Excellent post, @IrritableTech. I think you're right, that it is a case of finding a compromise between the problems associated with (largely) unmanaged devices versus the educational benefits of using them now rather than waiting for Win8.
For my own purposes, I am glad I have a Galaxy not an iPad as I have a PC not a Mac and have an Android phone, saving on doubling up on some app purchases (DoubleTwist with AirSync is an awesome app for keeping my music synced across all 3 devices), however if buying for educational use, I would likely head towards iPad or Win8, as the range of applications is much broader.
Last time the world waited for Microsoft to catch up it took them 8 years and still was missing most of the features promised (Ciaro). Many competitors killed themselves trying to match features that never arrived.
I would be very suprised if they managed to pull off ipad beating functionality and developer eco system while also providing enterprise managability in what would essentially be a v1.0product. (Ok so the core is the solid NT kernel/Win32, but the new, shiney selling points would all be v1.0)
This is key. The IT world is changing - a complete and radical re-think is required given where tablets are going to take us in the next few years. Computers Suites - even latpop suites buing built today are really the last hurrah for the old way.However, lots of people will argue that if you show the secondary kids some trust, they will usually reward you. I think schools that are using tablets in the classroom have had to rethink the way they allow kids to access technology.
In education chrome os is the competitor to IOS (instant on - and multi user) but it lacks the developers and the apps.
If you have Google Apps for Ed you can force the users to use passwords, enforce sync, encrypt the data on the device, Enable application auditing, enable device policy, send device alerts to email address and remote wipe.schools should be encouraging staff to put a remote lock/wipe app on their phones too (or at the absolute minimum a password/code on it
VMware are creating a secure android vm in response to company concerns over security which will mean it will be allowed on MOD sites and other secure places of work.
In my opinion Galaxy Tab is a better option as compared to iPad, the reason being very obvious the OS
For the android you have a lottttt of applications free of cost for your students. You should better check the android market for the applications available there. For the iPad you will not find as much application and specially the free ones
I have downloaded a lot of free applications for my kids and most of them are very interesting.
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