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Netbooks, PDA and Phones Thread, Pros and Cons of iPads in schools in Technical; Hi guys I'm trying to help my n/w manager by building a 'pros and cons' list to be able to ...
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    AlfaTech's Avatar
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    Pros and Cons of iPads in schools

    Hi guys I'm trying to help my n/w manager by building a 'pros and cons' list to be able to weigh up the options of implementing iPads into the school's network/resources. On one side we have the HT and SLT who are mostly Macolytes and want to bring the latest iPhads in to the school, on the other side we have us who are content with our current Microsoft/Oracle Global Desktop solutions/Music Macs and are concerned about how the introduction of iPads might work for the school (or not). Teachers seem to be managing fine with things the way they are, and the kids still use pen and paper (exercise books) along the school's workstations/VLEs, etc.

    So I'm after your thoughts really... What are the Pros and Cons of using/supporting iPads in a school environment?

    Thanks in advance!

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    Greatest con I've ever heard is that it will totally transform and revolutionise teaching methods and lesson delivery. Ever since the iPads were introduced to the school I've not seen a single tablet in the classroom environment; it's pretty obvious staff have taken them home for their own personal use.

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    Gibbo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chuckster View Post
    Greatest con I've ever heard is that it will totally transform and revolutionise teaching methods and lesson delivery.
    Just like Smartboards which invariably end up being a very expensive projector screen.

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    Have a read of The Perils & Pitfalls of Mobile Tech in Schools | GrumbleDook Thinks to see about some of the pitfalls ... mainly the small things which are forgotten about.

    There are a number of other threads with links to blogs and articles on this (google for Frasier Speirs iPad project to get his blog and a number of linked articles / blogs). I would link to them but there are quite a number out there to link to ... and it is worth you looking at a wide range of them.

    I would also speak with your local Apple Solutions experts about the implementation too ... learn from their experience and when you speak to the tech folk there they will give an open and honest opinion about their good and bad experiences (people in here might like to MacBash ... but you get a bunch of Apple techies together and talk about SMB implementations or the dropping of server architecture ... scary!)

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    p858snake's Avatar
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    Con: there is no decent way to manage the iPads generally, no decent group/site/etc account system yet, no decent way to control the installable apps, no decent way to push apps out to multiple devices.

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    AlfaTech's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by p858snake View Post
    Con: there is no decent way to manage the iPads generally, no decent group/site/etc account system yet, no decent way to control the installable apps, no decent way to push apps out to multiple devices.
    What, not even in OS X Lion "The world's most advanced operating system advanced even further"? I heard that they would be bringing out something in Lion to take care of this.

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    AlfaTech's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    Have a read of The Perils & Pitfalls of Mobile Tech in Schools | GrumbleDook Thinks to see about some of the pitfalls ... mainly the small things which are forgotten about...
    Thanks GrumbleDook, thats most helpful. Although at this stage I'm just after a list of pros and cons, you know how SLT like bulletpoints.

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by p858snake View Post
    Con: there is no decent way to manage the iPads generally, no decent group/site/etc account system yet, no decent way to control the installable apps, no decent way to push apps out to multiple devices.
    Yes there is ... JAMF Software: Client Management Software for Macintosh Professionals is an option, but I have yet to see it used in an educational environment. It is just a management / middleware system and we are used to having that in schools already.

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    Only today have I been to see IPads in actual use during lessons, using apple AP's and running through smoothwall box for internet security.

    I was told that using an IPhone security app to lock down all the IPads and just one registered macbook to download apps and sync them to all the IPads.

    Only thing they couldn't lock down it seems is the passkey to log into the IPad but as they didn't set one that was not a problem.

    As for storage and collaboration they got all the teachers to create dropbox accounts and then created a school account with a shared folder for all the staff to sync and upload files.

    They also created a single school twitter account so everyone could tweet to the same account from the IPads.

    Some of the lessons looked fun for the students especially Geography with the OS maps app and the 3D earth app which showed the latest earthquakes around the Earth etc.

    Still not too sure whether they will keep impressing but we are looking into using them and the students SmartPhones to create and share materials.

    Will be an interesting 6 months hehe!

  10. Thanks to bossman from:

    SimpleSi (27th July 2011)

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    CON: Becomes a lot less effective if kids are sharing. They're not really that collaborative and get very confused by multiple hand.
    But if you have the budget
    PRO: Fads are great for engagement on difficult topics, even if they are fads.

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    @purpleindigo
    Part of the process of learning to collaborate is sharing and I've seen iPads and iPod Touches be used as part of this very well ... I would expect other tablet devices to be the same.
    The iPad is a multi-touch device but not to the same extent as a SMART table or Microsoft Surface ... But they aren't very portable.

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    @GrumbleDook
    You're right, definitely part of the learning experience, and the iPad is a powerful device. On the creative side of things, I'm still a big fan of A3 card and different coloured pens! But there's room for it all.

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    Quote Originally Posted by juntar View Post
    I think iPads work great in video presentation by connecting it to a big TV monitor via its HDMI connector. The teacher may have find it easy to change slide by using the iPad touch interface.
    Or they could just use the space bar...

    -_-


    And if only they had a HDMI port xD (I almost forgot about that)

    Just for the record, I'm not an Apple basher and on a more serious note, I was reading a very interesting article the other day on the Samsung Tab being stopped from being sold and how Samsung now have a conundrum what they could do with now that they have a big lawsuit to save a product which is failing anyway. The article also talked briefly about the tablet pc market and how manufacturers are finding it so difficult to put their finger on what makes the Apple iPad such a success.

    It just has no stand out feature, it's an utterly confusing product for me and clearly for all manufacturers too. The fact that so many brilliant tablet PC's have been brought out yet Apple still retains 80% of the total market share.

    If I find a link to the article I'll post it here later

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    AlfaTech's Avatar
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    Well it's an Apple isn't it! They are very good at marketing and making things 'look' nice. I would be very interested to read that article Effluo. That said, I wonder how many people who don't already own a Mac would buy an iPad, compared to existing Apple owners? IMHO its one for the fan-boys. Personally I'd hold out for an Android/Windows 7 or 8 based tablet if I was in the market for one. But I wonder what would be better for schools in the long-term (its that old question) PC, Mac or other? Having recently faced massive cuts I now seriously doubt if our school will be going ahead with procuring any fancy tablets any time soon.

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    Apple didn't have class-size sets in mind when they designed iPads. You can only have five to an iTunes account, you have to wipe them to change it to a new account and a credit card number is required for activation of each unit. Just that alone makes the whole thing impractical unless each student had their own one. I feel I should warn you that a local school tried that here and the parents hung, drew and quartered them.

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