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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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  • level (Score:3, Interesting)

    by emkyooess (1551693) on Friday April 22, 2011 @08:45PM (#35911978)

    Maybe it works better at middle schools than research has shown it doesn't work in higher education.

    http://chronicle.com/article/iPads-for-College-Classrooms-/126681/ [chronicle.com]

    • by Tharsman (1364603)

      1) "Professors Say" != "Research", specially when you are talking about a handful of professors.
      2) The article you link goes on a lot about typing seed and taking speedy notes. The thing has a microphone, who takes notes when you have a microphone?!!! Add some recording app with One-Touch bookmarks and you need no notes, you just tap the screen for highlights.
      3) "because of concerns that the Apple tablet might not save their material." Back in the day, i saw students refuse to use computers because of con
      • Re:level (Score:4, Interesting)

        by emkyooess (1551693) on Friday April 22, 2011 @09:19PM (#35912146)

        re:2:
        You describe a terrible way of learning. Sure, audio notes and bookmarks might help you to pass a course, but you're sure as hell not going to get as much out of it as reprocessing the material to write it down (in your own way, too).

        • Re:level (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Tharsman (1364603) on Friday April 22, 2011 @09:41PM (#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.

          • You must have had some terrible professors, not dismissing the use of forums, of which I am a huge advocate. I just had excellent professors throughout my CompSci degree. Lecturer always had time to respond to emails, see you after class and pause in class to answer questions.
            • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

              by Tharsman (1364603)

              I had a good deal of all types. The arrogant type that get annoyed when you ask questions, the helpful type that would do their best to aid, the one that would just lecture but have no clue to answer, the ones that set as a goal to fail the whole class and hated that I always managed to perfect out their tests in 10 minutes, etc.

              Now,not to brag, I am no genius, I horribly failed many subjects (you may already notice English was one of them) but the subjects I was there to learn I was so interested in that

              • I disagree with this, though this is the internet... and so therefore, all statements of opinion are meant to be 100% fact that apply to all.

                The vast majority of my learning has been through participation in discussion. I found books too dry for learning, nor did I retain much from them. I also didn't handle lecture well, because things go in one ear and out the other. When allowed to interact, however, or witness interactions, there wasn't anyone who could score higher than me on anything. It didn't r

          • by MoonBuggy (611105)

            Different people learn optimally in different ways, of course, but I've found that what you say only really applies for easy to moderately difficult material. Sure, a bad professor may be no real help, and sure, a good book may be a fine way to learn about sorting algorithms, but I can quite categorically tell you that I wouldn't have anything like the understanding I do now of (for example) general relativity if it weren't for a good professor putting it in to words, gauging our reactions, and pointing out

            • by Tharsman (1364603)

              Your personal anecdote makes me think you studied in a small institution with very few students per professor. Not saying that it dismisses your point, but a lot of institutions have huge auditoriums full of students with just one guy lecturing in front. There is next to no way such a classroom can produce the dynamic results you describe.

              That being told, I still feel textbook + personal experimentation is the best approach for anything but medicine, and that only because you cant legally find a steady su

              • by MoonBuggy (611105)

                Around 10,000 students total, groups of 20-40 in the higher-level undergrad classes I was referring to. I know it's not a system that everyone has access to (more's the pity), but it seemed worth pointing out that my personal experience goes against your general assertion that 'chalk and talk' is a bad way to learn.

          • by djlowe (41723) *

            Listening to a guy talking and taking notes is a terrible way of learning in of itself.

            For you.

            It is much more efficient sitting with a book on the subject and practicing.

            For you.

            Over the years I also have found most topic forums to be way more helpful than every professor I had

            For you.

            This is going to come as a *huge* shock to you, I'm sure, but what works/worked for you may not for others There's a whole planet out there, with billions of people, and few, if any, are identical to you.

            Now, I know that that

            • by Tharsman (1364603)

              I'm also pretty sure I do am a human being and not an alien. I am also sure my brain is no superior to the average human being. It may come to a huge shock to you, but there are other people out there that, just like me, can think and learn by simply having the information in front of them to consume in any way it is provided, be it a book, a web site, a recording, or a babbling old man in front of a crowded room. The speed of all but the babbling old man can be adjusted to the needs of the individual stude

            • by AK Marc (707885)

              Listening to a guy talking and taking notes is a terrible way of learning in of itself.

              For you.

              The studies show that it's true for the vast majority. Even aural learners don't deal well with some talking head at the front of a class talking for an hour then everyone gets up and walks out. So it's not just him. It's everyone. That's why there are overheads, chalkboards, homework, out of class readings, and everything else to supplement the talking head.

              This is going to come as a *huge* shock to you, I'm sure, but what works/worked for you may not for others There's a whole planet out there, with billions of people, and few, if any, are identical to you.

              Aside from the fact you are factually wrong, you actually didn't assert a single thing that contradicted him. Your inane "For you" response was no

      • 1. They gathered data, even if it was subjective data. Some would call that research.
        2. You're suggesting that as the professor/teacher is talking, every student should be simultaneously talking into their microphones. I think you should research that.
        3. I've had an iPhone for a little over two years. I very rarely sync it, but still I've had 3 instances where iTunes said it didn't recognize my phone and wiped it. There went my data. If you were going to use a tablet for notes/work, I'd recommend instant sa

        • by Tharsman (1364603)

          1. If the opinionated data gathering they did can count as research, then I can count my post as the result of my own research too. Research is done based off other's behaviors and experiences actually working with the device, not the opinion of skeptics that didn't even use the device.

          2. I suggest they record the teacher and add audio-bookmarks to the parts they consider note-worthy. Added bonus: the ipad recording audio wont fall asleep or loose attention span.

          3.a Learn to use the device you own, and it

          • See, this is all still so Old School, pun intended.

            Not counting the courses with hands on and special equipment, consider all these lecture courses. Hello PodCast!

            Education needs to be $500 per course including both books and lectures and say 5 hours total personal questions/office hours/emails/etc.
            Then you can buy a course and ponder it no matter how long it takes you, rather than "start a clock" and risk un-erasable F's. Then when you think you're ready you sit for the test.

            $40,000 Ivy fees are all smoke

          • You're just trolling now saying the known fucking sync issue (that every single one of my coworkers has had as well, as well as my wife) is my fault for being incompetent.

            Not very productive to any reasonable conversation.

            You can't just drop an iPad on your desk and record a teacher at distance. Again, I suspect you research the iPad microphone.

            I'm not complaining about the weight of a keyboard. I'm saying it is silly to carry two devices to replicate the functionality of one, that does more and costs less.

        • by node 3 (115640)

          Carrying a keyboard around with you in addition to a tablet doesn't make much sense. Take a $500-$800 tablet and add a $99 accessory that now has less functionality, is more cumbersome, and is considerably more expensive than a $400 notebook. How does that make sense?

          An iPad that a person will actually bring with them and use is infinitely more functional than a $400 notebook that they will leave behind, run out of power, or leave shut on their desk or in their bag.

          Specifically for note taking, the apps for the iPad are more capable then you'll find in standard Windows or Mac software. Audio recording with annotation, stylus input, etc.

          And an iPad, even with a keyboard case, is not more cumbersome than a notebook. It's not even more cumbersome than a netbook. But I real

          • Specifically for note taking, the apps for the iPad are more capable then you'll find in standard Windows or Mac software. Audio recording with annotation, stylus input, etc.

            No.... not at all. Microsoft one note is pretty much the gold standard for note taking apps. I used it on a tablet PC for my undergraduate degrees, and it was, and still is leagues ahead of anything available on my iPad. The iPad in particular will (at least with only a touch display) will never be able to compete against the hardware I used back in 2001. Capacitive styluses just cannot compare to the accuracy of a digitizer. And trust me, you need that accuracy if you want your notes to be searchable... an

    • Re:level (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Local ID10T (790134) <ID10T.L.USER@gmail.com> on Friday April 22, 2011 @09:08PM (#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 hedwards (940851)

        If it's not a replacement for books, paper or laptops, then how exactly is it a "very useful tool in teaching/learning"?

        • I just argued above that it isn't the choice I'd make as a school administrator. It does less than a laptop, is difficult to take notes on, and is more expensive.

          That being said, I can see two reasons why schools might go this route.

          1 - They assume a shiny, popular toy will get used more by students than a netbook/notebook.
          2 - This is the same as the Pennsylvania school that issued Mac laptops and used them to spy on students. If the school has MobileMe accounts on the iPads, they can track the physical loc

          • also... it's harder to damage. with a netbook, the keys get worn out. On a tablet like apples... pretty much you either break it or it ain't; a nice cleaning gets them to be almost new. that's a nice advantage, year to year.
          • Re:level (Score:4, Insightful)

            by hedwards (940851) on Friday April 22, 2011 @10:55PM (#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.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by rsborg (111459)

        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.

      • 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...

        I find that statement absolutely hysterical. People expected the iPad to launch with a just-below-$1000 price tag. It came out at half that yet people are still saying "too expensive"? Sorry, but I'm going to have to view that statement as bogus and write it off to your admitted dislike of Apple. Until I see viable, serious, comparable products at a lower price (which I most certainly have not yet seen...), I'll consider their price to be pretty damn good for what they're selling. Expensive, yes, but most

  • by transami (202700) on Friday April 22, 2011 @08:46PM (#35911988) Homepage

    Used to be that teachers got apples.

    Unfortunate for all those non-magnetic kids though.

  • by Ka D'Argo (857749) on Friday April 22, 2011 @08:47PM (#35911994) Homepage
    I for one welcome our Apple over... OOOOOOH it has Angry Birds!
  • Hypothetical... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by by (1706743) (1706744) on Friday April 22, 2011 @08:47PM (#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.
    • If they're the 3G models, someone still would have to pay for the contract. Besides that, I really doubt they are, since that would mean that they would have unfettered and uncontrolled Internet access during class, which I can't imagine any school board or principal thinking is a good idea.

  • by similar_name (1164087) on Friday April 22, 2011 @08:49PM (#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.
    • by rolfwind (528248) on Friday April 22, 2011 @09:15PM (#35912126)

      Okay, first, Netbooks==Smallish Notebooks. They're nothing different. They are not particularly good for school. No one writes essays during class 99% of the time. I can see instances where a tablet may work but not convinced.

      Most of my ideas how education should be reformed don't run along electronic gadgets anyway. I think the textbook racket should be abolished. I think the teachers of a nation or state can come together and make their own thing that would be distributed for free. Just do a wikibooks for arithmetic, trig, history, whatever. How often do these fundamental subjects change? Not that much. Then when they get printed up, go for the Japanese model, where they are split up into 80-120 page booklets so they're good for 6-8 weeks. Make them into disposable so the kids actually own and can write and draw in since they keep in.

      I alway despised these huge textbooks, where on average, only 1/3 of it, at best, was used throughout the year. Initimidating, heavy, expensive, and a waste of every year wrapping them in some stupid cover.

      Frankly, the future of education will be something like Khan academy, with students learning at their own pace, with the understanding that they have to meet milestones to pass tests or work in groups on projects. An iPad or similiar MAY be useful towards this, but it require planning/coordination on the part of the school and its administration and teachers and not just buying the tablet as the answer in itself.

      (I'm also wary of such a relatively expensive item and would wait until it or something like it can be driven down to $100 per student. Yes, yes, OLPC.)

    • by Sycraft-fu (314770) on Friday April 22, 2011 @09:31PM (#35912200)

      Having sat on a couple committees for primary (meaning K-12) schools back when my mom was a teacher I can tell you that many of them have a shitty technology process. They don't hire a competent IT department or anything to oversee it, it is just kinda whatever teacher or administrator likes to play with tech gets promoted in to it.

      So what happened here is the school tech person is an Apple head. They love their shiny Apple toys and think they are just great. The school gets a grant, and the grant probably specifies it has to be used on something like "Technology directly supporting the education of students." So the district goes to their tech person, who is in fact just an administrator who likes Apple toys and says "We got this grant, what should we get?" and the person says "iPads for everyone!"

      Sadly, it really is how it often works. Even more often when you deal with people who are fanboys of a particular technology, as Apple people are known to be.

      We've actually seen that at the university where I work. Our department charges differential tuition, meaning you pay more for our major so we can use the money to support your education better. The only real restrictions on it is it has to be spent on things for the students. So we can't go and buy office furniture with it or something.

      Well, we have a few Mac zealot type professors and they were pushing to use it to give "free" Macbooks to the honors students. We don't charge enough to give it to everyone and of course it isn't really free since they pay more tuition but they thought it would be a great idea. They claimed it would attract better students and help with education. I claim they just like Macs and haven't though it through (like for example the fact that much of our software is Windows only).

      In our case wisdom prevailed and it has been used for things like upgrading computers in a lab, that ALL students can use and that can run all our software (not all software is licensed for personal laptops, unfortunately) and for new measurement and test equipment (oscilloscopes and such) however the push was there to go for the toys for students and it was a knee-jerk "This is nifty," thing rather than a well reasoned "This is what would be the most effective use of the money," thing.

    • by MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) on Friday April 22, 2011 @09:52PM (#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.

    • Why wouldn't an iPad be "optimal" for an essay compared to a netbook? The soft keyboard, in landscape mode, is actually much easier to use than the typical netbook keyboard, for me at least, and my job requires a lot more typing than the typical grade-school essay.

      I was somewhat leery as I find phone-sized soft-keyboards to be a pain in the ass to use, but I find I can touch type easily on the iPad keyboard and daily write several documents substantially longer than the typical elementary/high-school term p

    • Grr, hit submit before I addressed the grant issue:

      Personally, I think things like this are excellent uses of grant funds. It tests out an extremely flexible platform that could (might not be, but could) be incredibly useful in the classroom for a very reasonable (relatively speaking) price.

      Heck, just from the textbook replacement angle, this is pretty huge - and not just replacement, but enhancement. For $500 a head + whatever maintenance costs, they test this out. Cheap.

      Full disclosure: I work at a univer

  • waste of money (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 22, 2011 @08:49PM (#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 @08:56PM (#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.

    • by hedwards (940851)

      Teaching aids and various paraprofessionals are a good use of money. But there are few ways that are more direct in effect than paying for a full time librarian and a librarian's assistant.

    • Would not the money spent on 685 iPads be more productively spent by hiring teachers, even if it were just one additional teacher?

      How much do you think teachers are paid (even at magnet schools)? Ipads start at $500 each - we can probably assume that the educational discount is negated by the support costs, so we'll say the school still pays $500 each in the end if they're doing base iPads. $500 times 685 iPads is $342,500. Teachers start at around $30k or less per year; hence you could likely hire one new additional teacher for each grade taught at that school for that amount of money and still have money left over to spend on su

  • by Nidi62 (1525137) on Friday April 22, 2011 @08:58PM (#35912044)
    I went to a magnet high school. Ours was math, science and technology. All our science classes were in rooms with lab tables and computers at each spot. Guess what we did all day? Yep. Internet games(pool, miniature golf, etc). All they're going to do is use these things to play games in class.
    • by dafing (753481)
      "we were given books, all we did was draw in the margins all day", both are issues of no guidance, and uninterested students. The iPad solves that, they'll be engaged, they LOVE the iPad (what student loves the school computes? Ours were ten years old, and often broke, most of my computer classes had senior students "sharing" computers, ie one watches as the other types in Excel....riveting shit I tell you), its cool, they feel great being trusted with one...

      And the best part? Even if Mum and Dad, or t
  • by matty619 (630957) on Friday April 22, 2011 @09:00PM (#35912052)

    With public school issued ipads? Are these bone stock ipads? Or are they loaded with some sort of locked down ios that prevents 12 year olds from using the thing to play Angry Birds when they're in class?

    If they're somehow locked down to make them only useful for the curriculum, I get it. If they're just off the shelf ipads, I don't get it. They're just giving out toys with our tax dollars.

    • The core teachers at the school I teach at were all issued iPads around November or December. They are stock models, the only major thing that seems to be locked down is install of applications? I'm a band director that was overlooked on it - so I'm not sure on the administrative situation there.

      As far as using them in the classroom? I actually have a student who owns one and uses it around school I think more than the netbook that she was issued. I don't honestly believe they are any better/or worse

  • by Joe The Dragon (967727) on Friday April 22, 2011 @09:13PM (#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 @09:17PM (#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.

    • by MoonBuggy (611105)

      Vastly better than parents who don't care, I absolutely agree, but in my observation the style of parenting you mention is still not a panacea to aspire to. It's anecdote against anecdote here, I know, but I've seen far too many people from families like that either burn themselves out or go crazy when the supervision is removed. They're working to impress their parents, or to fulfil an obsessive need to achieve for achievements sake, or even simply to avoid having to write their essay again after it was to

  • The important lesson to be imparted is the student's increased sense of entitlement and acceptance of redistribution.

  • by Aldenissin (976329) on Friday April 22, 2011 @09:41PM (#35912248)

    With the speed in which ebooks are taking off [slashdot.org], it's perfect. To quote Rage Against The Machine, "They don't gotta burn the books [slashdot.org], they just remove'em [teleread.com]!"

  • Don't get me wrong--I'm all for spending money on the education of our youth and I'd love to see the government spend a LOT more on it (maybe shave a couple hundred billion off the military budget or something...). But their parents are already getting paid $2,000+ per year per child (Federal Rabbit-Like Breeding Subsidy) and get a higher amount of deductions to boot--and my property taxes largely go toward the local schools as well. I would like to buy an iPad 2, but apparently I already did. It just wa
  • by wierd_w (1375923) on Friday April 22, 2011 @10:56PM (#35912588)

    Yes. Shiny new ipads are obviously going to increase test scores. Much more than hiring competent teachers, or funding academic programs that foster learning.

    No, They got a government budget surplus, and they blew it on something shiny that makes them look technologically savvy. Kinda like useless people in suits blow money on a shiny sports cars and other status symbols. "Look at our school! We have all this awesome technology! [of course, none of our staff knows how to properly manage it anyway, and we will sue you when your children demonstrate superior control over our shiny status symbols than we do-- But pay no attention to the incompetent people behind the administration desks!]

    This is why dumping money on the public school system wont work. Public schools lack integrity, and as such, cannot be trusted with public funds, really. Unless there is accountability, there will be no integrity, and as long as teachers are treated like martyrs even when they fail their students by continually failing to ensure that they gain basic literacy (AND basic math, AND basic science) at an alarming statistical rate, that accountability will never come.

    In terms of school administrators, there is more incentive in looking like they know what they are doing, than in actually investing the time and resources into actually gaining competence. This is especially true when there is flagrant incompetence and other serious shennanigans going on courtesy of the teacher's unions, and liberal arts majors trying to create education policies.

    This money would have been much better spent on refurbishing the school's science labs, or on funding extracurricular academic activities. (no, not fucking sports activities. Those get enough money and time already. They dont need more. What needs more time and money are things like physics clubs, engineering workshops, and the like. Things that get kids interested in learning, rather than interested in kicking balls around.)

  • by supersloshy (1273442) on Friday April 22, 2011 @11:42PM (#35912778)

    A few years ago, the school I went to gave out tablet computers to every student (not portable tablets, but laptop PCs with touch-screens to be used with styluses). Not only did I use one on a daily basis as a student, but I also voluntarily helped out with the "tech director" (or whatever his position was) of the school, doing things like troubleshooting computers and helping to set computers up. As someone who has worked with this kind of program before, let me just say that there's a VERY, VERY, VERY SMALL CHANCE that this could work well. The tablets that we used were expensive, about a thousand dollars per student and teacher. We'd have to ship out pile after pile of busted tablets every week to get replacements, and we used CloneZilla and Deep Freeze to make sure that all of them were the same. Kids fooled around on them in class (I even participated in a school-wide Halo deathmatch during Biology class), and it was very poorly managed. The tech, while the teachers found the technology useful, never added more than the students would get by simply using pencil and paper (they even had digital whiteboards with a projector in every classroom, called "Smart Boards" or something like that).

    For iPads to work in a school environment, they would have to be very locked down and very well-managed. What can you possibly do with an iPad, besides use the internet or a specialized research application, that you can't do with pencil and paper? It's a huge cost to support, it doesn't add much, it's more complicated than simple pencil-and-paper, and, unless it can be well-integrated into the curriculum, would be totally useless. Take it from me, as someone who has dealt with this before. Schools just seem to think that, by adding random technology, grades and learning will somehow improve. It doesn't work like that; not one bit. I know this from real-life experience.

    PS: Yes, I know that Deep Freeze isn't exactly a very good solution for computers that students keep with them all the time. If I was them, I'd use Linux with limited user permissions, and the "tech director" there agreed with me. Management wanted Windows and that's what we got. Sigh...

  • by Daniel Phillips (238627) on Friday April 22, 2011 @11:46PM (#35912798)

    From the article: "The cash transformed Heritage into a magnet school emphasizing science, technology, engineering, the environment and mathematics."

    So, why did they drop there cash on iPads, which are not oriented to any of those things, but rather to media consumption? I could understand if these devices were set up to be used as general purpose computers, but iPads are not, so I view this as somebody's vanity project at best.

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