For one week, students were forced to put down the iPad, and pick up a paper and pencil for lessons in school, to do their homework and to interact with their classmates.

Instead of using the iPad’s built-in calculator, SS. Francis and Clare Catholic School students had to jot down numbers and work in groups to learn about line graphs. Younger students swapped virtual apps for hand-made board games like Monopoly.

For the last school week before winter break, teachers and students were asked to give up their iPads to focus on their faith and learn skills without a device. The private school issues iPads to every student in Grades 4 through 8, but also has circulating carts of laptops and iPads for younger students to use, technology director Michael Pawlik said. Students can take their devices home after school to do homework, he said.

Popp and Pawlik decided the week before Easter and the week before Christmas would be the perfect time to go without iPads in school or at home.

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“We’re very blessed to have this technology and kids live in this world where they have it up all the time, but now we see the other side of that where we need to get them to understand what it’s like when it’s not available,” Pawlik said. “How do you still do your research? How do you still interact?”

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Annie Goeller is managing editor of the Daily Journal. She can be reached at or 317-736-2718.