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Blue Skies Thread, Replacing teacher laptops with iPad devices (or similar) in General; Originally Posted by PiqueABoo the cost of that is a teensy fraction of the hours they get for free. Not ...
  1. #16

    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PiqueABoo View Post
    the cost of that is a teensy fraction of the hours they get for free.
    Not exactly 'teensy', when you compare it to a school budget. Say you go for a £600 laptop, with a £100 warranty. You then need to license Office, (and if you use schools agreement) Windows etc... Add in technician time and a laptop suddenly becomes a several thousand pound investment per teacher. Scale that up to the number of teachers in our school and now you have a £80k+ investment over a few years - enough money for a couple of members of staff, or an ICT suite or 2, or enough money to refurbish a half dozen classrooms that have fallen into disrepair over the last decade etc... A laptop may seem cheap, but it comes at the expense of other things.

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    I've just been seriously thinking about your proposal while ready the thread. It's an interesting one. Users can backup their iPads using their home machine via iTunes. Data can be encrypted through the use of enterprise encryption when iPhone OS 4.0 arrives. Deployment is supposed to be easier as well, by allowing deployment of iPads over wifi connections. All good points to consider. You could even opt to get the Keyboard with Dock connector, thus removing the potential to lose the keyboard. There is also a camera connection to allow import of photos from School cameras and a VGA adaptor to allow the iPad to connect to School projectors (with a supported res of 1024x768).

    Now the negative points. There would need to be a iPad version of whatever software they use to create IWB flip-charts for use in School. Whether this be Promethean or Smart. Now, Promethean/Smart could be at an advantage here if they utilised an adaptor and released an iPad app to create the flip-charts. The only downside to this is that they couldn't utilise SWF based resources ( are you reading this promethean )

    This i think is going to be the hardest point to make positive, the lack of software support that is used in the classroom. Access to files and saving out of the iPad isn't really an issue i don't think, as you could potentially export over wifi and save to the VLE. We use Studywiz that already has a mobile app that supports iTouch and iPhone so already works with the iPad. You also have keynote and pages on the iPad for productivity in that sense. But on the whole. Very interesting. I was thinking about getting myself one. I may just do that now and see how i fair with it.

    @AngryTechnician,

    What did you use for your surveys? LimeSurvey?

    Great piece of Opensource software. If you did how do you go about creating conditional questions?

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    The only issue you might have with teacher with the iPad is to get it to properly display output. The iPad, with Keynote is outputting presentations to the projector, but, the presentation is removed from the iPad screen. It's really quite awkward to teach with. I still prefer laptop and iPhone (i-Clickr)

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    Hmm. Interesting. How do you know this? Have you seen it in action or used it? Just curious as to how you come by this information. It would indeed make things more difficult.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AngryTechnician View Post
    In my opinion, any school that leaves using IT to teach as a "want" (rather than something that is actively encouraged or required) is failing its students.
    Not at all; badly used IT crowbared into a lesson for the sake of “using IT across the curriculum” is much worse than not using IT at all. How many times have you heard “just go on the internet and research that” when the kids are sat in the library!

    Using IT to solve IT problems is a natural thing for us but teachers have other tools, forged over centuries of teaching, and IT is only a very small and often insignificant one at their disposal.

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    Add in technician time and a laptop suddenly becomes a several thousand pound investment per teacher.
    Several means at least 3 of those thousands and I really can't figure out what it is you're counting over what period and quite how an swapping in an iPad might make much if any of that go away, but a few extra hours of overtime a day soon adds up and it adds up to a lot more than that.

    teachers have other tools, forged over centuries of teaching, and IT is only a very small and often insignificant one at their disposal.
    Perhaps, but that conveniently ignores all the other stuff that has to be done and isn't "lesson delivery".

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PiqueABoo View Post
    Several means at least 3 of those thousands and I really can't figure out what it is you're counting over what period and quite how an swapping in an iPad might make much if any of that go away, but a few extra hours of overtime a day soon adds up and it adds up to a lot more than that.
    I was actually thinking 2 (so, should have said couple). Over 3 years.

    Perhaps, but that conveniently ignores all the other stuff that has to be done and isn't "lesson delivery".
    You mean like reporting, lesson planning, etc...? They get paid for that, and you cannot deny it. This is why I didn't want to concentrate on this point - for some reason, some people seem to think teachers aren't paid for the time they spend doing this stuff, whilst ignoring the 13 week breaks.
    Last edited by localzuk; 20th April 2010 at 07:52 AM. Reason: fix quotes

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    I think teachers get paid adequately for what they do. They have PPA so they can have time during the working week to get planning and preparation done. Could you say the same about ICT Technicians/Managers/Network Managers? The boss even had to stop the staff going home to do it as instead of doing the planning, preparation, they went shopping.

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    Windows machines, whatever you do to them, have a high maintenance cost. GPOs fail (especially over wireless), viruses still get past your security etc... Why persist with that solution?
    Put Linux on them? I know it is more work, but a standard image which you know to be working, appropriately customised, should work as well if not better. You could even slap your school logo into the image.

    Also, why persist with keyboards for everything? Most laptop use I see in our school is limited to tapping on an IWB. Very limited typing goes on.
    The T91 (my mistake on the version number, not sure where the 4 came from) is a tablet where the screen can be folded back. It does just save having to carry a wireless keyboard as well as give you a little more flexibility than a slate.

    (PS. What is a the T491? A search returns nothing).[/QUOTE]

    Yep, I added a '4'. Slight brain failure there.

    It's really more of a thought to look at, since the prices seem to be roughly comparable. Having alternatives to present to those in charge of the cash is always useful, and if you don't like a particular solution it should be reflected in the proposal anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PiqueABoo View Post
    Perhaps, but that conveniently ignores all the other stuff that has to be done and isn't "lesson delivery".
    And that in a sense is the point, all the other stuff can be done on a combination of an iPad type device, remote access and their own computers (if they wish to work from home)

    Part of the original laptops-for-teacher scheme was to encourage teachers to be more comfortable with IT – to let them play with it – experiment and learn; those days are gone, being able to use IT (for the business side of teaching) is expected, it is a base skill. So the idea of laptops being dished out as “home computers” is nonsensical when there is now more appropriate equipment that money can be used for.
    Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying its all or nothing. Some teachers will always need special requirements.

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    powdarrmonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AngryTechnician View Post
    I recently completed the practical stage of a formal research project at my school to get solid, quantitative data on how staff use IT throughout the school. I ran a 2-hour focus group followed up with a whole-school survey, as well as spending time 1-on-1 with department heads. I've worked in schools for nearly 5 years now, and still encountered things that surprised me as a result of that research.
    If your school are happy for you to do so, would you consider publishing the results of your research?

  12. #27
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    I saw this Marvell Moby Tablet - the Linux factor | Education IT | ZDNet.com and thought, depending on whether it actually comes out and if it is usable. It's a cheap way to push out IT. I had originally thought about getting a load for the students... if they break it, you buy another..

    There's very little on their website Marvell Technology Group Ltd. -- The Market leader in Switching, Transceivers, Wireless, PC Connectivity, Gateways, Communications Controllers, and Storage because it's not ready yet.. but they're talking about an Apple iPad style device running Linux, for $99 - so about £100 would still be affordable. Although lets hope it's nothing like the lower end of the Netbook range.

    But the Moby, and a USB keyboard... and depending on how fast it works.. it should be enough for most stuff. You'd probably have to convert your SIMS to SLG, and then buy more desktops for staff rooms.

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    Edu-IT's Avatar
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    On a slightly related note, has anyone got SLG to work properly on an iPad? We've found that marksheets etc do not display correctly.

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