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General Chat Thread, Parents to confront School governors over iPads in General; *head hits the desk in disbelief*...
  1. #61

    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    *head hits the desk in disbelief*

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    Quote Originally Posted by localzuk View Post
    @Marshall_IT - that part about support and training simply isn't true *at all*. Microsoft offers pro support and training that is either en par or above that offered by Apple. Google have an ecosystem of companies that provide such support and training also, though they aren't particularly good at advertising it.

    No, a lot of schools are choosing because no-one ever got fired for choosing Apple (to steal that old saying). They are failing to do a proper cost benefit analysis in most cases I've seen, and some are even failing to go to tender properly.
    M$ don't have shiny shiny shops full of clones to offer training.

    I do think Apple have stolen a march on this, their Genius bar (hate that name) is excellent. yes M$ do training but its not as accessible. I only speak from experience as we have a shiny shiny shop in Leeds now although you can never get in with all the sheep.

  3. #63
    Marshall_IT's Avatar
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    @localzuk Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of bad mistakes made out there and a lot of schools going a certain route without thinking.

    With regards to Microsoft's training, do they offer training for teachers in the classroom and not technical?
    I'm a big fan of Google myself, Android, Chrome, Google+ > Facebook.. But the educational stuff, like you say, just isn't advertised enough and non techs tend not have the faith in the company and its offerings. Wether that's based on reality or not it is a major factor in choosing an ecosystem to base your education on.

    In my opinion it doesn't really matter what tech you put in the hands of students, it's how it is used by the staff and the value that it adds.

    You can make android tablets work in education and there are a lot of apps available, i just don't see the level of support from developers yet to buy into the whole windows tablet / phone ecosystem. I think M$ were just a little bit too late to the tablet.

    The other thing about android is they are potentially going to lose their biggest market share when Samsung pull away from Android and use their own OS that is a fork off of android in the same way that Amazon have done. That leaves a whole levels of uncertainty about what android will look like over the next few years and who is going to be developing for it.

  4. #64

    localzuk's Avatar
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    There are literally hundreds of partners who will offer that type of training. Just because the manufacturer offers something doesn't mean it is best.

  5. #65

    nephilim's Avatar
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    Even at 10 a month for the months the children are in the school that is 110 a year (August being the only month where the children receive no state education whatsoever). Its a mental proposal to say the least as the parents will be shelling out 330 and by the time it is paid off, it will probably be obsolete by that point as the OS will be outdated and probably wont work with the new OS

  6. #66

    tmcd35's Avatar
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    As meny of you know I've been following these threads for a while and am a keen advocate on some aspect of BYOD/1:1 devices. We've been looking at this technology here for some time but so far serious discussions at SLT level are yet to start. Our Deputy Head is keen on 1:1 iPads and I'm just starting the process of a proper consultation with staff and reviewing our current ICT infrastructure.

    Skim-reading this thread I'm taken (as ever) how black and white some views on the subject can be, and find my self asking - is the negativity because of a) Apple, b) Tablets, c) 1:1 devices, or d) they could be Windows 7 netbooks and still get the same negative responses?

    Asking HoD's their views on our existing ICT Infrastructure and the number 1 concern I'm hearing is lack of computer availability. The number 1 required use of computers, Internet research. Teachers want more access to ICT for Internet research. We have 4 bookable ICT suites, two are near perminantly block booked due to ICT lessons. 800 pupils, 5 years groups, competing for 2 ICT suites. Whats the right answer to the problem?

    Stories like that in the OP come from needing to find an answer to this, not because "iPads are cool and we want every child to have one just 'because'".

    For my part, and what I'm begining to advocate here, I see a more mixed approach rather than a 1 device fits all solution. Some departments like music may have a mix of iMacs and iPads. We'll probably always need a couple of ICT suites. Bookable laptop trollies for each department may not be such a bad idea. Add allowing students to BYOD into the mix and I think you may get a more pratical set of solutions.

    As I said in a previous thread recently, the real key really is getting the Internet into the hands of students when they need it - not limited to when a teacher can book a limited resource like an ICT suite. I'm amazed at anyone who thinks in this day and age that giving students unlimited access to such a vast and important research resource is not/cannot have benificial impacts on teaching and learning. In fact I think it's very closed minded.

    EDIT: In an early discussion here, after a similar presentation from a leasing company, we talked about parent contributions and meny of the issues around "state funded", "free education", "low income", etc did come up. Although everyone else at the meeting disagreed with me, my general view is - we expect parents to purchase a school uniform, Blazer with school logo on. It's not optional. Why can't these devices be part of the school uniform?
    Last edited by tmcd35; 17th January 2014 at 08:55 AM.

  7. 3 Thanks to tmcd35:

    jbailey (17th January 2014), Marshall_IT (17th January 2014), TronXP (17th January 2014)

  8. #67

    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    I suspect the difficulty in understanding that doesn't come from understanding the benefits it may bring, just how exactly it's implemented. Personally I believe a mixture of BYOD and *school provided, school stored* hardware should be the way forward. I will insert a Mac Pro (no, not the one that looks like it'll slip in comfortably with some KY, I mean the old one) into anyone that thinks an entirely paperless school is wise or moving anything forward *at this point*. (Good examples we've heard of this so far seem to have the same marketing people as Apple do).
    It isn't and should not be about specific hardware vendors regardless; it should be about what the best tool is for the job and realising it's not a one size fits all solution for every school, every child, every area.

  9. #68

    Ephelyon's Avatar
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    We managed to get 32 quad-core Android tablets (Zenithink C94), keyboard cases, a charging/storage trolley and a wireless access point on top for around 6.5K. Had problems with them at first which flashing a later ROM has solved, but now we have a bookable resource that enables 1:1 Internet access in e.g. a science lab.

    Fair enough, as said earlier, no school wants to be paying 60K for 1:1 pupil tablets, but what if they could spend a third of that to gain three classrooms' worth of mobile ICT suites if all they need to do that lesson is Internet research, take pictures or light access to school work (over RDP)?

  10. #69

    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    As I said in a previous thread recently, the real key really is getting the Internet into the hands of students when they need it - not limited to when a teacher can book a limited resource like an ICT suite. I'm amazed at anyone who thinks in this day and age that giving students unlimited access to such a vast and important research resource is not/cannot have benificial impacts on teaching and learning. In fact I think it's very closed minded.
    No. It certainly isn't closed minded. It is based on the following problems:

    1. If the devices are 'unmanaged', you can't control what pupils are doing on them
    2. If the devices are 'unmanaged', then students can install any of a plethora of time wasting apps on them - games, chat apps etc...
    3. If the devices aren't controlled by the school, then how do you ensure the battery is getting a proper charge? If some of your class fails to charge their device, what do they do now? It'll inevitably be the less conscientious students too, so will end up affecting the 'lower capability' groups.
    4. Not every lesson needs unlimited availability of the internet. In fact, this can be detrimental as it causes students to be reliant on the internet for all information rather than using their memory or other research sources (books, magazines etc...).

    Plus all the usual issues regarding pupil safety, device reliability etc...

    Who is the closed minded one in this?

  11. #70


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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    Skim-reading this thread I'm taken (as ever) how black and white some views on the subject can be, and find my self asking - is the negativity because of a) Apple, b) Tablets, c) 1:1 devices, or d) they could be Windows 7 netbooks and still get the same negative responses?
    Quote Originally Posted by Garacesh View Post
    Granted, I'm not a huge Apple fan, but I do try to refrain from pointless bashing where appropriate. If the school could offer an in-depth analysis of multiple possible devices (iPad, Surface, those ASUS Tablet/Notebook combo things, $genericAndoidTablet) and give factual evidence on why the settled for the iPad's, then I'll be okay with that.
    Now, I can only speak for myself, of course, but for me it's more "Please justify the reason you have selected tablets, and the reason you have selected those particular tablets".
    I think at least part of the answer will be "Kids like tablets. Apple are cool 'n' hip 'n' pop 'n' fresh."

    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    Asking HoD's their views on our existing ICT Infrastructure and the number 1 concern I'm hearing is lack of computer availability. -snip-
    Stories like that in the OP come from needing to find an answer to this, not because "iPads are cool and we want every child to have one just 'because'".
    But again, for me, it's the cost vs risk of a 1:1 device plan. The investment is extremely large and the risk is monumental. Personally, if I had the chance to discuss this with the school governors/etc but my response would not be "Don't do it!" but rather "Justify this".

    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    As I said in a previous thread recently, the real key really is getting the Internet into the hands of students when they need it - not limited to when a teacher can book a limited resource like an ICT suite. I'm amazed at anyone who thinks in this day and age that giving students unlimited access to such a vast and important research resource is not/cannot have benificial impacts on teaching and learning. In fact I think it's very closed minded.
    Semantics of unlimited access in a school aside, I don't think anybody is against getting resources such as the internet and [text/e]books to Students. The "donate towards the running costs" plan is the wrong way to go about it (hint: mandatory donation is not a donation. It is a payment.) - also, your point about limited IT is circumstantial. Where I work, we have 4 IT suit of 30 machines, 3 non-IT rooms that each have at least 15 workstations, plus multiple laptop sets per department. IT access isn't an issue here. That's not to downplay the validity of your statement in your own circumstances (and no doubt there will be others in the same boat), but your post seems to assume it's a struggle everywhere.

    The way I see it, classrooms don't use the laptops we give them every lesson. That's a fact. There are plenty of times when nobody is using them at all for a given period. Therefore, why should we assume iPads/$generictablets will be used every lesson, rather than once every 3 or 4? This is the reason I don't support 1:1 policies, I honestly don't feel there will be any benefit over a set of laptops or two to be shared between classrooms in a department. Combine with that the ability to easily integrate them into our current infrastructures (and the familiarity aspect to the users) and it's a no-brainer, for me.

    I'm not against iPads in general. I did a short spell with a primary school that had a set and they were absolutely fantastic for the younger children, especially learning basic numeracy, literacy and writing. But I just can't see an educational use for consumption-based devices once kids hit secondary school.
    Last edited by Garacesh; 17th January 2014 at 09:16 AM.

  12. #71

    tmcd35's Avatar
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    @localzuk, I think we'ce probably been round the block on this one time to meny

    With respect, nothing you listed there as anything to do with whether or not the Internet is a valuable resource that should be closer to the pupils rather than locked in a cupboard, and whether or not these device, or others, are the right means of achieving that.

    What they are is ligitimate implementation concerns. Anyone embarking on such a project should be doing so with your four concerns their near the top of the list. They are mostly either policy decisions or require perfectly feasible technical solutions such as an MDM.

    As for point 4, you are quiet right not every lesson needs Internet access. But on the other hand should student be told - you have 1x 1hour slot in four weeks time to do any necerssary Internet research on this project? There needs to be a happy medium. With 1:1 device where does teacher responsibility and classroom management (back to policy decisions) come in to play? Why can't a teacher start a lesson by saying "no iPads today, put them in your bags"?

    @Garacesh, interesting response, I agree with most of what you said. Sorry if I come across as "this is a universal" struggle, not my intent! I'm very aware every school is different and will have different challeges/solutions - which is the whole point really, isn't it?

    The core challenge is the same everywhere though. How to provide enought ICT resources to meet the communities needs, and how to define what those needs are. It's sounds to me like you already have your solution and to be honest it's one I'd like to mirror here.

    The problem with the Internet as a resource, is that you can't totally predict when it's going to be needed. If you don't have 1:1 devices then although at times none of the available ICT resources are being used, at other times Year 8 French have to go without because Year 9 German are using the devices this lesson.

    The question should be "how do we meet these needs", rather than asking "are these needs legitimate". In my mind too meny are asking the later rather than focusing on the former.
    Last edited by tmcd35; 17th January 2014 at 09:30 AM.

  13. #72
    Marshall_IT's Avatar
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    1. Classroom management by Staff and Behaviour Management for failure to follow the rules.
    2. Classroom management by Staff and Behaviour Management for failure to follow the rules.
    3. The same sanctions that are in place for if you forget your books. Also spare devices are kept in school and charged that can be lent out in school.
    4. No, not every lesson require the use of these types of devices and generally students are only allowed to take them out of their bags when staff request them to do so.

  14. #73

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt40k View Post
    Your right @localzuk, it's like buying a pc based on the min spec of today without thinking about what it will be towards then end of the life of the pc then wondering why it won't be usable as long as the warranty. Question @Millgate, what happens if they agree to it, the take the device into say CEX and trade it in, then stop paying? Is the school liable? Surely school shouldn't be teaching bad money management let alone promoting.



    Get proper phone mate. My Windows Phone - slate it if you will, allowed me to download Nokia maps and I've managed to navigate everywhere from London to Wisbech without any problems - signal or not.

    PS: Great to hear all the "why Apple" comments, always nice to hear your not the only one running into the "it's the best because the nice ad told me so".
    Good question - the school are covered with an insurance built into the cost of the iPad. The parents each sign a user agreement stating that the iPad isn't theirs until they pay for it in full so if they sell it on and stop paying, we report it as stolen. The school wouldn't have to do anything

  15. #74

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    @Marshall_IT, do we apply the "classroom/behaviour management" rule to our OWN workstations? Of course not! There's no way the teacher can be monitoring everything everyone is doing all at the same time unless they're spending all their time doing that, and that's then assuming they'd actually know what they're looking for (some will, some won't). Relying on the teacher to spot abuse/misuse in 100% of cases simply won't work; that's been the entire case for some manner of technological interdiction for at least the past decade. What @localzuk is saying is that all of this falls away as soon as the endpoint device lies outside the scope of management.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rad View Post
    And the little darlings won't be able to write their names soon if they only know a qwerty keyboard.

    My handwriting is poor thanks to the lack of time spent writing with a pen
    ive heard of kids who went from nursery reception in a school that was all tablets to y1 used pc/s laptops and they were "scared" of the keyboards and just couldnt work out how to use a pc

    Quote Originally Posted by Simcfc73 View Post
    I suppose the argument for them is doing away with text books, paper books pens paper etc... if they are doing it full steam ahead then I imagine its paperless.

    We save 80 buying 1 book for 20 Ipads on the Zindle apps for the Ipads... multiply that and you can see the financial benefit.... and they play angry birds
    id hate to read a book on a tablet screen for any length of time its much harsher on the eyes than paper/a kindle and i douibt i could read on one for more than 10 mins without wanting a break

    as to teaching the best teacher i know/remember need nothing more than themsleves to teach effectively with no need for ipads smartboards etc granted they can help but they are a minor part of teaching imo

    Quote Originally Posted by Marshall_IT View Post
    A lot of people forget the considerable investment in new infrastructure that a scheme like this requires. Schools generally have make to be successful.
    MDM, robust wireless, larger internet feed, not to mention training.

    And that last part is why a lot of schools are choosing apple for their 1 to 1 programmes. No other company offers the level of professional support and training that you get with apple.
    professional support is fine IFSTAFF will take it. If we sold them devices we would be happy to do training on them but getting people to attend (even when im in school x at dinnertime/after school anyway) is a pain even staff who have specific issues it can be hard to get them to sit down and go through it even if its only going to take them 5 - 10 mins

    as others have said i dont get the rush to what is a single user viewing device. yes it can do some creation but i still think for anything other than the wow factor something with a keyboard and mouse is a better option (try typing an essay on an ipad and i suspect you will lose the will to live much faster than on a laptop (personally anything longer than a short email i find a pita on a touchscreen)
    Last edited by sted; 17th January 2014 at 09:36 AM.

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