New Year, Same Tech Friend: How NHS Students Benefit from the Apple Watch

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9to5mac.com

Happy New Year Nonnewaug! See how your classmates are staying on top of things with their productivity buddy.

Madelynn Orosz

WOODBURY – With an 86% market share in the teen smartwatch owners (PiperSandler.com), it’s no surprise many students at Nonnewaug have an Apple watch. NHS has rich diversity when it comes to student activities and interests, and this device is found in all those areas including Ag, fine arts, regular classrooms, and athletics, let’s find out why the device is still a favorite with NHS students coming into the new year.

Ag students like Ryan Wicklund, love the hands free features the watch offers are very helpful during work and classes.

 “I don’t have to take it off when I’m at work or in the shower and it doesn’t break and the screen never cracks. I am able to know the time down to the second..it keeps my life in order knowing the time.” 

Ryan Kostenko agrees with Wicklund, as when students are hard at work feeding animals, repairing machinery or working in the greenhouses, the watch keeps them from missing lunch or their next period class because they can set timers and reminders. 

NHS Agri-science student Gabby Guerra uses her apple watch to keep track of time for letting soap stay on Lambie the sheep. This is a common feature of the device used by Ag students daily as when their hands are dirty with soap or mud, they can use their voice to set timers. This is key for certain animals at the school as they have sensitive skin and too much time with soap on them could lead to dry skin. (Woodbury FFA Instagram)

Athletes also benefit from the device. The workout tracking built into the watch and the numerous additional apps students can download and utilize. 

Mackenzie Pfahl, volleyball player, has had her watch for two years and still loves it the same. 

“I love that it is waterproof and that I can use it in the pool as well as during dryland workouts and volleyball practice.” 

With the rave reviews from fellow classmates, students had the item on their Christmas lists for many years. Vicky Koether received her watch for Christmas in 2020 and explains why it was the top of her list. 

“I wanted it to track my activities,” said Koether. Being in Ag, she does plenty of hands-on work during the day in school as well as on the NHS Goat Showing Team and at her job at a vet hospital

“A surprise to me was that I am able to answer texts on it when my phone isn’t near or I can’t grab it quickly because I’m working with Lady [show goat].” 

Wicklund agrees, “I like being able to see the time or my text messages or change the song I’m listening to on my Airpods without needing to take my phone out of my pocket.”

However, some teachers remain confused or unaware of some of the other features the devices include. Math teacher Laurie Bain was asked if she was aware of the calculator feature on the watch and was surprised to find out it existed. 

“To be honest, I have never really noticed anything like that[with smartwatches]” said Bain. “I do see students clicking or tapping on them occasionally, so I will ask them to stop just like I would with a cellphone.” 

Bain also noted how she realized the calculators on it [Apple watches] are not the same as the graphing ones so students will rarely try and cheat with them. 

Teachers have been adapting to the changing tech used by students and have found ways to use them in learning. 

During distance learning, Ryan Campanario, wellness teacher, allowed students with the devices to submit screenshots of their workout summaries from their watches for credit of daily fitness.

Students collaborate in class on assignments and use their watches to look up additional information for essays or other writing prompts. With the simple request by saying “Hey Siri” or holding the scrolling knob on the side allows students to ask the watch questions and will receive an answer accordingly. (Madelynn Orosz)

This was because the devices showed charts of the heartrate changes during the workouts as well as stats on steps, calories burned and more. These charts taught students more about how their fitness impacted their health with explanations on what the charts meant. 

These tiny but mighty tech devices have changed how students navigate life in and out of school and are not going anywhere anytime soon.