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Rekindling the Click-Clack: Why Keyboards Need to Be Reinstated Into PHS Classrooms

Rekindling the Click-Clack: Why Keyboards Need to Be Reinstated Into PHS Classrooms

Portage – Technology has become an essential part of the learning experience. Starting in sixth grade, every student is equipped with a school-issued iPad, complete with a set of educational apps that have transformed the learning experience. While these devices have been incredibly useful in making learning more productive and personalized, there is one important tool that has been missing: the keyboard.


While there are other classrooms that provide computers with keyboards, the English classes that are more likely to use them are running low. The six English classrooms that have done so in past has dwindled down to one, Mr. Joshua Cavan. Many students in Cavan’s classroom feel that they have benefited from having access to a physical keyboard.


Rachel Ortiz, a current student of Cavan’s tenth grade honors English class, believes that using a keyboard has allowed for her to write essays more efficiently.


“I can feel what I’m doing and now that I’m memorizing the keys, I can write quicker,” Ortiz stated.

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Ortiz believes that using computers with keyboards has increased both her critical thinking skills and vocabulary.


“I’m using better vocabulary because it’s not like automatic words, search ups that are coming up. I have to use my own brain to do it, so I am making better synonyms.”


Another student in Cavan’s honors English class, Cadence Lingenfelter, feels that keyboards better prepare students for the world outside of high school.


“It helps students be more efficient tomorrow, like what you will be doing in an office setting and in a business when you are older,” Lingenfelter said


Cavan agrees that using laptops would be more realistic for students.


“If it were up to me, all students would have a laptop rather than an iPad. If we are trying to prepare our students for the future, prepare our students for life outside of high school, whether that be college or the workforce, I think students should have what they are going to be using then.”


Students have also found that the digital keyboards on iPads are significantly more difficult to type essays with than using physical keyboards. Lisette Magallanes, a junior in Mr. Taylor Hall’s English class, feels that the lack of a physical keyboard has made class time less productive.


“It’s just a lot more awkward to type compared to keyboards, making it harder to get much work done. I always end up feeling most comfortable typing most of my essays at home on my laptop,” Magallanes said.


Some English classrooms have been trying to find solutions to the lack of computers with keyboards. Mr. Joshua Keirn, an honors English teacher for both juniors and seniors, provides physical keyboards that can be plugged into iPads. However, these keyboards are much less convenient than keyboards already attached to a computer or built into a laptop.


“I think it does present an obstacle because if nothing else, it adds another task between the student and efficiently writing on their device,” Keirn said. “You have to get up, plug it in, make sure it’s working and all that, versus just having something built in.”


As Portage High School continues to find ways to improve the quality of learning, it should consider how our current technology supports students. While iPads with educational apps have been incredibly useful in making learning more productive and personalized, the lack of physical keyboards has limited their effectiveness. By reintroducing keyboards, ideally through a chromebook or laptop, students will be more productive, think more critically, and be ready for the future.

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    Leanna MonteiroNov 8, 2023 at 8:26 am

    This story was originally published on our old website on April 5, 2023. Since then, the district has given all students their own individual laptops with keyboards.