Before Prep switched to the iPads they had small laptops. These laptops were able to be monitored through a program called “DyKnow.” This program made it easy for teachers to make sure students were doing what they were supposed to be doing in class. However, since the implementation of the iPads in 2012, teachers have not had such monitoring abilities…until now. This new monitoring/teaching app is called Apple Classroom, and it was introduced to teachers at Prep over the last few weeks.
According to Apple, “Classroom turns your iPad into a powerful teaching assistant, helping teachers guide students through a lesson, see their progress, and keep them on track.”
Mrs. Cambra, information technology manager at Cathedral Prep, says that an app like Classroom has been sought after by teachers at Prep for quite some time now; however, there were very few options until now. Mrs. Cambra as well as the rest of the Technology Office has been working alongside the Mobile Device Manager to get the program up and running. Just in the past few weeks, the app was finally made available for teacher use.
Although teachers at Prep have only had a short time to begin using this new app, English and journalism teacher Mr. Hubert had a whole lot to say about Apple Classroom. Firstly, when asked what he liked about Apple Classroom, Mr. Hubert said that he found the students were “more attentive, especially at the start of class.” Mr. Hubert said that he liked that he could lock everyone’s iPad at the beginning of class during opening instructions so that they would pay attention without the distraction of scrolling through emails or other apps.
When asked if he liked Apple Classroom, health teacher Mr. McCommons nodded his head as he locked student Roman Zegarelli out of his iPad.
Mr. Hubert likes Apple Classroom; however, he has expressed concern about some of the limitations of the program in regards to his teaching style. This is because Mr. Hubert likes to teach from Keynote that he has on his iPad. The problem arises when trying to run Apple Classroom and Keynote at the same time. Due to the fact that Apple Classroom cannot monitor students iPads without showing up on the projector screen, Mr. Hubert expresses that he would have to change his teaching style to accommodate for this limitation.
Although most teachers have had mostly positive reactions to the implementation of Apple Classroom, students haven’t responded the same. According to the aforementioned Mrs. Cambra, “There was some grumbling from students when we would go to the classroom for testing.”
Mr. Hubert also mentioned students reacting like “the sky was falling” when the app was first shown to them. However, Mr. Hubert also stated that “the majority of students begrudgingly recognize the importance and usefulness of the app.”
One student that recognizes the usefulness of Apple Classroom is senior Brian Buseck. When presented the app for the first time in his journalism class, Buseck was apparently taken aback. He also stated that “[Apple Classroom] seems a bit excessive to me. However, I do not personally have a problem with it, because I have never played a game during class in my life.”
In conclusion, the newly implemented classroom management app, Apple Classroom, is a very useful app looking towards the future. Mr. Hubert, Mrs. Cambra, and Brian Buseck all agree when saying they could see teachers using this app in the future. This app offers great opportunities for teachers who use it properly.