New iPad rules for freshmen


Paige Powell

Freshman Cheyenne Voorhies works diligently on her iPad.

Fidan Malikova, Reporter

iPads at Palatine High School for the very first year have been 100% fully restricted for freshmen. Lots of students have many different inputs on this.

Robert Schuetz, the technology coordinator at PHS, says that there is a Digital Quest course on Schoology for freshmen. Students can work on it, and if they successfully complete it and successfully graduate their freshmen year, they can have additional access on their iPads (less restrictions) for the next year.

A freshmen, Asra Ahmed, says she likes using the iPad because it’s easier than what we had last year, carrying everything around in a binder. She likes having iPads restricted because she says it helps her get homework done more sufficiently and easily without distractions. When we have iPads restricted, we get more work done.

But another freshmen, Sean Linehan, has a different input on iPad restrictions. Like Ahmed, he thinks it’s also sufficient for schoolwork but Linehan doesn’t believe having restricted iPads will decrease the amount of distractions we have in class. He says that even though freshmen have restricted iPads, kids are still finding ways to play games off of google and getting distracted in other ways.

A fellow sophomore, Grace Killigrew also loves using the iPad, because it makes research and homework easier for her. But when it comes to restrictions, she feels that it’s fair for freshmen to have restricted iPads. She feels this because upperclassmen in her opinion may be a little more mature than freshmen and may know better when to put down the iPad during class and not let games distract them.

Just as students have different opinions on iPads being restricted for the very first year, so do teachers.

Brittany Berleman, a world history teacher here at Palatine, says she thinks iPad restrictions are a great idea because they eliminate distractions and kids are more productive when there isn’t any tempting apps on their iPad. She says it’s a great educational tool to use and she thinks all classes should have restricted iPads. Berleman also states that when given an electronical device and an assignment to do, students would often get distracted because they’d drift off more towards what they might be more interested in, like games or social media. Putting restrictions on the iPads helps students focus on what they’re supposed to do.

While these new restrictions have reduced distractions, there have been students that have gotten around the restrictions. Because of this, some freshmen still have just as many distractions as last year, but overall kids who are sticking to iPad restrictions are more productive.

Schuetz says he doesn’t like using the term “restrictions” because it’s an ugly word. He prefers to say they are academically focused.

Schuetz states that iPad restrictions started when they surveyed parents, students, and teachers about what was and wasn’t going well with the iPads during class. About half the students during the survey said that they liked using the iPad, but it can be a distraction to them at times, because it’s tempting to play games and go on social media when they have to focus in class. Schuetz says they are allowing students to use the iPad as an academic tool and once freshmen prove to them that they have the responsibility to download other apps, they will open up some more freedom.

Schuetz states that professionally, he’s responsible to support the teacher’s opinions because they’re able to keep things focused in the classroom more easily. But philosophically, he’s against iPad restrictions because he believes that students, and anyone in general with iPads need to learn when to set them down, put them aside, and when to focus on face to face interaction with other people. He thinks that it’s a part of growing up and gaining a skill; when to put the iPad aside.

Schuetz states that there were about 160 freshmen students that jail-broke their iPad. Since the device is managed through their servers, the tech department is able to see which servers did this and what apps students downloaded. In response to this violation, they either shut down the iPad or sent them a message letting them know that they know there’s an authorized app on their iPad and they had to delete them or they had to face some consequences later on. After students received this message on their iPad, the number went down from 160 to about a dozen kids. These kids then had to see their administrator, had a phone call home, and got the problem fixed by deleting the apps.