Apple CEO Tim Cook and presidential adviser Ivanka Trump were greeted by happy students with iPads as the two visited Wilder Elementary School in Idaho today.
But not everyone is happy with the iPads that Apple gave to school as part of a grant two years ago. A small group of protesters criticized the iPad program, saying the tablets actually get in the way of teachers teaching.
“There’s no teaching involved with (the iPads) because the teachers have been asked to be hands-off and let the kids learn on their own,” said an unnamed protester interviewed by Boise station KTVB. “They’re basically told to teach themselves and they can’t do that, which is why our (math scores) are so low.”
Tim Cook and Ivanka Trump see a different story
But Wilder, part of a low-income school district and one of 114 schools to receive the iPads through Apple’s involvement in the ConnectED program, has since received national recognition for its use of technology, KTVB reported.
Cook and Trump met with fifth- and sixth-graders to play a Battleship coding game the children created, according to KTVB.
Teacher Stephanie Bauer told KTVB earlier this year that she thinks the use of Apple hardware helped raise some of her students’ reading scores.
“It’s personalized for the student, so they are not getting bored, they are not getting information that is too hard for them,” Bauer said in September. “They are getting information that they can comprehend and understand, so they are able to grasp it and, I think, move at a quicker pace.”
Bauer said technology for her and her colleagues breaks down barriers of traditional grade-level school.
“For instance … I have a second-grade reader all the way up to seventh- or eighth-grade reading levels,” she said.
The visit with Cook and Trump lasted about an hour. The president’s daughter has been touring schools to study how they use technology for workforce development.
Cook was the first to arrive at the school. He was greeted by kids holding iPads, each with a letter. Combined, they spelled out “welcome.”
The Apple CEO asked students about their projects. One said he was making a movie.
“Who is the star of your movie?” Cook asked, according to an account in the Idaho Statesman.
The student said, “You are.”