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Tech Expo to find MTHS’s next “iPad”

by JASMINE ELSHAMY Editor-in-Chief

MTHS hosted a Tech Expo for different technology companies to showcase what educational technology they can bring to our school. The lease with Apple is up, so we will either stay with Apple, or move to a different company.

“I really like the iPads. I feel like we have spent so much time adjusting to them, and the teachers are finally getting the hang of using the iPads in their lessons that it would just be a setback to move to another platform,” says senior Cori Haider, who attended the expo with me.

Cori and I made our first stop at Microsoft where they were showcasing their HP Elite Pad 1000s, a name sounding pretty special and top-notch. Well, it is different from the iPad. It still is a tablet, but it is not a companion device, as the incoherent Microsoft representative explained to us.

The Elite Pad 1000 gives you the features of a computer, so it allows you to run multiple applications on one screen. Since it is based on a Windows platform, the tablet uses a feature called One Drive, which is similar to Google Drive for those of you who are more familiar with that. There are apps for note taking that go along with that One Drive, too, such as One Note.

I wasn’t really impressed with the Elite Pad 1000, probably because the rep who was introducing it to us could not even get the Internet to open up; also, he did not know the name of the product he was showing us. Quick lesson in business, kids: just because you’re wearing a tie and your potential customer is a good 20 years younger than you does not mean that you can just spout nonsense and expect your stupid tablet to sell!

(Quick disclaimer: I am totally not partial to, like, Apple or anything.)

Moving right along, we eagerly went over to the heavenly mothership – Apple. Of course, we have all spent the past few years adjusting ourselves to the iPads and MacBooks and whatnot, so it is clearly a familiar platform.

The reps from Apple really emphasized Apple’s love for focus and simplicity. Their devices are not only a clean, clear experience, but they also have a very wide range of access to different applications to aid education. Developers are always working on new apps for the iPad, and as we have already experienced, some of these apps have really come into play such as GoodReader, iBooks, iMovie, Educreations, Wolfram, and more.

“Apple has really strong security. We don’t release any user information to the government or any outside companies, and we really try to focus on the user experience and how to make it cleaner, faster, and more efficient,” said an Apple rep. “If you are experienced with using the applications on iPads and other Apple technology, that will really come in handy when preparing for the jobs of the future.”

Finally, we headed to Google where they were showcasing the Lenovo Chromebooks. The Chromebooks work mostly online, requiring almost constant Internet connection. They have a 16gb hard drive and a camera.

The Chromebook works with Google Drive, which is basically like an online flash drive. You can create documents, presentations, spreadsheets, and more, all inside of an online folder, and you can have others editing and working on the documents at the same time.

Recently, a Los Angeles school system replaced their iPads with Chromebooks because the iPads got hacked. More Chromebooks than iPads were sold for educational purposes this past year.

“I’m not partial to any device or platform. My role as principal is to bring the best technology to our teachers and students that we can afford, that we can maintain. Four years ago, without the question, the iPad was our best choice. But what we’re trying to do tonight is to expose different vendors, different products, that potentially we can use here at the high school,” said Principal Goodall.

There are a lot of choices, and to be frank, I will not even be here to see whatever choice the school implements, but future students will, so I hope the best choice for our school is made.

What do you think about future technology for MTHS?

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