Marshall_IT (17th January 2014)
I've seen the point made in this thread about if the iPads are good for education why doesn't the school buy them. Well 1:1 teacher to student lessons would be good for education but there is no way the school can afford it. School budgets being what they are and given the growing prevalence of smartphones and tablets amongst students I think we are doing a disservice to students if we don't try and integrate these technologies into their education.
As it stands we have most schools with the traditional desktops and laptops setup; as soon as the students leave school the majority of their internet consumption will likely take place on smartphones and/or tablets and they are often more skilled in their usage than school staff. If we can harness these skills and leverage them in an educational setting it could lead to outstanding lessons with the right teacher. I think iPads are the popular choice but they have a lot going for them. They are locked down and the quality process for apps is pretty good, they have large scale acceptance amongst students already (being a desired device means they are more likely to take care of them). I'm not saying you couldn't do a similar job with other tablets but Apple certainly have some sort of head-start.
If you go on a teachers forum, the majority are for it as they can see an educational benefit to it. On here? Its mainly the tech side problems or the anti tablet/Apple side of things.
Simcfc73 (17th January 2014)
calculators pencil cases etc are at least cheap and i suspect it would be a lot of hassle at the start of a lesson for everyone go to the class stores cupboard to get out what they need for that lesson rather than drag pencil case out of bag (though i suppose if school provided them with their own rather than shared that wouldnt be an issue.
Again where do you draw the line between what reasonable for parents to supply and whats not?
BYOD again unless the school specifies apple/ms/android then there is bound to be disparity and even if they do some kid comes in with a £1500 alienware laptop some kids have hand me down android phones you cant tell me whatever you do they are equal devices.
As a kid (and tbh as an adult) i wouldnt like walking to school every day with hundreds of quids worth of equipment on me
homework diaries should be paid for by the school (at least the 1st one if you cant take care of it then i can see an argument for charging for replacements)
I also wonder how close the average teenager, with ther innate ability to grow when parents can least afford it, could get to £300 in 3 years on uniform? Given one off costs of things like Blazers and shoes, PE kits, etc?
Last edited by tmcd35; 17th January 2014 at 11:51 AM.
I'm not arguing that people can't afford it (Although some will genuinely have difficulty) I'm arguing against the voluntary-(but-not-really-voluntary) 'donation', the emotional blackmail the parents feel they have been subjected to, and the fact that in my opinion this infrastructure is entirely the wrong way to go about it.
Last edited by Garacesh; 17th January 2014 at 11:57 AM.
hence the question on uniform and the vountary-(but-not-really-voluntary) nature of it. How long would a school accept a child turning up in smart black trousers/white shirt - without the rest of the uniform - not because the parents can't afford, but they don't want to pay for a particular tie, blazer, pe kit combination?I'm arguing against the voluntary-(but-not-really-voluntary)
So what does that different approach look like?My personal opinion is that you could get a much greater benefit for potentially less money with a different approach. 1 Device:1 Student is not the correct way to address the issue.
The thing with iPads is that they are very much designed as a device for use by one person, there are no user profiles etc. Anything other than 1:1 becomes a hassle in my experience.
sted says, the majority of the time creation devices can also be used for consumption. Therefore, to me, laptops are the greater option all-round. Upgradeable and
repairablefrankensteinable, with the ability to create as well as consume, better integration into the infrastructure and has familiarity with all users (because all your students are already familiar with whatever OS you use, you just go ahead and use the same one.. Windows, Linux, etc.)
Last edited by Garacesh; 17th January 2014 at 12:07 PM.
My concern is that we are NOT teaching kids how to evaluate sources robustly enough.
Example: I do a Google search for 'Stem Cells'. Firstly, why Google? Are the Google search results unbiased? No, they aren't, because people with enough motivation and funds can afford to 'bump' their page up the list. So already, even at the SEARCH stage we have to bear in mind that the 'most relevant' resource may be there because someone paid for it to be. Should I run the same search across multiple search engines to 'normalise' my results?
So then we move onto looking at the results themselves. Top result that isn't a sponsored ad? Wikipedia. Which we ALL know is peer-moderated so the validity of the information in the article is subject to significant uncertainty.
Then we have government websites followed by news articles. News articles are written by journalists. Journalists have an agenda. So already, having just done a simple web search, I have to consider that the top results for the topic in question may not be the WHOLE story and I should seek multiple sources from multiple viewpoints - ethical, scientific, religious etc in order to build a more complete picture of the Stem Cell concept. If we are teaching kids this then yeah, go for it. But we're not. Sure, they learn a bit about it in GCSE History and Science teachers briefly touch on the subject here and there but if we want to implement a 1:1 internet-enabled device and actually use it appropriately and constructively then pupils are going to HAVE to learn that they can't take the internet at face value.
A Mixed approach is a good plan, although more economically challenged cohorts will struggle and bullying will be rife if the 'top set' is full of kids with iPadX's and the 'bottom set' is full of kids with a patched up netbook running a hooky copy of windows XP. BYOD is great until you factor in theft and mugging - would you want the world to know your child was catching a public bus with an iPad in his bag? You can't expect pupils to want to store their own devices at school overnight - it defeats the purpose of the pupil having the resource in the first place. I can't help but think that at the moment we are swinging from one extreme to another - on the one hand we are looking at 1:1 provision in-house with everyone having the same, and on the other we are looking at BYOD with a vast array of devices and no guarantee that all pupils will have a device to bring. What is our middle ground? Laptop trolleys? A cursory glance at these forums shows countless posts complaining that teachers don't return them, they aren't charged properly, the trolleys are vandalised and damaged etc etc. I wonder if perhaps the classroom of the future will be 1:1 computers/tablets embedded into desks with cloud storage. Even then there will be challenges to address - issues with vandalism and theft. I don't think there will ever be an ideal solution until we can address other fundamental issues in the classroom such as behaviour but this is not a simple matter - this would mean addressing the degradation of society and we all know that won't happen. Kids don't respect their education and take it for granted. Perhaps if they had to earn it by working and paying for it themselves then they might...
Ephelyon (17th January 2014)
If the 1:1 devices aren't creation devices, then you end up back in exactly the same situation you mentioned earlier - the rationing of shared IT suites or trolleys.
tmcd35 (17th January 2014)
Google Play for Education but am not holding my breath. I am at least pretty confident that a 1:1 offering of Android devices will work out much cheaper than iPads.
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