My middle school students are all getting iPads in 3 weeks – we’re going 1-1. They are very excited and curious about what it will be like (as am I).
We are starting persuasive writing next week, so I thought I would try having them make a T-chart over the possible pros and cons of arming every middle school student in our building with an iPad.
I wondered if they would be naive — if everything they wrote down would be a pro. It turns out, I underestimated them again! They had a very balanced view of both sides of the issue.
Just in case you can’t read middle school white board handwriting, here is a summary of what they came up with:
iPads for every middle school student
Teaches us responsibility Battery could die in class
Easier to access grades Get stolen
Not easy to lose Distractions
Students need fewer supplies Inappropriate videos
Not wasting as much paper Could break easily
Good behavior so you don’t lose it Forget them at home
Doing homework more
The next thing we did was to poll the class and see which of these pros/cons we had consensus on and which were controversial – remember, this is a lesson to teach persuasive writing skills.
The controversial issues on the list were these:
The final step was for each student to make their own T-chart listing both sides of the controversial issue of their choosing.
They seemed to really be able to see both sides of the issue. As excited as they are, I sensed an undercurrent of fear. Unlike the adults in our building, I don’t think their fear is fear of change. I think they truly sense the weight of responsibility being placed on them, and I believe they are up to the challenge.