High School Students Say iPads in Class Could be Distracting

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COLUMBIA - Every Battle High School student can rent an iPad for the school year for use in the classroom and at home. 

"I spend like 90 percent of my time on the iPad," Battle High School junior Drue Horton said. 

Students use the iPads for in-class assignments, note-taking and homework.  Battle High School does not block certain applications or websites on the iPads during class. 

Some students said it can be distracting.

 "Some people don't put it aside and they like Snapchat in class and stuff like that," Battle High School junior Chase Lampkin said.  "But then others can, it depends.

Lumpkin said he can't say he's never let his attention wonder. "It's a hard thing not to be distracted by."

Battle High School history teacher Susie Adams said it was an adjustment to use the iPads, but that it's up to the teachers to enforce classroom rules. 

"You can tell if they're posing, they're taking a Snapchat, so it's easy to call them out.  Or if they're texting really fast, you can tell what they're doing," Adams said.  

Columbia Public Schools spent roughly $350,000 to buy 1,100 iPads for incoming Battle High students this fall and about $500,000 for students enrolled in AP classes at Hickman and Rock Bridge high schools. 

"We have the ability to kind of lock down their iPad and not allow them to download some various things if they can't manage it themselves," Battle High School principal Kim Presko said. 

Columbia Public School Board president Christine King said because a few parents voiced concerns about the problems surrounding technology in the classrooms, the board would discuss future plans to regulate it better.

According to the Columbia Public Schools' improvement office, the move to electronic textbooks via iPads saved the district roughly $300,000 a year for science textbooks alone.

(Editor's note: This story has been changed to correct grammatical errors).