Less Snapchatting, More Sweating

Why PE dance teachers are purchasing classroom iPads

Less Snapchatting, More Sweating

Taila Lee, Staff Writer

To reduce student phone usage in class, Woodside PE Dance teachers will promptly purchase iPads for their classrooms.

Students use their smartphones in class for research, school surveys, or music for group dances, but a majority of students misuse their phones by texting or accessing social media.

“In the past, we’ve let students bring their phones in to research their dances,” explained PE Dance teacher Laura Perdikomatis. “To look at YouTube, to look up music, to look up moves.  And we’ve just had a problem after that, of students taking pictures of each other, students taking pictures of us… We want to control it.”

Because of the problems with students using their personal devices, PE staff plan to buy about twelve to fifteen iPads for classroom use.

“I’ve asked the instructional vice principal [Diane Mazzei] to help, and she’s looking into it,” Perdikomatis added.  “If that doesn’t pan out, then we’re maybe going to write a grant for the foundation.”

If no money from the school’s personal funds becomes available for buying the iPads, the iPads’ arrival depends on the acceptance time of the foundation grant.  Once at Woodside, the students would use the iPads as soon as possible.

PE Dance teacher Leslie Pedrin described how the iPads would benefit her students: “We do the health unit… If we do have a set of 12 iPads, we could even rotate them through… all different classes… [There are] a whole bunch of apps that we can put on that they can use.”

Perdikomatis briefly added that iPads are not the only new technology being introduced to the Woodside PE program.

“We’ve already purchased heart rate monitors that are going to be used in all [PE] classes,” Perdikomatis elaborated.  “We only have one class set, but once they’re on the students, it projects… everybody’s heart rate, and we can use that to actually give points to students for being in their heart rate zone… They’re not in use, but we have them at Woodside.”

Woodside PE students have varied opinions about the purchase of the iPads and the restricted usage of their phones.

PE Intermediate Dance sophomore Hazel Griffin agreed with the introduction of iPads to classes: “I think that the use of iPads in PE for music and other things is a better idea, because with phones, students are easily distracted and can access things like their social media accounts [that] they don’t need to be looking at during class.”

On the other hand, some students disagreed with the purchase of the iPads.  Enrolled in PE Intermediate Dance, sophomore Lindsay Badgett believes Woodside should focus on other academic causes.

Badgett claimed, “I personally think that we should use the money for a better cause, because we can just use our phones for music… We could definitely use [the money] to further some of our programs.”

PE Intermediate Dance student Tenaya Hamon agreed with Badgett, stating the advantages of using a personal phone over iPads.

“I think that using phones is a better idea,” Hamon explained, “because you can have access to premium music.”

Despite student opinions, the iPads will be purchased and will become accessible to students as soon as possible.  PE teachers are already enforcing stricter rules about phone usage during class.

Perdikomatis stated that students most likely want to use their phones during class “to get on social media… to stay in touch with their friends.”  However, Perdikomatis and Pedrin agreed that using technology in class “can be used for educational purposes, too.”