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Netbooks, PDA and Phones Thread, Arguments for and against ipads - need info in a hurry in Technical; Originally Posted by Michael Buying iPads just for SEN is not a good investment. There aren't that many great educational ...
  1. #16

    mac_shinobi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael View Post
    Buying iPads just for SEN is not a good investment. There aren't that many great educational apps, but you also need to look at the management of them. iPads are a consumer product and not an educational/business tool. iPads are very personalised, whereas of course Windows devices are very much multi-user capable.

    You're right also iPads do not support flash, so a whole load of websites will be locked out. If you do a direct comparison with netbooks, they're much better value for money compared to the iPad.

    I don't dislike the iPad, but for education, it's seriously over rated and money could be better invested.
    Not trying to be pro apple here but I thought on mobile devices flash was being phased out and going to HTML 5 which afaik the iPads / iPhones etc can do ??

    As all the above comments it depends on what they will be used for and what you need the tool ( whether it be an android, netbook, iPad or whatever ) to do rather then we can only go with an iOS or android based device or this tablet has a better spec but has windows vs this tablet has a lower spec but has iOS or android etc ?

    Is most of the things you use flash based, will the flash based material be converted / ported to html 5 at any point ?

    App wise ( comparing android, iOS and windows devices ) which one has the most appropriate apps that you need to use ?

    Obviously once that is established then you can compare similar devices in an attempt to choose hopefully the most durable and appropriate device as no doubt being in a school they will get ( excuse the pun here ) but hammered ( not literally though )
    Last edited by mac_shinobi; 18th April 2012 at 07:28 AM.

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    I vote yes. Having recently implemented them into a school in a difficult area,where ICT was markedly poor, the attitude to ICT changed massively. It was only a half-class set (16) just before the price drop thanks to the iPad 3 (call it the iPad near me at your peril!) yet the amount of apps available under so many subjects is astonishing. Both myself and the ICT coordinator took one away with us to get to grips (everyone here knows my stance on Apple and some of their products so obviously I wasn't very good with them) - whilst I could come up with a few app suggestions and setups based on the good work of so many others around here (NorthantsBLT contacts) it did not prepare me for the lease of life it gave the ICT coordinator. Within a week he had excelled himself and found a whole hoard of apps from the very serious to the very light, all suitable for purpose and the children look forward to ICT. We have been able to "integrate" them into the Windows system for some tasks thanks to VNC, and I'm really looking forward to seeing them being used in an outdoor classroom.
    The deal we got meant we had a Macbook and storage/sync case thrown in so app syncing/ipad restoration is as simple as plugging it back in at the end of the day.

    We (bearing in mind I only visit this school for half a day a week) went into this a little too blind even by my admission, despite this and a fair bit of research it worked and worked well. With the right aims in place, I see no reason not to recommend an iPad or other tablet solution in the primary schoolplace. We do have an RM Slate with Windows 8 at our school however can't really pass judgement on it just yet - it's still not as flowing or intuitive as an iPad.

    If there's any information I can provide, I'll be more than happy to speak to you about it, I'm rather proud of the school's achievements.
    Last edited by synaesthesia; 18th April 2012 at 07:31 AM.

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    mac_shinobi (18th April 2012)

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    My concern, is more to do with the life of the device. Is it going to last 2 years? 3 years?

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    SimpleSi's Avatar
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    We have been able to "integrate" them into the Windows system for some tasks thanks to VNC
    Could you explain a bit more - do you mean you use them to control Windows machines e.g turn them into very expensive mice with screens?

    If using them to inspire ICT - then they are great (but expesive) but in terms of value for money in assisting education for SEN children(????)
    Si

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    Yes, that's pretty much it - mice with integrated displays. It's rarely used, and when it is it's relating to programs like Clicker so any delays are not a problem. It's not so much integration, rather an extension.
    The relatively small outlay for the 16 iPads we put in place has been more than worth the outcome already, and they've only been in place for a couple of months. Obviously it's not a one size fits all solution and it will take a lot of research for each individual establishment to find out if it will be worth it.

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    witch's Avatar
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    I do indeed put pupil's needs foremost and would never base a decision purely on funding - but as the ipads are expensive I need to make sure that they ARE going to provide the" best value" for what we want and need - if they are, then fine, no problem, but as the schools "critical friend" it is necessary that I check.
    There is a definite "it's new, it's slick, it's Apple, I want it" movement in some areas!
    I am in a unique position as the IT governor of this particular school, as I work as NM in the near-identical school half a mile away in the same pyramid, so I have a very good idea of the sorts of problems the school faces in terms of SEN provision etc.
    as @elsiegee40 says, we dont have long to read the information and we are not there to rubber stamp it. We are required to question everything, and I know that the questions will be directed at me as I am the IT person. Hence the search for information!

    *just as a point of info - governors may not be responsible for integration and maintenance, but we ARE responsible for the cost of same
    Last edited by witch; 18th April 2012 at 12:22 PM.

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    Have they done a pilot/trial? If not perhaps why not and if so, how did they measure the impact of the devices. If this is a trial how will they measure the impact of the devices in terms of educational outcomes and critically, what then will constitute success or failure of the trial?

    Sorry - that's not pros/cons of the device, but without answers to those kind of questions, I don't see how anyone can ever assess value in the context of education.

  9. Thanks to pcstru from:

    witch (18th April 2012)

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    witch's Avatar
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    That is a very good point @pcstru - I will ask that question

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    These being SEN iPads I hope you are factoring insurance into this decision. They are not as robust as people think, I know the gorilla glass is almost bomb proof but the internals are not. Just had one of the teachers drop an iPad, rough cost of fixing it 150 to a total loss (Apple dealers quote being 50 to find out what has happened the around 200 to fix plus loss of warrenty) but the glass has survived, it's everthing under the glass that has gone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mac_shinobi View Post
    Not trying to be pro apple here but I thought on mobile devices flash was being phased out and going to HTML 5 which afaik the iPads / iPhones etc can do ??
    Think about it like this - Apple decided that Flash wasn't stable enough, so dropped support and went with HTML5.

    There are fundamental problems with this however. HTML5 as a standard still isn't complete, so if you have a website which is fully flashed based, you're essentially asking software developers to work with an uncomplete standard. It of course costs money to re-work everything, which is why many educational based websites (for example) haven't made the change as yet.

    Also, not all browsers support the same flavours and additional features of HTML5, so cross browser support is a headache also. Flash is cross browser supported, which is why it's still the number 1 choice.

    We're definitely in a transition period between Flash and HTML5, very much like 32/64Bit versions of Windows, but at least you can still run most 32Bit applications on a 64Bit OS. The way to support Flash and HTML5 is to have essentially two separate versions. Until the HTML5 standard is fully complete to an official version 1 for example, many companies quite rightly will hold back.

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    elsiegee40's Avatar
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    Try not to fall off your chair laughing if/when you hear "They will use Wordshark on it" @witch!

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    Would definately advise of using some sort of central management to tie them down etc. You want the reliability of them working and unless they are tied down suitably users will end up fiddling with things then bringing them to you when they don't work.

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    The relatively small outlay for the 16 iPads
    :cough: :cough: shirley sum mistook

    Don't get me wrong - my wife's school got 16 Macs and 10 Ipads last year (at fantastic expense of course) and the ICT Co-ordinator can make them sing and he's enthused the whole school with them so I know where you are coming from - but buying a few for SEN isn't in the same league and wouldn't have the same outcome so in this case I say no.
    @witch - PLEASE DON'T FEED THE TROLLS

  16. #29
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    as it's SEN, has there been any evaluation of the needs of the students on the SEN register? A one size fits all approach (all iPads, all tablets, all Netbooks or all Laptops) may not be the best route in an SEN environment where the needs of the students can vary. Have any of the parents obtained devices for the students to help them with their learning at home that might be suitable for use in school (parents might have a view that an iPad/Nintendo DS/iPod or some other device has been a huge success/fail with regards their child)?

    Is there a clear linkage between the proposed purchase and the aims of the school?

  17. #30

    localzuk's Avatar
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    There are hundreds of apps for SEN, I've got a printed document around here somewhere with around 40-50 pages of apps, with their potential uses in different subjects etc... within an SEN establishment. Our special school is likely going to be buying a trolley full of them soon, after a successful trial with one per class.

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