Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

We are sorry to see you leave - Beta is different and we value the time you took to try it out. Before you decide to go, please take a look at some value-adds for Beta and learn more about it. Thank you for reading Slashdot, and for making the site better!

Minnesota School Issues iPad 2 To Every Student

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the boondoggle-defined dept.

Education 456

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!

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

level (2, Interesting)

emkyooess (1551693) | more than 3 years ago | (#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]

Interesting article. Thanks. (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912056)

All of the issues in it are easily overcome of course. My favorite bit was right at the end. They offered the paticipating students to buy the iPads used for half of retail. NOT ONE declined.

Re:level (2)

Tharsman (1364603) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912072)


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 concerns that the mouse would electrocute them or the network cables emit radiation and give them cancer.
4) That article bounces back and forth between typing and ebook annotations. Typing, if so important for dinosaurs, can be solved by extremely light and thin bluetooth keyboards. There are some cardboard thin protective cases that even include such bluetooth keyboards. Some eBooks not supporting annotations is an book industry issue, not an issue with the iPad or any other tablet for that matter.

Re:level (3, Interesting)

emkyooess (1551693) | more than 3 years ago | (#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 (4, Insightful)

Tharsman (1364603) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:level (2)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912154)

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 saving in the cloud. Then it isn't a concern.
4. 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?

I bought a Xoom for myself even though I didn't need one. So I'm not one to talk, but sometimes I think IT professionals encourage businesses to make large hardware investments because they want to play with new, shiny toys, even if it is a waste of the company's money.

In this case, I believe it is.

I'm not opposed to putting computers in the hands of students. I just don't believe this is the most financially responsible way to do that.

Re:level (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35912260)

2. No they just record the teacher talking. What is so hard about that?

Re:level (1)

Tharsman (1364603) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912344)

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's shortcomings. You can only sinc with one machine, sync a second and it creates a new profile.

3.b There are cloud syncing tools like Dropbox. Many apps are adopting Dropbox as a storage option.

4.a Repeating myself here but almost anyone that carries an iPad will likely keep it in a case. IF you need a keyboard so badly you can get yourself one of the ones with embedded keyboard. [igear360.com] These things add very little weight and you still can ignore the keyboard and flap the cover open as you would with any other keyboard. That's how it makes sense. Not to mention, carrying the tablet (ipad, xoom, whatever) loaded with ebooks will likely justify the tiny bluetooth keyboard added "burden" by eliminating all the dead tree books you have to carry. Heck, eliminate 1 book and you already justify the burden. Eliminate all books and it's likely you justified the price.

I don't think tablets are just a shiny toy scenario as you describe. I can see many ways that tablets can improve learning at any education level. Software development for the devices is not that hard, and institutions can easily standardize in a platform (be it iOS or Android, note that registered developers can do whatever they want in their iOS devices) and distribute applications that help learning. The medical industry is doing this right now, using tablets and specialized software to educate patients and eliminate paperwork while not being anchored to cumbersome deskops.

Re:level (3, Insightful)

Local ID10T (790134) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912078)

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...

Re:level (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912108)

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

Re:level (1)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912176)

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 locations of them. And who says they can't monitor over the camera with special software the way the Pennsylvania school board was with the Macs.

Re:level (2, Insightful)

rsborg (111459) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912234)

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 (1)

emkyooess (1551693) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912258)

Viewsonic gTablet?
Velocity Cruz?
Superpad?
Archos 7?

There's four with minimal searching.

Re:level (1)

bennomatic (691188) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912342)

Never heard of them.

Re:level (1)

xwizbt (513040) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912116)

Dude, the guy who wrote the article couldn't even spell 'discuss'.

In my day... (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 3 years ago | (#35911982)

Why in my day, we had to buy our own graphing calculators — in the snow, both ways, uphill!

Why in my day, graphing calculators had not yet been developed. We had to buy our own abacus for a few month's pay.

And row our little pirogue through marshland 5 miles to school every day in the rain, upstream, both ways!

Re:In my day... (1)

SilverHatHacker (1381259) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912014)

Back in MY day, we didn't have numbers! We just used our fingers to indicate quantity, and if we needed more than ten, we invaded some lesser nation and took theirs!

Therefore, I can't even tell you how many miles we walked in the blazing sun, uphill, both ways!

Re:In my day... (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912058)

Therefore, I can't even tell you how many miles we walked in the blazing sun, uphill, both ways!

Were there not enough lesser nations to take the necessary numbers from?

You had aa blazing sun? (1)

www.sorehands.com (142825) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912232)

When I went to school, we had a dead sun, and boy it was cold. My brother and I had to share the fingers to count on.

Its a good thing I had 7 toes, it made the more advanced math easier.

Re:In my day... (2)

asdbffg (1902686) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912028)

In my day, we had to wait until we got home to play video games.

http://slashdot.org/story/11/04/08/2157238/Gaming-Is-the-Most-Popular-Use-For-Tablets [slashdot.org]

Re:In my day... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35912180)

pfff.. bs.. if you had video games, you had pocket calculators.. plenty of games for those. 80087355 anyone?

Re:In my day... (1)

Jaxoreth (208176) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912070)

Why in my day, we had to buy our own graphing calculators — in the snow, both ways, uphill!

Why in my day, graphing calculators had not yet been developed.
We had to buy our own abacus for a few month's pay.

Wow, sucks to be you. I have two abaci, both gifts from my wealthy grandfather.

Re:In my day... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35912178)

The text book for my ninth grade geometry class was Euclid's Elements. In the original Greek. We spent the first week in metal and wood shop making our own compass and straightedge.

Re:In my day... (1)

RightwingNutjob (1302813) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912202)

Why in my day, we had to buy our own graphing calculators — in the snow, both ways, uphill!

And we *wished* we had 64k of memory. But 8k was more than enough for anything we needed to do.

I can top that (1)

rubycodez (864176) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912242)

In my day, 20 years before your day, we had pretty much the exact same damn graphing calculators! (xkcd #768 could have gone back to the TI-81 in 1990 had only display res and overall capabilities mentioned)

Re:I can top that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35912300)

best xkcd ever!

Seems like a movement (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 3 years ago | (#35911986)

This will be a lively discussion. I think it's a great move. Should get the backpack mass down.

Re:Seems like a movement (2)

ynp7 (1786468) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912020)

It won't. It's a waste of money that's not going to do anything to further education at that school and will likely do some harm.

Re:Seems like a movement (1)

Jaxoreth (208176) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912250)

It won't. It's a waste of money that's not going to do anything to further education at that school and will likely do some harm.

What disappoints me is that these are consumption-only devices -- No User-Serviceable Parts Inside. This won't help students learn how computers work or how to write software.

Re:Seems like a movement (5, Interesting)

arb phd slp (1144717) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912320)

What disappoints me is that these are consumption-only devices -- No User-Serviceable Parts Inside. This won't help students learn how computers work or how to write software.

This is exactly what I was thinking. This is miles away from, say, Maine's laptop program. I've seen what those kids are doing with their laptops. You give kids a powerful tool and you get amazing products from them. Sadly, people are going to be impressed by what these kids do with these tablets, not even realizing that they've been hobbled by the limitations of the platform.
I like my iPad for certain specific tasks, but "powerful tool" it isn't.

Re:Seems like a movement (1)

Rizimar (1986164) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912346)

Even having a consumption-only device can get kids interested in computers. Not all of them will develop a curiosity for how computers work (or not even most, I'm sure), but having a device of their own to use will get some of them to experiment with what's available and ultimately start wondering about what's going on underneath the interface.

I remember being interested in computers early on, yet having no knowledge of how anything worked. That inspired me to go to the library and check out as many books as I could on computers, operating systems, programming languages, etc, which helped me to tinker around with my machine at home.

Re:Seems like a movement (3, Interesting)

Microlith (54737) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912386)

I remember being interested in computers early on, yet having no knowledge of how anything worked. That inspired me to go to the library and check out as many books as I could on computers, operating systems, programming languages, etc, which helped me to tinker around with my machine at home.

And what Apple is pushing with the iProducts is that "you don't own your computer, we do." It'll interest them enough to mess with what they have at home, but then they'll find that they have to pay Apple again to access the mobile device, and only on extremely limited terms. Everything that I learned about computers was on hardware that never fought me or got in my way. And if Apple et. al. have their way, they'll undo the terrible mistake of DRM free, unrestricted computers being available to the average person.

The worst part is taxpayer money feeding into Apple's OCD, and their insistence that "the mobile space is only for thus and only those who pay us to bless them."

Re:Seems like a movement (1)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912264)

Why?

Re:Seems like a movement (1)

mysidia (191772) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912048)

This will be a lively discussion. I think it's a great move. Should get the backpack mass down.

Only if the School mandates all Textbooks must be available as eBooks for the iPad2, and they actually ban backpacks, requiring students to only bring an 'iPad carrier' with a small pouch for pens and pencils.

All ebooks? (2)

symbolset (646467) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912086)

The improvement starts at one textbook replaced. I can't recall many texts that weighed so little as an iPad.

Re:Seems like a movement (1)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912098)

Only if the School mandates all Textbooks must be available as eBooks for the iPad2, and they actually ban backpacks, requiring students to only bring an 'iPad carrier' with a small pouch for pens and pencils.

What are these "pens and pencils" of which you speak?

Becuase... (2)

transami (202700) | more than 3 years ago | (#35911988)

Used to be that teachers got apples.

Unfortunate for all those non-magnetic kids though.

I for one welcome.. (2)

Ka D'Argo (857749) | more than 3 years ago | (#35911994)

I for one welcome our Apple over... OOOOOOH it has Angry Birds!

Hypothetical... (3, Insightful)

by (1706743) (1706744) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

They don't care (1)

symbolset (646467) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912064)

They're the Facebook generation. They really don't care.

and it has cameras.

Re:Hypothetical... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35912074)

Did you miss the previous stories on /. discussing the type of tracking software installed on laptops which were given to children?
It even allowed school officials to remotely turn on the webcam whenever the laptop was online.

http://yro.slashdot.org/story/10/02/20/1445216/FBI-Probing-PA-School-Webcam-Spy-Case

Re:Hypothetical... (1)

Anubis IV (1279820) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912196)

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.

iPads are cool and all (4, Insightful)

similar_name (1164087) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:iPads are cool and all (0)

dafing (753481) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912060)

And what would you rather that money go to? Wars overseas? Feeling up the few American kids who visit other countries? Keeping corrupt leaders in power?

"our taxes" have to go somewhere, do you want them being spent on your children, in the schools you attended as a child, or do you want it going elsewhere?

Lets face it, iPads are cheap, they are amazing, I've seen very young children using mine, its "magical" to them, they understand its technology, they learn how computers work from an early age, they use them to communicate with friends, the apps for education are MARVELLOUS and only getting better... and they are CHEAP!

If a school decides to spend money on living in 2011 rather than 1911, I'm all for it.

Re:iPads are cool and all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35912100)

And what would you rather that money go to? Wars overseas? Feeling up the few American kids who visit other countries? Keeping corrupt leaders in power?

Wow

Re:iPads are cool and all (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35912112)

You could like get them a laptop computer. You know a real, portable, computer that's not only for consumption but also for creation. Hell for the price of an iPad 2 you could get them a convertible with a proper screen to write on instead of that "let's draw pictures with our fingers" the iPad can do. It would even come with a real keyboard and you could install a real office suite on it.

Giving an iPad to every student imho is no different from giving them gameboys. Sure they'll love it. I doubt they'll learn much though because Dr Kawashima is only going to take you so far.

Re:iPads are cool and all (0)

QuasiSteve (2042606) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912118)

and best of all, it teaches the kids all about vendor lock-in and why they should love every aspect of it.

Re:iPads are cool and all (1)

dafing (753481) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912244)

They already learn that when they stand and pledge their lives to a flag each morning, right? In all seriousness, the iPad is reliable, its *cheap*, its powerful, its also integrated, yes, however, what could go wrong? RE "Vendor lock in", were you really wanting to take each childs tablet down to the local computer store, "yeah, I'd like it to be pimped out please, double the RAM, check the CPU's thermal paste, add a liquid cooling system..." ? :-)

Ah, you meant software? No more "locked in" than any of the other educational suites used, actually, a much LARGER array of software vendors, feel free to count how many large makers already have iOS software designed for students of all levels, and all designed for the exact resolution and device the students are using, not cobbled together, like the Windows NT and then Windows 2000 computers we had to put up with, where each and every day MORE ten year old machines would crap out, necessitating "computer sharing", one senior student looking over the shoulder of another.

"but they were open!" :-)

Re:iPads are cool and all (2)

tbird81 (946205) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912364)

Man you fanboys are terrible!

Where do you think this money comes from? It could have been used to buy all sorts of things rather than a trendy toy that will depreciate to 10% of its purchase value within two years. And if it was so helpful and so cheap, then why don't the parents pay for them directly?

I came to Slashdot thinking there would be some reasoned arguments, but it's just fanboys saying how the iPad will make kids learn, about 100 shitty jokes about walking "uphill both ways" (is this especially funny to Aspies?) and a few dozen jokes about overlords.

Thank god this is not my country wasting money of crap like this.

Re:iPads are cool and all (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912142)

Precisely how are iPads better for education than a similarly priced laptop? Or a somewhat cheaper laptop combined with a Nook or Kindle?

I'm not much of a luddite, I love my Nook, but this is a complete waste of money. Even in small batches you can find ebook readers for under $150 each, and getting a laptop for $300 can be a bit of a challenge if you want a good one, but between the two you'd be setting the students up much better for classes.

Re:iPads are cool and all (1, Interesting)

dafing (753481) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912226)

Heres a local school being covered in The Southland Times, Invercargill's main newspaper:

http://www.stuff.co.nz/southland-times/news/4070984/School-trialling-portable-devices-to-augment-students-learning [stuff.co.nz]

When trials were over, the iPad had absolutely destroyed any "competitors", the students loved them, they are "cool", they are CHEAP, they have MUCH better battery life, far better educational software custom designed for each device, often free, or 1.29 NZD.... , great quality screens, thin... did I mention they are also CHEAP?

Re:iPads are cool and all (1)

novium (1680776) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912284)

Cheap? You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.

Re:iPads are cool and all (2)

reboot246 (623534) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912286)

Of course students love the iPad. With a Kindle you can't watch youtube videos or view porn in color. Tough playing games, too. Bye bye, angry birds!

A Kindle with wifi and 3G is only $189 and is a much better tool for reading books, checking gmail, looking up definitions and searching wikipedia. My niece is an elementary school teacher and she used grant money to buy her students Kindles. Much better use of taxpayer money!

Re:iPads are cool and all (0)

dafing (753481) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912384)

Give the students the choice between which they'd choose to own for *educational* reasons, and I doubt a single student would want the Kindle.

Take a teacher used to working with a classroom of iPads, and give her a class using Kindles... is she going to enjoy the change? I highly doubt it.

I've got friends with children at a local school, all using iPads. They love *learning* with the device, students of all ages, all abilities, they all enjoy *learning* with it.

I dont know about when you went to school, when I did, we had ten year old computers, with 15+ year old Macs in a back room. We often had more fun with the old Macs software, learning the programming tools included with them, and the Lego... mindstorms? These Macs were a fraction "the power" of the "good" computers, running bloody Windows NT and then later 2000, the few who also used "the antique Macs" (compared to the "old" Windows computers for the majority of classwork) enjoyed the *software* on the even older devices.

The apps available for free, or 1.29NZD (the majority) are very hard to beat. I can think of many apps that make my iPad a must have, its my personal device, most of them would be games, but I have a handful of "educational" apps that have impressed me, that I got for no particular reason other than to try them out, and they all cost a dollar or two. Local students given iPads have far more of the educational apps than I, an adult who decided to try them, use, they are in brilliant colour, they are often rather interactive, they are simple, they are robust, and they are cheap.

The Kindle may as well be "real ink", as in a book, compared to the capabilities of an iPad.

If someone offered you Tupperware containers filled with sawdust, for a hundred dollars cheaper the Kindle deal, would you have gone with them? :-) Initial price is near irrelevant, I'd rather my children were taught in buildings, than tents - "yes, we're cold, half the students have developed gangrene from weather conditions, and its really annoying when the students rip holes in our walls with a pocket knife, but think of The Taxpayers Money!" - and the iPads are *cheap*.

Not "cheap and nasty", but powerful, capable devices, and *cheap*. "Now Children, the principle has decided to save some money, so please return your iPads, they'll be bought back by Apple, minus the restocking fee, to go to the students of , but dont fret! We've gotten you all Kindles, they're cheaper for the school, yaaaa!" There'd be a bloody riot!

Re:iPads are cool and all (1)

Pulzar (81031) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912368)

When have schools been about giving students what they love? Should we get them iPhones with unlimited texting plans? Or how about buckets of candy for the little ones, and booze for the older ones?

And, they are *cheap*? I don't know how much money schools in NZ have, but they are not cheap over here. I see from another post of yours that anecdotal evidence was enough to convince you that netbooks are crap, but I can guarantee you that netbooks more powerful than iPads, while also being cheaper, do exist.

Finally, what is this great educational software that these students are going to be using that's not available on PCs? Does that offset the fact that 90% of good productivity software doesn't exist on iPads, encouraging the students to use instead of create?

The simplicity of iPad, its intuitive interface, and simple apps are great for the very young ones, but as soon as those kids want to do more, they'll be lost in the productive world that's dominated by a completely different kind of computer experience.

Re:iPads are cool and all (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35912174)

And what would you rather that money go to? Wars overseas? Feeling up the few American kids who visit other countries? Keeping corrupt leaders in power?

"our taxes" have to go somewhere, do you want them being spent on your children, in the schools you attended as a child, or do you want it going elsewhere?

Lets face it, iPads are cheap, they are amazing, I've seen very young children using mine, its "magical" to them, they understand its technology, they learn how computers work from an early age, they use them to communicate with friends, the apps for education are MARVELLOUS and only getting better... and they are CHEAP!

If a school decides to spend money on living in 2011 rather than 1911, I'm all for it.

I am the Marketron 7000.

Re:iPads are cool and all (1)

LordLucless (582312) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912188)

Uh, he said what he'd prefer it to be spent on right there in the middle of his post. You would have seen it if you weren't so busy trying to inject politics into the debate, or engage in vendor proselytization.

Netbooks.

Re:iPads are cool and all (1)

dafing (753481) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912266)

netbooks

Are those things still around? I've certainly never seen them deployed in New Zealand schools. And good luck getting any kind of designated educational software for them, it would be a bloody mess! "well, the program is made for a netbook with a screen size of .....ok, now click this button, oh, that key has broken off?...."

The iPad is *cheap*, its slim, it has ten hour battery life, people of all ages LOVE them, its hard to break physically (the ones I've seen at schools have cases, a netbook would be just as breakable, perhaps more so due to mass RE dropping), the software is incredible...

HELL, I have an older friend who bought a "netbook" recently, the damn thing lags on FACEBOOK for crying out loud! I saw his status yesterday, "might have to give up Facebook, it takes a few seconds for each word to appear..." while he types his status...let alone video calling, GPS abilities, geocaching....

Netbooks are a "bag of hurt", as our Lord Steve would say.

Re:iPads are cool and all (1, Flamebait)

Microlith (54737) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912356)

The iPad is *cheap*, its slim, it has ten hour battery life, people of all ages LOVE them, its hard to break physically (the ones I've seen at schools have cases, a netbook would be just as breakable, perhaps more so due to mass RE dropping), the software is incredible...

Stop sucking Jobs' cock, please. Your whorishness, it is showing. Not a single one of those is justification for blowing $500 a pop on something. A total waste of goddamn taxpayer dollars.

Re:iPads are cool and all (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912212)

Except that this isn't our taxes, this is our grandchildren's taxes. The money for this came from a Federal grant. The federal deficit is over $1.5 trillion, perhaps some consideration should be given to just not spending some of it.

Re:iPads are cool and all (1)

dafing (753481) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912272)

Ah right, the deficit, so nice of us to pay attention to it now, after the debt clock has been upgraded a few times to keep up with all those digits!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Debt_Clock [wikipedia.org]

You know how we could really run that sucker down? How about we cut ALL spending, eff education, healthcare for citizens, HA! Just bloody well pay up, or you'll end up in our *essential* services, like Gitmo!

In The Morning

http://www.noagendashow.com/ [noagendashow.com]

Re:iPads are cool and all (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35912222)

And what would you rather that money go to? Wars overseas? Feeling up the few American kids who visit other countries? Keeping corrupt leaders in power?

if these are the only options, I'd prefer my money to be returned to me, where it belongs.

"our taxes" have to go somewhere, do you want them being spent on your children, in the schools you attended as a child, or do you want it going elsewhere?

no they don't. public education sucks in this country. spending money on toys like ipads and such will not really help the core problems. if the school system can't do better with more money, then that extra money should be returned to the tax payer. throwing money at problems rarely makes them go away. if anything, more funding tends to make more of the problem.

If a school decides to spend money on living in 2011 rather than 1911, I'm all for it.

fallacy. if the process works, it should be used. it doesn't matter if the concept was invented/discovered 100 yaers ago or last week.

Re:iPads are cool and all (3, Interesting)

rolfwind (528248) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.)

Unfortunately this stuff is rarely thought through (5, Interesting)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:iPads are cool and all (4, Insightful)

MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) | more than 3 years ago | (#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:iPads are cool and all (1)

thesandtiger (819476) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912334)

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 paper. While I am by no means a giant adult (female, on the tall side but not some kind of glandular case), my hands are probably as big or bigger than most of the kids in this case.

Light weight, long battery life, can be written and drawn on as well as typed - these things are extremely versatile. If you haven't used one, I definitely suggest trying one out - I mean really trying it out for a couple of days - before you write off the form factor as something not really suitable for this kind of thing.

Using them at the store is not sufficient to really "get" it - I know that sounds weird, but seriously, I was pretty skeptical that it would be anything but a big version of an iPhone until I spent a week using one in lieu of my laptop for work stuff and I'm a definite convert.

Re:iPads are cool and all (1)

thesandtiger (819476) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912372)

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 university doing federally funded (among other sources) research, and we blow tens of thousands of dollars on much, much less worthy things all the time, or even just flat-out waste it on incredibly inefficient processes. ("I'm sorry, ma'am, but if you spend less than $500 each on these 20 laptops you want for your study you'll have to spend an extra $250 processing fee for each machine because it uses a different purchasing system." - something actually said to me when I wanted to buy 20 $100 netbooks to be used solely as assessment stations hitting a basic HTML form.)

waste of money (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Agreed (1)

zanian (1621285) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912030)

On graphic calculators we played tetris. On laptops we played on snes emulators. Neither of those had any real in-class use. Calculators didn't even help with the math (if anything it was used to cheat or to not actually learn the math). iPads? Seems look the same thing all over again.

Re:Agreed (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35912208)

Not to mention that they'll crank out even more people who cannot calculate a simple 15% tip without using a calculator.

Spend wisely (4, Insightful)

theweatherelectric (2007596) | more than 3 years ago | (#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:Spend wisely (2)

hedwards (940851) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912160)

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.

Spoken like a genuine unemployed librarian.$ (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35912254)

Trademarks property of their respective owners. Comments owned by the poster. © 2011 All Rights Reserved. Geeknet, Inc Your comment violated the "postercomment" compression filter. Try less whitespace and/or less repetition.

Heres an idea (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35912038)

Make the students give the iPads back, return them for a full refund, and then transfer the money to buy equipment and pay for better teachers at an underprivileged school. There is absolutely nothing ab iPad can do for students that computer in the existing computer lab/library can't. At best, it's a shiny feel good toy and at worst it's squandered money that could be better spent elsewhere.

Bad idea (2)

Nidi62 (1525137) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:Bad idea (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35912062)

Luckily, most of those games were based on Flash.

Re:Bad idea (2)

dafing (753481) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912068)

"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 the teachers arnt watching? Steve Jobs sure as hell is! He Knows Whats Best, he keeps all the porn out, thats for Android you know, and he makes sure the kids are going to school each day via tracking the device! ;-)

Does anyone have any firsthand experience (4, Interesting)

matty619 (630957) | more than 3 years ago | (#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.

Re:Does anyone have any firsthand experience (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35912252)

This is bad. Really bad. Someone is flagrantly misappropriating funds that should have gone to education. Students may be getting something. These devices will not improve education. These devices are not real computers. They aren't going to be used to teach kids typing. They are going to be used at best to surf the Internet. How do you use an iPad in education? Or any computer for that matter? You can't use them the way they suggest. They are not devices that can be used en mass for lots of kids no matter how locked down or how much software you put on them. The fundamentals are not something that technology will assist. Technology is at best something you learn in addition to the fundamentals. And Apple is NOT a company which furthers education. They are free. They do not let you tinker with the software. They represent everything that society should be opposed to.

Re:Does anyone have any firsthand experience (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35912308)

If they're just off the shelf ipads, I don't get it. They're just giving out toys with our tax dollars.

You're not in the business of government, are you?

Re:Does anyone have any firsthand experience (2)

DesertJazz (656328) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912390)

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 than the netbook on writing papers. The Dell netbooks that our school bought last year are terrible to the point of being unusable without an external mouse. The screen on the iPad + thinness really makes it better on that point. An external bluetooth keyboard in theory could make it as useable as the netbook.

My biggest concerns about passing out iPads to kids though are the costs of replacement screens. As it is the netbooks this year have been dying at a higher rate than the first year (dropped, stepped on, etc.) The iPad 2 screens in particular are not supposed to be cheap if I remember correctly. The flip side though, is that if people would start allowing students to access their textbooks from them - and be able to annotate on them - it might be better there. Most of the time though our teachers are so locked into this curriculum system (C-SCOPE) that I don't even know how much they use their textbooks. They use a lot of materials from there that could be just as easily shared via PDF on iPads.

For me I love the device. It's great for so many things, and I love the flexibility to have music scores - and hopefully marching drill this year - on it.

And this helps with the national debt how? (0)

mikeiver1 (1630021) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912088)

Some one needs to explain to me how this is going to benefit the kids, the schools, and the country by buying closed hardware from one of the most evil companies in the nation. Apple is the enemy of the open source community and does their very best to control any media they come into contact with. School books are not available in digital format in any great numbers as far as I have heard. You see, DRM is not in place to assure that the publishers are able to properly rape the schools yet. Of course Apple will be at the center of this as well. The country is going to hell in a hand bag because we have stopped expecting our students to perform and deliver excellence. We gave away our technological edge and export it to the east in the form of a cheap and good education system. We then cry about the loss of good paying jobs to the same countries that we educate the citizens of. These are not going to provide anything but another way for the kids to get on face book and play games. America owned the world in the 40's through the early 70's and our parents and grand parents didn't do it with fancy feel good hardware and nice thoughts.

Re:And this helps with the national debt how? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35912306)

great - another bitter and jealous nutcase!

i get the feeling that you wouldn't take that position if you'd just been handed a free ipad2 yourself. if you can be honest with yourself for one moment...

Deficit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35912092)

Because we don't already have gigantic budget short falls in pretty much every level of government...

Click on our website: http://www.fullmalls.com (-1, Offtopic)

xiaojiekfd (2061970) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912094)

Click on our website: ( http://www.fullmalls.com/ [fullmalls.com] ) Website wholesale various fashion shoes, such as Nike, Jordan, prada, also includes the jeans, shirt, bags, hats and decoration. Personality manufacturing execution systems (Mes) clothing, Grab an eye bag coat + tide bag Air jordan(1-24)shoes $30 Handbags(Coach l v f e n d i d&g) $35 Tshirts (Polo ,ed hardy,lacoste) $15Jean(True Religion,ed hardy,coogi) $30Sunglasses(Oakey,coach,gucci,A r m a i n i) $15 New era cap $12 Bikini (Ed hardy,polo) $20accept paypal and free shipping ( http://www.fullmalls.com/ [fullmalls.com] )

The schools could gotten laptops for less with (4, Insightful)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912114)

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

iPad isn't a substitute for a parent (4, Insightful)

seichert (8292) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912132)

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:iPad isn't a substitute for a parent (1)

MoonBuggy (611105) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912340)

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 torn up. From what I see, and I know I'm making serious generalisations here, it makes for amazing test scores and musical prodigies, but not for especially well-rounded or happy people. I'm in no way excusing the lazy majority, or belittling the value of raw academic achievement, but the people who seem the most truly successful to me are the ones who were encouraged to take an interest, not told to take an interest.

Tearing up an essay with sloppy penmanship can quite easily teach a child anything from "Don't tell my parents when I've got an essay to write" to "Presentation outweighs content" to "My essays must be perfect, even to the exclusion of my social life". I'd much rather be the child whose parents explained to them that "Good presentation shows a measure of respect, and certainly helps people to take your work more seriously, but if your content is undeniably amazing you'll probably get a bit of leeway on the handwriting. Better to have both, but if it comes down to it the real value is in the latter.".

Isn't the reading & writing.... (1)

quist (72831) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912144)

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

Gov't and Unintended Consquences (1)

GeekMarine72 (897842) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912156)

99% probability the law of unintended consquences end up with most being lost or stolen within the first year. I live in one of the best public school districts (by ratings) in the US, my kids are above average across the board, and they have a love of learning ... but school sucks so badly they have lost all enthusiasm and I spend my off hours building a lab and teaching them what they are lacking. Of course I live in CA where text books are bought based upon how pro-union they are and the teachers are working for retirement first. Why the hell can we gets unionize, push forward an aggressive agenda of using our technology for the betterment of our society, starting with future generations. Afraid of a Frank Herbert future? The Technology Party in US Gov't anyone? or maybe the "Not Drunk, Stupid, or Insane" party?

The Monoculture is under Attack, engage! (0)

Your Average Joe (303066) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912162)

I a sure the mainframe guys said the same thing about PC's. Don't let the schools use PC's they have a Mini or a Mainframe and is secure and robust. So the windows warheads come out and say the same thing about the iPad, u know what, I do not care anymore. If microsoft's empire crumbles maybe the replacement is better. Any thing to get rid of that ass Mr. Balmer and Michael Dell.

disarmament savings; everybody gets 2 ipads (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35912198)

make no mistake whois doing the giving & getting it back here (our tax money to steve), & in minnesota, as well as in the refugee camps of the transitional southern hillarians, where they like to listen to the mormormonics new cd, made from controversially acquired recycled hymens, in mebotuh, formerly utah. now we're looking right at our pomposterious rewards, again, as it was written, & re-written (adjusted for cause, effect, inflation, vaccines etc...). hard to believe (isn't everything) now, but after all the weapons, & holycosters, are long gone, things will start to make even more sense immediately, & for a long time to come. the proven to be unrepresented babys will be sure to have undying graciousitude in helping us re-learn to survive ourselves, from our real history, & presence.

Turbo fire (0)

Turbofire (2044250) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912228)

If your want to lose weight choose Turbo Fire [bestturbofireworkout.com] can get the best results, turbo fire is to give you the most accurate sports. Turbo Fire workout [bestturbofireworkout.com] is just as tough, turbofire make your body continues to burn fat for up to all days after your work out, turbofire [bestturbofireworkout.com] burning more the NINE times the fat you would burn doing traditional workouts If you're going to do one of these, prepare to be truly challenged no matter which you pick!

just wow! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35912268)

LoL - so the American economy is going down the toilette and all the while you guys are paying your taxes so that local authorities can hand out very expensive and utterly useless toys to your students..!

you couldn't make this stuff up (oh and good luck with your moribund economy)

SEO Services | Company | Experts | Consultants Sin (-1, Offtopic)

nathansaputra.info (2062042) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912278)

It was a very nice idea! Just wanna say thank you for the information you have diffused. Just continue composing this kind of post. I will be a loyal reader, thanks a lot. http://www.nathansaputra.info/ [nathansaputra.info]

Do this at tax time? Adding insult to injury... (1)

mykos (1627575) | more than 3 years ago | (#35912352)

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 wasn't mine.

"I believe the children are our future" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35912366)

Bravo!
I sincerely hope the keys and owner documentations to the Corvette ZR1 for each each kids are in transit.

Um... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35912382)

Being an early 30-something, I am very tied to technology, this is somewhat difficult to say.

The students (at least one of them) think they are saving the environment by going 'paperless' or 'least paper'. Trees, if well managed - well, they grow on trees. The metal and hydrocarbons used to make the plastics are more finite. As much as I like my computer, and as much as I hate 'paperwork',

Technology does not save everything.

I have never tied myself to any party. I do find this to be a irresponsible way to spend my tax dollars. I am talking as a 10$/hour working person. Your opinion may vary.

Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?