Macs Add a Breath of Fresh Air to OC

Photo+Courtesy+of+Google+Images

Photo Courtesy of Google Images

Kara Puszko ‘18, Staff Writer

I’m sure you’ve noticed all of the changes that have occurred in Oakland Catholic this year. The biggest change this year at Oakland Catholic is that all students received Apple MacBook Air laptops to use for the school year (and summers!). These devices have brought many changes to the students’ classwork and homework. For example, some students now use word processing programs such as Microsoft Word and Pages to take notes instead of with pen and paper. Along with this new note taking method, many students and teachers use the website Edmodo. This website lets teachers post assignments, attach files that can be downloaded by students, and other features that can be used to connect to students. Students can turn in assignments and take quizzes via Edmodo and communicate with their teachers. Also, many classes have online textbooks in addition to paper copies.

Although there are many advantages to having individual laptops for every class (including fun games and the ability to message friends after you finish your homework!), there are also a few negative aspects to this new piece of technology. For example, students use laptops frequently in Dr. Doerfler’s English classes for answering writing prompts, making presentations in Keynote, and downloading short stories onto Books. Dr. Doerfler thinks that the fairness of everyone having the same equipment is a great part of having laptops, but the screens can also distract students. In math teacher Mrs. Flynn’s opinion, “Having laptops in class has transformed the way we engage our students and how we transfer information from teacher to student and vice versa. . . .  Some potential problems could be that it’s easy to get distracted by iMessage and checking email/Facebook when you are supposed to be working.”

In freshman Julia Griffin’s opinion, laptops are great tools for learning. With the workload that students here receive, laptops condense textbooks and notebooks making backpacks much lighter. Another advantage to these MacBooks is easy access to the Internet. If a student needs to go online for class, she can simply use her laptop instead of going to the computer lab or sharing a single classroom computer. But if a student forgets her computer, she might not have important notes she needs for multiple classes. If a student would forget to charge her laptop, many of the important things done in class could not be completed. Though many students take notes on the laptops, some students prefer to use a physical pen and paper. Emily Cumpston, a senior, thinks the laptops make note taking faster and easier and believes it is an improvement that students can have everything in one place. All in all, the changes that Oakland Catholic has undergone are making our school a more exciting place to learn.