Last spring, Gov. Paul LePage announced that MLTI had signed a contract with HP to provide computers to the Maine school districts. It was also stated that schools had the option to use other computers, but if they were more expensive than the proposed HP laptops, the state wouldn’t cover the extra cost. Simply put, with the lack of support for the out-of-date MacBooks, Auburn couldn’t afford to keep them and needed to get something new.
Making the switch from Apple would be an inconvenience to the teachers and students. For a lot of teachers, HP would be like a whole new language to learn. The school district has spent over a decade learning how to use Apple machines in the classroom. It was only a logical choice to stay with a format that people are familiar with. MacBooks and iPads aren’t all that different.
Due to the fact that people fear change, especially angst-driven teenagers, there has been overwhelming criticism of the new program. However, the truth is, students have nothing to worry about. The technology initiative is not here to make teenagers happy. iPads allow students to do nearly everything needed in a modern classroom, including doing research, typing documents, creating presentations, and handing in assignments. Even programs like GarageBand and iMovie are available for use. They’re lighter than laptops, therefore easier to carry. There are even Bluetooth keyboards that can be purchased separately since a lot of people have difficulty typing on a touchscreen.
This is the “me generation” at its finest. Kids feel like they’re entitled, like the world owes them something. The state is handing out free $400 tablets so students can have easy access to state-of-the-art technology to help them in their education. There is no reason to complain, really. No one is being oppressed. It’s completely absurd to think that someone else should pay for you to have the expensive laptop of your choice. If you want said laptop so badly, you should work and make money like the rest of the world. There are no free handouts in the real world, and anyone who feels differently is setting themselves up for a rude awakening. Be grateful for what is given to you, and don’t complain.
That being said, yes, it would be easiest to just keep the MacBooks, but the money isn’t there and the school department made a good choice. A few years ago, the school department started dispersing iPads to kindergartners and those have shown to effectively increase learning. Soon, we’ll start to see the positive results at the higher levels, too.