Last February, rumors began to spread that students’ beloved iPads would be replaced with Surface Pros, and reactions were unsurprisingly mixed. The majority of teachers were happy about the news, seeing the Surfaces as a better device for writing due to its full keyboard, and a way to cut down on games in the classroom. Students, on the other hand, were more divided; some were angry because after years of learning how to get textbooks, do homework, and submit assignments on the iPad, they would have to start all over. Others were excited to try the Surfaces, given that they are more powerful and more like a laptop.
On August 23rd, the day finally came when all students were using Surface Pros in the classroom, and so far the reception has not been great. Ryan Hayden ’17 has mixed feelings toward the Surfaces. “I can do more things on it than the iPad and it’s nice to have a keyboard, especially for writing essays. But, I’m disappointed by the app store and the tablet functionality isn’t great,” he said.
While it is true that the keyboards have made writing much easier, it is also true that the Microsoft App Store lacks many commonly-used iPad apps, such as Canvas, WordReference, and Notability.
Brandon Negranza ’17 echoed Ryan’s negative sentiments, adding, “It’s bulky, requires constant updates, and the app store isn’t good.” When asked about which device they preferred, both Ryan and Brandon chose the iPad. But a final consensus from the student body cannot be achieved yet since only one month has passed since the beginning of the program. As the kinks continue to be sorted out, perhaps this feeling towards the Surfaces will change.