As the first quarter of school progresses, students begin to grow accustomed to the new changes and tweaks that have been implemented this year. But one change that has many students upset is the new cases for the iPads provided by Prep and Villa. While many people could not be more excited to receive a newer model of the iPad, their excitement began to fade when they viewed the new case.
Right off the bat, people were confused about how to access the stand feature for the new case. It took some time for Prep and Villa students to realize that they had to firmly press down on each end of an obnoxiously snapping, wristband shaped stand to prop their devices. Once students and faculty understood this feature, they were confronted with another issue. The stand doesn’t allow students and faculty to operate the iPad vertically without the user’s interference. While many people prefer accessing the tablet horizontally, this new stand almost forces people to type, read, etc. horizontally even if they usually use an iPad vertically. Another problem the case stand presents is that it is very annoying to type on. The predecessor of this years iPad case came with a firm, versatile stand that would hold your iPad in place while typing. In contrast, this year’s case sways left and right as you type.
Prep junior Jared Heidt voiced his concerns about typing on the new case as well, stating “It is very frustrating to write papers and type out answers for virtual assignments. The stand doesn’t allow you to type without it moving”.
Even though it is still September, some students have reported on their stands beginning to fall apart without any interference whatsoever. Just today, I clicked the stand to activate it, but as soon as I did, the base of the stand partially detached from the outer portion, leaving it hanging. This is not only annoying, but very angering. How can people efficiently do their work when their stand doesn’t function properly?
Moving away from the stand, there is the issue of the screen protector. To start, the screen cover this year is a major downgrade from last year’s. Unlike last year’s screen protector being physically attached to the iPad screen, this year’s is connected to the case. Because of this, air bubbles are riddled throughout the interface of the iPad. So when you try to type flat because of the mediocre stand, it is impossible to see what you are pressing because light is reflecting off of the bubbles. Only if you completely lean over your iPad while it’s flat to type is it possible to efficiently work.
Sophomore Thomas Francoeur also feels the same way about the new screen protector. “The new case seems very destructible and cheap. The screen cover keeps coming off at the corner, making it difficult to type.”
Possibly the only thing that is not entirely negative about the new iPad cases is the base itself. The new case doesn’t defer significantly in density and protection compared to it’s predecessor. However, a very troublesome issue the case has is its vulnerability to fall apart. While walking to seventh period last Thursday, a student’s iPad fell apart spontaneously without any interaction right in front of me. Apparently this is not rare, due to many students reporting this same issue.
Prep student Bobby Boland said, “I was unloading my book bag when I got home from Cross Country. All of a sudden, my iPad case literally fell apart while I picked it up to remove it from my bag.”
So if this new case has all these issues, how did we end up with it? In the spring of last year, there was a vote for new iPad cases. As it turns out, this was the case we voted for. To be fair, this case looked perfectly fine when we looked at a preview for it. But after using it for a month, it’s easy to recognize the various issues that comes with this new case.
When I spoke with Mrs. Amy Cambra in the technology department, she said the reason for choosing this case as an option was “that with a built-in stand, there would be fewer options of the stand going missing.” She added, “OtterBox designed this case for the educational environment.”
In conclusion, the new iPad cases provided this year are far from what we expected. An idea I’ve presented to the technology department is to allow students to purchase new cases through the school. In response, Technology Department employee Amy Camera stated, “Students are required to use the case that the school purchased for them. Different cases are not an option.” However, Mrs. Cambra also stated that they are aware some front covers are falling off, and they have discussed the issue with OtterBox, who is working on shipping redesigned replacement front covers that should stay on better.”
If students have any additional concerns with the new cases, they are more than welcome to discuss their issues with Mrs. Cambra or any member of the technology department.