorporation of another major program might create an unnecessary hassle for both teachers and students alike. For example, before the anticipated iPad update, Apple Classroom is expected to decrease the devices’ battery life with the constant bluetooth communication necessary between students and the teacher Classroom manager. Classrooms are not currently prepared for this issue, as rooms provide a limited number of wall outlets, most of which are inaccessible to students from their desks.

Apple Classroom is a sophisticated program that has admittedly had success in other schools. However, it is an unnecessary addition to Pres classrooms and will not be successful or helpful to Pres girls in the long run. Students need to learn how to stay on task without being constantly monitored and become motivated and focused on their own. We also need to preserve the trusting relationships that exist between teachers and Pres girls, and not create excessive hassles with working a new technology and its side effects. Apple Classroom is not a proper fit for Presentation and should not be incorporated into the school years to come.

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Apple Classroom: Breaking the Trust between Teachers and Students