Going Digital; Preparing For The Future Or Preventing From Learning At All?


Citlalli Velez, Staff Reporter

​With the recent move to a digital classroom, many adjustments have had to be made. With this Shepard has been met with an array of different feelings from students, staff, and administration.

Although this isn’t the first year Shepard that Shepard has gone digital the technology move has been ramped up with computers being replaced with Mac books. 2018 kicks of a new year with using a series of Apple products to assist in teaching and learning.

With the start of the school year underway, the heavy technology-based classrooms have been met with a variety of different comfort levels by both students and teachers.

Teachers and staff have received new Apple Mac Books to go with the I-pads they received last year and that has certainly been an adjustment for many.

New updates and regulations on the iPads, however, have created a bit of an obstacle when presenting new information or following a teacher’s lesson plan.

Overall, students and teachers have begun to manifest mixed feelings, which brings up the question: has going digital created more problems than good?

The answer to that question might be that it is way to early to tell, but as of right now the answer is an unequivocal both.

A lot of these feelings have been set by the fact that some students and staff simply lack the experience or skills to use tools like the iPads; others just prefer the traditional pen and paper.

In terms of classes, like that of Advanced Placement, the traditional pen and paper setting is the most ideal for some.

Learning with textbooks instead of PDFs on the iPads is much easier, and it is more reliable to take notes in a notebook rather than a new page in Notability.

Senior Allison Witt, who is currently taking six A.P. classes, believes there is an ineffectiveness in teaching/learning with the iPads.

“Our WiFi goes down all the time,” said Witt. “Lesson plans get changed because apps don’t work or [the] WiFi doesn’t.”

Similarly, physical education teachers are often having to deal with internet or app troubles. Tina Holba, one of Shepard’s P.E. teachers, believes that along with good comes with some bad.

“I believe [going digital] to be beneficial for both teachers and students,” said Holba.  “Sometimes the simplest of things, like showing a video, has become one of the most time consuming tasks to just set up before class begins.”

While it is evident that going digital has caused quite a stir as to its actual effectiveness, the result in the end may outweigh the costs.

Shepard’s Assistant Principal of Curriculum and Instruction, Andrew Deines, that the change was necessary to best accomplish our goal of preparing students for college.

Preparation for this change was a long one, which includes forming a committee and visiting Chicagoland area schools who have already begun using this modern form of teaching.

“I think a lot of homework was done,” said Deines. “A lot of preparation was done in advance of the roll out of technology to students, but you can’t anticipate everything.”

The whole process to getting into technology had the objective of preparing Shepard’s students for the outside world. And in the words of Deines, “this is the direction the world is moving.”