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Hardware Thread, Tablets in primary schools in Technical; ...
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    Question Tablets in primary schools

    Good Morning all,

    I've had a primary school I work with ask about using tablets as their primary machine type. The head wants iPads, but is happy to go with Android. I personally don't see how that's going to benefit the kiddies (whole new learning curve from their home Windows machines, plus no keyboard/mouse).

    Does anyone know of a successful implementation of tablets and touch devices in primary schools (or any school, I guess) as opposed to having Netbooks, which I'm seeing a sharp rise in, Notebooks or the faithful PC (including thin client)?

    My own thoughts are:

    1. Cost. Surely purchasing [x] tablets and maintaining [x] tablets over time will become more expensive than some budget netbooks? I've seen some 2Ghz 2GB Win 7 Pro Netbooks come in at a few hundred (because of separate £80~ Win 7 license).
    2. Learning Curve for the smaller kiddies.
    3. Do they connect to a domain? How do they store kids' work?
    4. Learning to type -- forget about it.
    5. 30 kids...clambering over a touch device. Asking for trouble (scratches, blemishes, drops, knocks). At least with a PC they're only going to be fighting over the keyboard/mouse which are less expensive than a curly wurly these days.
    6. Lack of software -- Yes, you can get FREE and PAID apps, but can you get your standard Clicker 5, Logo, etc...?
    7. Security -- can these devices use proxy settings? (I'm assuming yes). Are they susceptible to viruses, and other common problems? Can they be passworded with a user base (ie-, pupils, staff, admin, or each individual user -- AD integration with Server 200x)?

    All of which are cons. The only pro I can think of is that these kids will be using touch devices for the rest of their lives. Teach em young. That said, the teachers need to be able to use them as well and, without being too harsh, most of the teachers I see daily aren't that capable with a PC.

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    jamesreedersmith's Avatar
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    What a windows tablet - something like an RM Slate

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    we have a few schools look at ipads, touch screen units and normal laptops, they have seamed to like the zoostorm fizzbook with its table like touch screen, small easy to carry size, good design and windows 7 pro, so kids have access to proper network login, userarea, saved files, network installed msi software (e.g. 2simple, datalogers, vle, email ) and printers.

    would say thou the upgrade to 2gb ram is a must ;-)

    edit - before you woundered they are intel hardware, which has been about for 4 ish years, as i remember intel demoing them at bett in 2008 time.

    edit on the edit - had one on test for a month which my 18 month old son can turn on, and while he was a little rough it suvived.
    Last edited by lordasb; 15th June 2011 at 09:50 AM.

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    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    We had an RM Slate in on trial to use with a Y1 lad with severe physical SEN and were very impressed with it. It performed well, though I didn't put it on the network as we don't have wireless. The big advantage is that the Slate has things like USB ports and printing capabilities that the iPad doesn't!

    Would I use it across the school? Probably not. The dropability factor in primaries has to be taken into consideration and the Slate is bigger and heavier than an iPad. From our point of view, we'd be better off with a set of laptops (but that's another story )

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    Appreciate the input thus far. Unfortunately the RM Slate wouldn't work for us - it is Home Premium and RM are technically a competitor (not on tablets).

    The 'dropability' factor is part of my concern. How many times does someone need to drop one (even from a few inches above a table) for it to not function? Most slates/tablets I have found are approx 2lbs and nearly the size of an A4 sheet of paper. Kids with hands that don't even fill my palms are going to struggle holding them while using them.

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    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    A few people on here have played with the RM Slate and Win 7 Pro, e.g. @ZeroHour . I understood, RM were going to sell them with Pro by now. But their website suggests otherwise. There are a few threads on here about them if you search for it (RM Slate 100).

    @witch and I looked at netbooks at BETT and were very impressed by the rugged HP netbook mini 100E education edition which has a carrying handle making it ideal for little hands.

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    witch's Avatar
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    We looked at slates and netbooks as elsie said. In the end we bought Samsung NB30s with the ruggedised lids and I have to say they are marvellous. (the HPs didnt fit in our chosen cabinets)
    The best thing is that the child can have a netbook open for research and then use a pen and paper for making notes - stopping the old 'open a word doc and cut and paste' that happens with bigger laptops and desktops.
    IMHO slates look good but are not rugged enough for classroom use. SEN is a different matter - I have seen some wonderful programs on ipads which really help children

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    Netman's Avatar
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    This school Main Page - Cedars School were the first to do a 1:1 iPad deployment to pupils - lots of interesting material on their site and on the ICT chaps blog at Fraser Speirs - Blog.

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