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Education Portables The Almighty Buck News

Minnesota School Issues iPad 2 To Every Student 456

Posted by timothy
from the boondoggle-defined dept.
tripleevenfall writes "Thanks to a federally-funded grant for magnet schools, every student at Heritage Middle School in West Saint Paul, Minnesota, now has an iPad 2." Why in my day, we had to buy our own graphing calculators — in the snow, both ways, uphill!
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Minnesota School Issues iPad 2 To Every Student

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  • Hypothetical... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by by (1706743) (1706744) on Friday April 22, 2011 @09:47PM (#35911996)
    I suspect there are stricter privacy laws regarding minors. So if these are the 3G versions which end up tracking the user...who's responsible? Apple, the school or...? Just curious. For example, if the iPads sync with school computers but are free to go with the student when school's not in (no, I didn't RTFA...), then there could be very personal data on the computers which may not have encrypted home partitions. Makes a whole lotta minors' personal data relatively easy to collect.

    Just wondering out loud.
  • by similar_name (1164087) on Friday April 22, 2011 @09:49PM (#35912006)
    I'm all for 'technology in the class room' but I'm not sure if this is a good use of a federal grant.

    I know you can get a keyboard for them but all things considered I think a netbook would be more suited to classwork and homework. You can do an essay on an iPad but I don't think they are optimal for that.

    Completely unrelated to the question of which technology should/does support education is the proximity of Minnesota to Wisconsin.
  • waste of money (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 22, 2011 @09:49PM (#35912008)

    yet another distraction.

    You want kids to learn mathematics, proper grammar, etc., then assign the homework. For those students who falter because of too busy / too uncaring parents, offer after school support with the money wasted on subsidizing Apple Inc.

  • Spend wisely (Score:4, Insightful)

    by theweatherelectric (2007596) on Friday April 22, 2011 @09:56PM (#35912036)

    Heritage is distributing 685 iPads to students this school year, with plans to boost that figure to 730 by next school year. It is installing more than 100 educational apps on the iPads, and tying the devices to facility-wide Wi-Fi and Google-branded Internet services such as Gmail.

    More consumers for Apple and Google I suppose. Would not the money spent on 685 iPads be more productively spent by hiring teachers, even if it were just one additional teacher? One good teacher can make a world of difference to child's education. A difference that I feel confident eclipses anything that either Apple or Google have to offer.

  • Re:level (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Local ID10T (790134) <ID10T.L.USER@gmail.com> on Friday April 22, 2011 @10:08PM (#35912078) Homepage

    I actually R'd the F'ing A you linked... and it doesn't support your statement.

    I am not an apple fan by any means, but the iPad is a good tool for students. It's not a drop-in replacement for books and paper -or even laptops, but it is a very useful tool in teaching/learning. Other than it being an Apple product, my biggest issue with it is the price -which is largely a function of it being an Apple product...

  • by Joe The Dragon (967727) on Friday April 22, 2011 @10:13PM (#35912114)

    The schools could gotten laptops for less with a bigger screen, more ram , more hdd space and more software.

  • by seichert (8292) * on Friday April 22, 2011 @10:17PM (#35912132) Homepage

    If we just throw more money at the problem we can fix it. Giving an iPad 2 to every student is just that kind of a "solution". Until our culture and our parenting change, we will continue to produce kids who aren't interested in school and learning.

    Successful immigrants show us what is really important. I can think of 2 Chinese women who I know very well. They came to New York City at age 7 and age 12. Parents were dirt poor, didn't speak English, could only afford the rent in the worst part of town or a housing project. Never had a computer or a fancy graphing calculator. Parents worked upwards of 100 hours a week to put food on the table. But what these parents did was fairly simple, they actually looked at their children's homework every night and made them correct their mistakes. And if the essay had sloppy penmanship, it was torn up and they had to re-write it. The parents kept track of when tests were and made sure their kids studied for them. They were involved, they cared, and their kids both made it into the Ivy League and eventually graduate school.

    I know this is a bit of rambling post, but I hope you get my point. No magic gadget is going to fix the problems our culture faces. No bag of money is either.

  • Re:level (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rsborg (111459) on Friday April 22, 2011 @10:38PM (#35912234) Homepage

    Other than it being an Apple product, my biggest issue with it is the price -which is largely a function of it being an Apple product...

    There is cheaper no tablet out there. Full Stop. After a year of existence, the iPad is still the cheapest tablet selling*

    This "Apple is always more expensive" trope needs to be killed, because the facts don't agree.

    *e-readers like the Nook and Kindle don't count.

  • Re:level (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Tharsman (1364603) on Friday April 22, 2011 @10:41PM (#35912246)

    Listening to a guy talking and taking notes is a terrible way of learning in of itself. It is much more efficient sitting with a book on the subject and practicing. Over the years I also have found most topic forums to be way more helpful than every professor I had through my degree when the point comes where you must have questions answered.

  • by MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) on Friday April 22, 2011 @10:52PM (#35912290)

    iPads are way closer to an appliance than netbooks, with far fewer moving parts to boot. Between OS-rot, cheaply made components,and the dumb things kids will install on these things, I'd be surprised if at the end of the school year even half of the $400 netbooks were still operational.

  • Re:level (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 22, 2011 @11:17PM (#35912408)

    when a rabid apple fanboy thinks that something is a good idea, then please excuse me for being a tiny bit skeptical.

    like most right-minded people i just don't think that handing out the digital equivalent of designer handbags to students is the best thing for the US economy. i can see why you disagree, but that's because you're the kind of cocksucking louse who is so lacking in the personality/identity dept that they have to suck up to a corporation, and an evil one at that.

  • by ADRA (37398) on Friday April 22, 2011 @11:45PM (#35912530)

    Sure, why decline when you can accept their offer and flip them on eBay legally and make money on the deal?

    For a better deal, say that they can have their required materials sold in electronic format for half the cost, but they're only tied to the registered account of the device? (Skipping for a moment the whole thought of broken hardware). At least then, the students would actually have to use the devices.

  • Re:level (Score:4, Insightful)

    by hedwards (940851) on Friday April 22, 2011 @11:55PM (#35912582)

    The unfortunate thing is that apart from science, classes to teach basic computing skills and the computer lab, there's little reason to believe that technology is going to solve any problem that most students are likely to have. Giving them iPads is basically a great way of ensuring that whatever the teacher is doing right won't be noticed because the students will be screwing around on facebook or playing angry birds.

    Spend the money on teacher training, paraprofessionals and improved curriculum, possibly even better resources, at least that has a reasonable connection to the outcome they're presumably looking for.

    That being said, things like document cameras, projectors and good A/V equipment do have value, just not necessarily enough to justify much outlay at this time.

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