iPads Transform the Christ Church Learning Environment


The Christ Church Upper School has begun to use iPads to create a more enriching, more convenient, and more enjoyable learning experience (Newlin Roark/Staff Photo).

Just last school year, in 2014, the Christ Church Upper School introduced iPads to the ninth grade class. This year, the ninth and tenth graders have kicked off the new school year using iPads to create a more enriching, more convenient, and more enjoyable learning experience.

This year, with both ninth and tenth graders using iPads, teachers and students alike are adapting to the new form of learning. Teachers have started to use iPads by putting homework assignments on Schoology where students can view their assignments and turn them in. Teachers can share PowerPoints through Schoology for the students to view in school and at home. School absences are now not as stressful because teachers can share class notes or the homework with students through Schoology. Many students are enjoying using the iPads because they are lighter to carry than textbooks.

Certain iPad apps, such as Notability, are useful for taking notes. However, many students still prefer the traditional notebook and pencil method. Sophomore Noah Matricciani said, “I think apps such as notability on the iPads really help students get documents from Schoology and other such websites. They also help students take notes faster [by] typing; writing by hand usually takes a lot longer.” Many other students agree that the iPad has improved the speed of their note taking. Freshman Lilly Harris said that, “you can take a lot more notes a lot faster [on the iPad]. There [are] a bunch of apps you can use to study.”

Many students prefer the iPad over a textbook because it is lighter and smaller. The iPads are more helpful than a textbook for many students because they are more easily accessed and lighter. Matricciani agreed and said “I’d much rather prefer an iPad because you can access it anywhere and you don’t need to carry around a three inch thick textbook wherever you go. If you’re traveling, [and] you need to do homework outside of school; it really helps to use an iPad.”

The iPads can also be distracting for many students with games and other apps. Students agree that the iPads are very helpful but can be distracting for many people.
Sophomore Molly Laycock said, “I feel like they can help us yet they also distract us with games.” The iPads can be distracting if they are used for both work and fun. Matricciani agreed and said “I think [they’re] really helpful. I prefer to listen in school rather than play games. I save the games for after school, so I think if [they’re] used for the right purpose, iPads can be useful to the classroom environment.”

Burlington High School, located twenty minutes outside of Boston, Massachusetts, is one of the many schools other than Christ Church across the country that uses iPads. Burlington High had a 100 percent graduation rate, and 95 percent of their graduates went to college, but they still felt that they weren’t doing enough to teach their students. Teachers at Burlington say that they’re not bound by the materials they have with the iPads. The teachers say that the students are freer to learn with the ability to create a video, a digital poster, or a website.

The iPads at Christ Church have had a positive impact for most students as they have made learning easier and more enjoyable. In two years, the entire Christ Church Upper School will be using iPads, and all teachers and students will feel the positive impact.