Netbooks, PDA and Phones Thread, iPads - Too costly for what they are? in Technical; Some recent discussion of iPads off-Forum appears to verify a lot of the impressions I’ve had from hearing of the ...
Some recent discussion of iPads off-Forum appears to verify a lot of the impressions I’ve had from hearing of the experiences of schools in the past. I really can’t say what I’m hearing fills me with confidence. So excuse me while I play devils advocate for a moment…
We’re a school that has very few iPads, and in fact has none in the hands of students. We’ve really been waiting for someone else to convince us that it’s a worthwhile expense. But so far, I get the following impressions:
- It’s quite easy to get money out of schools for iPads, because of their mainstream appeal, however no one seems to be considering the long-term viability (maybe that’s because everyone is trialling them, but I’m still not sure that justifies it).
- Management of these devices is even more immature than the devices themselves. I like my iPad, but a fleet of them just looks like a drain on support resources.
- There appears to be no solid justification of why we should spend more money to deploy a device that does less. Whichever way you cut it, iPads are far less capable than a notebook, and cost more. Given their two-year lifespan and the impost on I.T. support to manage the unmanageable then the cost of apps, management software and auxillary infrastructure, they are expensive.
- They have limited compatibility with my existing systems.
- They are quite limited for content creation.
- iPads work quite poorly as a shared device.
- Principals and other leadership like them, but really don’t know why.
- Teachers claim they “engage” students. But as far as I can see they mistake engagement for novelty value (it’s something new). Once the novelty wears off they wont be any more “engaged” than they are with notebooks.
So, that all seems quite negative I know. But I’d like someone to convince me otherwise, if there are real demonstrable (and I mean demonstrable, anecdotes just wont do) advantages to iPads, I’d love to hear them. For now though, I just can’t shake this feeling that this is the netbook bubble all over again. We rode out that trend because we saw it was unsustainable, and I wonder if the tablet trend is similar, just bigger.
Last edited by Speculator; 2nd November 2011 at 12:00 AM.
I didnt vote because I honestly couldnt select an option that suits.
I love mine and use it constantly but could I use it as an educational tool, I honestly couldnt answer that.
Tony has a lot of stuff already going on around this that is probably more useful than firing up a whole new who likes/hates iPad thread.
Mines full of network tools and Multimedia stuff because thats what I use it for and it does it well. I cant type on it to save my life everythingbisnfullmof bounced finger presses!
But since owning one my Netbook is a doorstop running Backtrack that I only fire up when I want to hack something...
Thanks m25man, this isn't supposed to be a likes/hates thread. It's only that if people choose to make it one, as you can see I haven't expressed a strong like or dislike myself. This thread is more about exploring what the reality of tablets in education is.
To be honest I think the thread should have been about tablets and not specifically targeting iPads. Yes, there are some things that iPads do differently and some would argue better or worse, and the media hype about them is sparking of a lot of the interest, but it should be about functionality first, then management of the devices ... though management is often the limiting factor for oooooooohhhh so many reasons.
A very good point, and a little slack of me not to think of that, being an Android user myself. Please, cosider it about "touch tablets" (Fondleslabs if you read The Register) rather than specifically iPads.
We currently have 47 Ipad 2's and will no doubt get more in the arly part of next year, as a primary school they work well in our environment, only issue is deployment and management soaks up so much time otherwise good for primary schools.
We are in the process of trialling them along with kindle's for reading clubs, I feel that it is not the device but the management of the lessons behind them.
The students will become bored very quickly if the lessons are not stimulating enough and that is without the use of mobile devices, so teachers who are advocating the use of them have to produce lesson plans that appeal to the students before the school will entertain purchasing them.
Like a tradesman with his/her tools if they don't know how to use them properly then the job that they do will always end up a disaster and this is the same with mobile devices.
As I say we are only trialling them at the moment.
Got 10 here with teachers using them for lesson registration. Works really well to be honest being instant on and all that.
Doubt they will replace teacher laptops but PE and Languages seem to have found a niche for them.
One other thing teachers have found useful is taking pictures of text on paper then projecting on screen. I was amazed when I saw that it had replaced the genievision in a teaching room. Sometimes the simplest things are the best
We looked at iPads earlier in the year for our sixth form, but felt they didn't provide a comprehensive enough working environment for our students. I think I can see them being used in the classroom in small batches, maybe just as research tools at first for students, or for teachers in addition to what they currently have. Lack of easy management and quite frankly a decent keyboard limits their ability to completely win over this environment though, IMO.
I'm talking with an ASE about having a more local session about things to look at if doing iPad deployments in Northants. Apple do a full course on this and it is probably worth trying to go on it if you are serious about iPads. My report on the hands-on workshop at the Apple Leadership Summit will go live just after lunch.