New iPads coming soon to a classroom near you


Aaron Laird

Generation 7 iPads provide students with an easier classroom experience through the inclusion of a case with a keyboard.

Joe Dorminy, News Editor

Four years ago the Bellwood-Antis school district was introduced to a new learning tool: the iPad.

Every student and faculty member was given an iPad to enhance and change the course of learning for students, and it certainly did.

This year however, the school district is handing out new iPads.  These iPads are a Generation 7 model with greater capabilities than the old ones, which are Generation 2, including a bigger screen, a more powerful processor, and a keyboard.  

It sounds easy just to hand out new iPads to everybody, but it’s a little more complicated than that, which is why high school students are yet to receive their new devices.

We chose to continue with our iPad initiative because of the endless possibilities these devices offer for teaching and learning.”

— Ms. Forshey

A rollout of the devices has occurred at Myers and is taking place now in the middle school. Step one in the process at all buildings is backing up everything on the device to a cloud, which is time consuming.

“The biggest challenge right now is time,” said B-A technical support specialist Jason Corle.  “With only two people working primarily on the new iPads, it makes it hard to update every iPad and log in every student, then wait for all the apps to download.”

Corle is not the only one who has had a hand in rolling out the school’s new tech.  Mrs. Jamie Forshey, B-A’s Director of Instructional Technology and Media, has also been a huge part in determining the direction of our school’s technology.  She is in charge of the school club S.W.A.T. (Students With Advanced Technology) and is always has been involved with students and technology for two decades.  

While there are a variety of device options out there for 1-to-1 schools, including Chromebooks, Ms. Forshey said keeping iPads as a tool for education was the best option at Bellwood-Antis.

“We chose to continue with our iPad initiative because of the endless possibilities these devices offer for teaching and learning,” she said.

Mainly, the iPads fall smoothly in line with B-A’s vision for the use of technology in the classroom.

“The iPads align with the district’s goals: to provide opportunities for students to use technology as creators of content as opposed to merely being consumers,” Ms. Forshey said.

Students are pretty excited to get their new devices, as well, including freshman Carsyn Gilbert.

“I’m excited to get a keyboard,” said Gilbert. In Spanish we have to type everything and it’s hard when we don’t have keyboards. And just the improved battery life will be better. The ones we have now also stopped updating last year because they’re so old.”

The new iPads are scheduled to be distributed to high school students by December.