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Summary:

Apple has started making the iPad available on its online education store in packs of 10 with an appallingly–stingy discount of only $20 per iPad. If Apple wants to start a computing revolution with the iPad, it absolutely must get the device into schools. But in […]

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Apple has started making the iPad available on its online education store in packs of 10 with an appallingly–stingy discount of only $20 per iPad. If Apple wants to start a computing revolution with the iPad, it absolutely must get the device into schools. But in order to do that, it’s going to have to try a lot harder, and generous discounts are the easiest problem to solve. There are much bigger hurdles standing in the way.

Let’s start with costs alone. Assume a school wants to buy an iPad for each of its students. Assume the school is small with only 300 children enrolled. Assume also that the school wants to buy the cheapest iPad without AppleCare. At a little more than $450 per iPad, that’s a cost of almost $144,000. I imagine the average state-funded school enjoys less than half that in its annual I.T. budget.

“Aha!” you might argue, “Many schools in underprivileged areas get subsidies from the state and provide laptops for their pupils.”

And, of course, you’d be right. Many schools do provide their students with free or ‘nearly-free’ laptops. But not decent laptops. We’re talking cheap, disposable netbooks that cost far less to insure against loss or damage. (Let’s be realistic – the younger the student, the greater the chance of laptop-death!)

No Competition

I graduated from High School back in the early 90s, and even then my school was considered ahead of the curve when it came to the adoption of computer technology in class. Even so, there were no Macs in my school. They were just too expensive. Here in the UK, the fierce battle in the 1980’s between Acorn, Sinclair, Atari, Amstrad and Commodore meant that there were many perfectly capable, cheap microcomputers available to schools. The Mac was superior to those machines in almost every way, but it couldn’t compete on price.

It has been 16 years since I graduated from high school. And while I’m happy to report that my old school now has iMacs in most classrooms, sadly they only run Windows XP.

The reason for this comes down to two simple factors; Cost, and What’s Best for the Kids. It seems more educational titles are available at lower prices on Windows than on Mac OS X. And, outside school, the kids encounter more Windows PCs than Macs.

So I look at the upcoming iPad and, even though I can see the potential it offers to schoolchildren (and the wider education market), I can’t help but wonder if it has any real chance of making a dent at this time. HP’s upcoming slate PC has more chance of being adopted by my old school simply because it works with all their existing software and runs Windows — the platform the school believes the pupils are better served knowing, rather than Mac OS X, which they have concluded is just too obscure and “specialist.”

And as though these fiduciary and policy-driven decisions aren’t bad enough, there’s another glaring challenge to getting the iPad widely accepted in schools; at the end of the day, it’s just not a book.

Delicate Issues

You see, tablets-as-books is a great idea until the battery dies, and then the student has no textbook and no computer. She will have to plug-in to a power outlet if she wants either of those things back. But consider the delicate health and safety issues associated with cable-safety in a classroom environment. Not to mention the maintenance costs (that’s a lot of power outlets being used more than ever before) and don’t forget the school will suddenly incur higher energy bills. Say what you will about a paper-textbook, at least it doesn’t need plugging-in.

And then there’s the issue of damage. What happens if an iPad screen is cracked? A damaged book cover doesn’t render the book’s contents inaccessible, nor is it likely to slice into fingers. Plus, the cost of a replacement book is trivial. Remind me how much the cheapest iPad is?

Oh, and let’s not forgot that Apple isn’t perfect. Remember when the iPhone OS was updated to 3.1 in September last year? I wrote about it here, and the comments quickly ran to over 100. iPhones everywhere were freezing, crashing, and generally just refusing to work, and all as a result of an official update from Apple itself!

What happens when Apple does the same thing with the iPad? Even the most diligent students who take the greatest of care with their always-charged-in-time-for-class iPads will suffer if an update from Apple proves flaky.

And, finally, there’s the matter of crime. No one ever wanted to rob a kid from my school. The only thing we ever carried in our bags was biology books and the occasional Thundercats pencil case. But what if my school handed-out iPads to its pupils? Overnight, the school uniform would become an advertisement to any would-be criminal; “mug this kid – expensive computer on-board.”

I’d dearly love to see all school kids and college students everywhere take-up iPads as their favorite learning tools. Sadly, I just don’t see how that can happen as long as they remain significantly more expensive than textbooks, more sophisticated than simple e-book readers and less resilient than the existing, proven toolset — traditional, dead-tree textbooks.

Related GigaOM Pro Research: Forecast: Tablet App Sales To Hit $8B by 2015

  1. No offence but you obviously don’t work in education. Some of the article is interesting but a lot of it is just imagined scenarios that don’t have any application to real classrooms. The whole part about the battery dying and cable safety and possible cuts from broken screens is just ridiculous for example.

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    1. No it’s not. It’s a totally realistic scenario.

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    2. So its ridiculous to think that in a class of 30-40 kids with only 6-8 open outlets against the wall (some probably under the chalk board) that there would be issues when it comes to charging them in the middle of class? Not to mention that study halls pack large number of kids in rooms with even fewer outlets then that!

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    3. The iPad works for ten hours on a charge. Even if you say it only gets seven or eight realistically, that is more than enough time. Students are in class six or seven hours at the most and two or three hours of that will be in recess, lunch, special classes. The power issue is bogus. Get a few power strips, plug them in at the ned of the day.

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    4. So all students can’t take them home and are all responsible enough to charge them at home every night. lol students cant even remember to bring their book to class.

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    5. I DO work in education and the points brought out are indeed very real issues. The dependability of the students on the iPad may vary from school to school but i can see so many students sitting idle because they forgot to charge their iPad at night. Something i have also mentioned in my blog is that the availability of docks in the classroom will help, maybe Apple can sponsor those for education.

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      1. Well I work in education also and I disagree with you 100%. Also, I don’t really know what you are talking about since you say they are real issues then you kind of argue that they aren’t or that they can be mitigated easily. If you actually read closely, you’d know that the argument i was criticising was the idea that classes would necessarily be filled with extension cords, that kids would be in some kind of horrible “danger” of tripping over them, or that little fingers would be sliced off by hypothetical cracked screens.

        The idea presented is just an outrageous fantasy backed up by nothing. I could as easily make up some nonsense about pencils being dangerous because kids could run and fall on them or stick them in each others ears or some such nonsense.

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  2. “HP’s upcoming slate PC has more chance of being adopted by my old school simply because it works with all their existing software and runs Windows”

    That’s absolutely wrong. Teachers get excited about new technologies just like us and the idea of a “Windows” slate is not going anywhere. Most of our teachers are already using cloud based apps anyways and most “hate” Windows, or at least all the support issues they have with their Windows laptops.

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    1. I agree with James.

      Further, I have never seen a school that uses Apple computers. Granted all the schools I have attended and worked in have been low-income.

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      1. I work in a school in Somerset and we have over 50 Apple computers, integrated into a network running Windows and Linux machines also. In fact all the school surrounding us have some Mac presence.

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    2. If the teachers get to pick, they will almost always pick an Apple over PC. My uncle sits on the board of education in a large city, and they almost exclusively pick Apples.

      I see James and Brett have never visited a college campus bookstore. Please go to the computer section and watch for a few hours which laptops get tested and bought the most. Freedom of choice and capitalism are a fun thing to watch!

      James and Brett come join the real World, and step out of your PC fantasy land. You must be your school buyers of the computer equipment? I feel sorry for your school kids having to live your twisted view of reality.

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  3. iPad has 10 hour battery life. Charge them overnight!!

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  4. I find your opinion that a device (which you have never seen or touched or been within a mile of) is of no use (in a place that you have not been to in over 15 years) fascinating, and wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

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    1. Nice Biglig! Love It… Totally agree though. This viewpoint of iPads is shallow and somewhat upsetting/ awkwardly funny. Spelling mistakes and so many inaccuracies… Like Jerry mentions below, you don’t have a clue. Are you one of those people who don’t want children to experience what you didn’t when you were young? Does someone have some underlying issues?

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  5. Did you purposely write this with so many inaccuracies so you would get a lot of comments/page views ($$) or are you really this obtuse? You didn’t check any facts at all. You guess at what an IT budget is (and are pretty substantially wrong), you don’t have a clue on textbook prices. You sensationalize or try to make a point. “OMG that kid has a $450 iPad!” — He probably has a $600 iPhone, $300 iPod, $150 sneakers, etc.

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  6. You said: “Many schools do provide their students with free or ‘nearly-free’ laptops. But not decent laptops. We’re talking cheap, disposable netbooks that cost far less to insure against loss or damage.”

    Perhaps you ought to check with the State Education Department of the State of Maine (that would be in the northeast United States) where EVERY 6th grader gets an Apple MacBook. The cost are paid through some subsidies (both state and Federal) but much of the funding comes from the reduced costs associated with not having the scores of technicians, repair people, and parts inventory that were needed to keep their Windows computers up and consistently working.

    It’s not a far leap for school districts, along with text book publishers, to load an entire year’s text books on to an iPad. I’m sure that your kids will appreciate NOT having to lug 50 pounds (that’s be about 23 kg for you metric folks) to and from school each and every day. Then at the end of the school year the iPads are turned in and during the summer are updated with the child’s 7th grade text books. Then 8th grade, etc., etc., etc. Just think of it. The school district would significantly reduce the cost for text books, text book warehousing, perhaps enough to pay for the iPads. And they’ll get a far better text book because it’ll be interactive!

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  7. Can we hop inside the Wayback® Machine and go back to January of 2007? Go read all the initial post from pundits, nitwits, and folks just like you, who belched that there was no way, no possible way, that Apple was ever going to make it in the smartphone business. Go back a few years earlier and read how Apple was going to crash and be burnt to a crisp upon entering the MP3 player market.

    You might not have noticed but Apple is a major player in the MP3 player and smartphone business. They sell more music than any retailer in the world. Their smartphone app store, with over 160,000 apps, has sold/downloaded over 3 Billion apps. The iPad is built on the shoulder of those two outstanding products. [Yes, we already know how you feel about Apple, it's products, and it's methods of conducting business. But the public has spoken, loudly, about which company it wants to buy it's electronics from.]

    The iPad’s price point is right. The form factor is right. The applications are in place as of today. Apple is going to sell millions of these things—even if you think they’re trash. My advise: You may not buy the iPad, but I would scamper down to my stockbroker and buy as much Apple stock as possible. This is yet another opportunity for Apple shareholders to rake in money.

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  8. The high and middle schools in our district (reasonably affluent) use primarily Apple computers. The parent organization has already brought up the topic of raising funds to help supply iPads to the school. Given the preponderance of iPhones amongst the student population, it’s not much of a stretch to imagine the iPad doing well. Few students currently carry laptops because the form factor isn’t friendly to the way they work.

    As to whether Apple has much of a presence in education…

    http://blogs.computerworld.com/apple_passes_dell_marketshare_higher_education

    Perhaps you’ve never been in a school that uses Apple computers. Perhaps you’ve never been in a top ten university. Perhaps you’ve never worked at an innovative company. Absence of proof is not proof of absence.

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  9. You might be naive if you think:

    a theoretical ten hour battery life means much more than six in practice.

    kids will safely handle their expensive gadget, or that a larger, heavier $500 iPad will crash to the floor and bounce back like a giveaway phone from your wireless company.

    schools will actively procure replacement iPad textbooks a minute sooner than their print stock lifecycle allows, that they could if they tried, or that the dependence on iTunes won’t make licensing a nightmare.

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    1. Not naive, practical.

      School districts throughout the US are reaping the benefits of moving to a more digital environment. In most districts, the schools purchase laptops (and possibly iPads), the parents are accountable for the time that their kid uses it (and the parents pay for insurance in case the device gets broken or stolen).

      As we move further down the digitalization of American schools, I think you’ll see both corporate and governmental support and subsidies for low-income families so that they can share the benefits, too.

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  10. “Here in the UK, the fierce battle in the 1980’s between Acorn, Sinclair, Atari, Amstrad and Commodore meant that there were many perfectly capable, cheap microcomputers available to schools”
    Acorns cost a fortune and were the staple in British High Schools till around 2000

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  11. Word Processor? Check.
    Calculator? Check. (Even if it doesn’t ship – there are plenty of cheap/free calc apps including those for statistics.)
    Textbook providers onboard? Check. (See coursesmart.com)
    Interactive map for geography? Check.
    Interactive learning apps? Check. (Including history, science and English).
    Ability to email assignments directly to the teacher? Check.
    Ability to chat with project partners? Check.
    Ability to download educational podcasts? Check.
    Ability to record and playback lectures? Check.
    Ability to take notes in class? Check.
    Access to web for current events? Check. (Esp with NPR, WSJ, NYT already onboard the iPad-friendly website train.)

    So… Tell me again why the iPad isn’t ready for the classroom?

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    1. Um, for every reason we mentioned in the article. Please read the article instead of just the headline.

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    2. I read the article; I suppose what I should have ended with is the idea that they’ve got a desk full of tools in their iPad.

      (I didn’t mention that you can also have a dictionary, thesaurus, books for book reports and more…)

      The cost, over time, will pay for itself. Recycling textbooks is a nightmare and the yearly re-issuing of them has become an even bigger one for many U.S. districts. In southern Virginia, primary and secondary school students are not allowed to bring texts home with them to prevent loss or damage.

      And – as many readers before me have pointed out, it is becoming more commonplace for laptops to be issued.

      The timing of the release, April (time enough to give everyone a good luck over the summer), tells me that Apple is keen to get units into the hands of whoever will buy one without trying to bias any particular crowd. Over that period I suspect, as a college student myself, that we will see colleges and college students become the earliest adopters and most prevalent.

      Netbooks are already infiltrating my school (which is “only” a community college, publicly subsidized and certainly not for the well-to-do) and they provide a wireless connection. They also have outlets on most tables and desks for laptop users.

      Schools who want to adopt will do so and adapt once they decide that as a tool, the iPad isn’t a cost so much as it is an investment in streamlining and enhancing the educational experience.

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    3. I would be careful about what we assume the device is capable of doing before we actually have a chance to use it.

      Based of the current OS, yes you are right, but apple has a nice way of restricting the way it’s products are used.

      We still don’t know fully if 1. the email package can see the file system in such away as to allow attachments of documents and or if the inbuilt apps will have the ability to send documents as emails.

      Until they actually hit the market, we are in unknown territory.

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    4. Shane – actually, we do know that the file system will allow saving and attaching as indicated on Apple’s website for iWorks. It has been discussed quite a bit and while we don’t know whether non-Apple apps will be specifically allowed to access files other than their own, it’s not much of a stretch to think they will given that they’re to be kept in a central location.

      Either way, what we’re talking about here is basic functionality. Google Apps is still accessible via Safari and those files can certainly be emailed by web mail. So – options are available…

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    5. Don’t forget rulers and apps that can convert measurements

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  12. Well, I think Apple has set its sights on higher education for the iPad initially. The company has slowly and very deliberately laid the groundwork for the iPad in the university well in advance. They quietly rolled out iTunes U about a 1.5 years ago, which gives universities the ability to push content to their students. They are now launching the iBookstore, which can allow students to easily buy and read all their textbooks on one device. With the updates to iWork, Calendar, and the addition of the App Store, every college student has all they essentially need in one device. Universities have dabbled with giving iPods and laptops to their students. The iPad seems like a no-brainer. I would be shocked if Apple is not counting on universities and their students as either the chief or certainly a target market. Maybe I’m all wrong, but this is how I see it.

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  13. [...] the rest here: Why Apple's iPad Can't Succeed in Schools (Yet)   Uncategorized   available-on-its, education-store, has-started, its-online, [...]

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  14. OK, so we’ve got argument A:

    “You see, tablets-as-books is a great idea until the battery dies, and then the student has no textbook and no computer. She will have to plug-in to a power outlet if she wants either of those things back. But consider the delicate health and safety issues associated with cable-safety in a classroom environment. Not to mention the maintenance costs (that’s a lot of power outlets being used more than ever before) and don’t forget the school will suddenly incur higher energy bills.”

    At the same time we’ve got opinion B:

    “HP’s upcoming slate PC has more chance of being adopted by my old school…”

    How is A not an argument against HP’s Slate just as much as it’s an argument against the iPad?

    This doesn’t strike me as well-reasoned, but then I don’t have as much experience as an educator as the author of the article, so what do I know?

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  15. I can see the iPad being a hit in schools, colleges and universities. Imagine not having to carry all those heavy text books? Imagine being able to review and possibly annotate class notes on the go. And the idea of tying text books to quizzes and tests (formative or summative) on the one device is a very exciting idea. (BTW, I am a Mac, iPhone and iPad developer, and have worked in higher education….)

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  16. This article reads like it was written 10 years ago. We’re already giving laptops /netbooks to every kid in the classroom (just look at the entire state of Maine), and in theory they should have the same issues you’ve mentioned in the article. Only problem is, they don’t.

    I see a lot of “sky is falling” what-if scenarios that are nothing more than excuses.

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  17. While some of the arguments presented can be argued against the current laptop schemes, we fail to see that the ipad is still an unknown. Much of how it works and interrelates to the greater digitial community is unknown.

    Personally, I’d love to ipads in the class room, for the simple reason that having not to luge those stupid textbooks around, but we simply don’t really know how this is all going to work.

    Can students have a “text book” open and the word processor open at the same time? I don’t think so. Does that mean they will also need another ipad, one to read the textbook and one to take notes? Or another laptop? Or a desktop?? Or, most probably, a pen and paper…

    What about file access?? Will the ipad bring back the “removable storage” that the original ipods had and disappeared on the iphone? Or will students still need to copy there work onto usb sticks to and from the ipad and their pcs (what ever they are)?

    How does apple intend to restrict ITunes in the education environment? I mean, do students need access to the music and video libraries of ITunes while at school? I’m sure there a ton of IT managers having heart attacks just thinking about.

    What about windows interaction? Will it play with XP and Windows 7? Many schools will still be in the middle of systems lifecycles and would reluctant to upgrade just meet the needs of the ipad mid cycle (and I’d be pissed as a tax payer of the did).

    Semantics I know, but these are the questions that many IT departments I going to have to answer before this kind of implementation can take place.

    Should ipads be used in the educational environment, you bet, will they in the current environment, I agree, probably not. Will they in the future, most likely.

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  18. All readers in the U.S., please keep in mind that the author seems to live in the U.K. Things are quite different in Europe regarding education. Most countries don’t use Macs in schools at all. iPads? It’s a dream. You think Macs are expensive in the U.S.? Look at the prices in Europe.

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    1. I completely agree. Most people here have a very high opinion of what teenagers want to do in school! In the UK, where this author – like myself – is from, schools don’t dish out laptops to pupils. They hardly have money for textbooks. Having worked in secondary schools in the UK, I can just imagine the excuses kids will use if the iPad ever became that widespread or comuplsory: “I forgot to sync it at home”, “My homework is still on my home PC”, “I rebooted it and now the battery has dropped to red”, “It’s been stolen”, “I can’t tell which one is mine cos they all look the same”.
      I am also surprised about the comments regarding hauling around textbooks … don’t you have lockers in the US schools??
      I can’t imagine every publisher of every possible textbook having the will nor ability to create a digital version of their publications for the iPad.
      This vision all sounds a bit utopian, but then I’m a teacher so I’m cynical.

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    2. Giovanni1975 – the complexity of creating an electronic textbook isn’t more labor – it’s different labor. If anything, it is ultimately less expensive for everyone because it reduces the number of printed titles and the resulting distribution costs.

      It also reduces the update costs and allows for a higher frequency of revision availability because of its digital nature.

      So – while I can not comment on the education system in the UK – I can say that textbooks here are a big bu$ine$$, especially in colleges where EVERY local school seems to have a unique version (usually some kind of introductory section). Imagine the cost savings to students if it was no longer necessary to have a unique edition published each year and it was simply a matter of altering some text an updating an electronic bookstore…

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  19. I think the author misses several points. The first is that we’ve already seen a number of districts adopt laptop in school programs. These devices are used to do homework, complete assignments, and get materials both during and outside of the classroom. The US National Education Technology Plan has mobile accessibility as one of its cornor stones so there will be grants and funding to expand net-book / tablet programs in the US. Apple is smart to have a device out there to compete in this space.
    The iPad actually has several advantages over the Netbook. A simplier form factor, the more locked down nature of the iPhone OS and the ability to embed always on broadband internet through 3G could be very compelling. Furthermore if the iPhone is any example the user interface will be even easier to use. My children already can use an iPhone for games and videos at a very young age, while they still struggle with the mouse and windows interface. Finally the ability for textbook copies to be stored in a cloud somewhere could save schools money on textbook costs. With a textbook costing 100-200/copy these days it isn’t like we arn’t already giving students hundreds of dollars of stuff to carry around with them and rip or break.
    If the iPad can be more durable and lower cost to deploy and maintain than the competing netbooks then I predict a large volume of sales for Apple in education.

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  20. [...] not to mention the businesses trying to sell to them – is that of textbooks. A great article here speaks to the current issues [...]

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  21. [...] A couple of days ago I’ve forwarded this article on The Apple Blog to a friend of mine: “Why Apple’s iPad Can’t Succeed in Schools (Yet)”, by Liam Cassidy. [...]

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  22. [...] more here:  Why Apple’s iPad Can’t Succeed in Schools (Yet) addthis_url = [...]

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  23. Wow. The good old MAC vs pc debate! As an educator, student, IT professional, and businessman, I say that you are all right in some way, and that many of you are wrong in some way. Windows pc’s are the cornerstone of the computer market and while I kneel at night and pray that may change, it probably won’t be soon. Beyond that its preference. I prefer wiping a cheap Windows pc and installing the same Linux that Apple installs on overpriced hardware and calls MAC OS. I like macs but they are digging a hole lately. Google “ipad vs HP tc1100″ they have the same specs except the iPad has less features and the HP is 7 years old! Nevertheless when it comes to schools the issue isn’t money, or hardware, or safety; its preference.

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  24. [...] By Mark Crump Mar. 29, 2010, 8:29am MDT 21 Comments          106 While Liam opined about the challenges an iPad can face in education here, I thought I’d tackle some potential [...]

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  25. “Mac OS X, which they have concluded is just too obscure and “specialist.”” … this is only about the good old MacOS up to version 9!
    “Beyond that its preference. I prefer wiping a cheap Windows pc and installing the same Linux that Apple installs on overpriced hardware and calls MAC OS.” … it’s not true … hardware: well-thought-out! … OS: not like Linux-Unix! It is a BSD-Unix (like OS’s from SunMicrosystems or like FreeBSD)! But if someone is familiar and interested in Unix OS’s, then she/he will find out the many advantages and maybe disadvantages. Don’t forget, the today’s MacOSX is based on the well developed good old NeXT-Step from 1988! At this time NeXT-Step was already more than 10 years ahead. … I by myself don’t use at this time a MacOSX because I get from my company only Windows-PC’s, but I worked with all that OS’s. Kind regards from Germany.

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  26. I hear you all, but it is about a)money b)available support within the education system and c)most people in the world still use Windows based hardware so that’s what schools teach.

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  27. Apple iPad is one of the most anticipated announcements of this year. Like any other web tablet, the Apple iPad more focus on internet and multimedia. We can call iPad as a bigger version of Apple iPhone and iPod. The device includes an enhanced version of Apple iPhone OS (3.2). iPad can almost any any application that iPhone can run with a few minor changes to the application.

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  28. It gives almost life like feeling when reading the book on this application. Another setback is that there is no camera in the iPad so no video recording available. Accelerometer of the device is great and you can have fun playing games o this device. It has Bluetooth connectivity. iPad is available in Black and White colour combination. The Apple device is not flash enabled so flash based website won’t open in iPad.

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  29. iPad is a great idea – provided you can afford to give one to every student. I too work in Education in the UK, at an independent school. If we could afford to give an iPad or something similar to every user then it would be great – I can think of lots of reasons why that would work. However, realistically the money men are looking at them as a replacement for a computer suite, being portable and able to be used in practically every classroom. This won’t work because of the single user nature of the device. How do you stop someone from accessing the previous users files or email?

    Another concern is e-safety. How can I monitor what a user is accessing on the web when they don’t log in and have nothing other than the name of the iPad to identify them? I know that we can block access at the edge but there are always ways around that… On a Windows bases netbook I can install agents which block and monitor web access and can be monitored directly in class. I have not seen software like that for iAnything yet!

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    1. Your concerns about tracking where a student goes and whether they can login have already been addressed in the iPhone OS enterprise solutions. It can prevent non-approved apps from being installed and push out custom applications to devices registered with a particular organization. Many American companies (and I imagine, international) are using this feature already.

      These business solutions have made it possible to remotely wipe the device in case it is lost to protect any personal information the student may have on the device. The great thing about these Exchange server tools would be the universal sharing of address books to contact fellow students and instructors, a universal calendar for important school dates and instructor issued deadlines to add to class-specific calendars.

      The benefits of a tablet like the iPhone in the classroom are many, but HOW it is implemented takes a cooperative look from both the teachers and IT team. The issues you’ve brought up are relatively easy to address as long as the willingness from your administration is there.

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  30. EducatedTeen Monday, June 21, 2010

    I have the opportunity to give a view from a student, since the students would be the ones who are affected. In my school, we run both mac and PC software, but then again, I’m in high school. In middle school and below, only PC software is run. The issue of dealing with mac, is well, none. The only problem my school has is the limited amount of macs. Familiarity with Windows has never caused a problem. In all actuality, I’m one of the few people left without a mac or mac book in my house. I do not go to a rich snob school either. I do agree with the fact that kids should not have ipads. It should be limited to high school students, or even eighth grade on. Children below that are still incredibly irresponsible. Nearly all of my peers always have their cell phones charged, their ipods charged, and their books with them. It is entirely possible to make an ipad high school a reality. It may be a bit expensive at first, but in the long run it can pay off. Instead of getting 100+ brand new textbooks every couple of years, a school could order a lot less. The ipad can run the newest version of the textbook for a lot cheaper. If every student keeps a single notebook and pen in his or her locker, then if an ipad does ever have a problem there is a notebook to write in and a textbook in the classroom to work with. I don’t think the ipad is a horrible idea, but yes there can be some negatives. Nor do I think that the ipad is the world’s greatest idea, just a plausible one. My school already allows students to bring in their own laptops if they choose to. It is possible, since my school has wifi set up, and to prevent students from going on websites that they should not be on during the school day, the school has set up a global block that prevents the inappropriate use of the internet.

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  31. i don’t know how much money my school spent but at the middle school we get ipads and at the high school we get laptops so i guess theyve already started putting ipads in schools

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  32. From the article:

    “It has been 16 years since I graduated from high school. And while I’m happy to report that my old school now has iMacs in most classrooms, sadly they only run Windows XP.”

    Ummm… what? For the cost of even a used first gen iMac one can buy a PC that natively runs XP. For only a bit less money than that one could buy the virtualization software required to make the above statement approach reality.

    Not to be a fan-boy or anything but after that comment the articles validity falls on its own sword.

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