@Little-Miss - For your reference also, the reason many website companies haven't moved over to HTML5 is due to cost but also compatibility. HTML5 as a standard hasn't even reached version 1.0, despite being in development for almost 10 years.
Flash has cross browser support on different platforms and it's just Apple who've made the wrong choice in my opinion with regards to the iPad. HTML5 isn't supported on all browsers and secondly, you're essentially asking developers to work/write a website with an uncomplete standard. It's totally ridiculous and quite rightly educational companies are not going to invest money only to have to re-write it again to be compatible.
Once HTML5 reaches an official level/standard or version 1.0 as I stated above, things would be moving considerably quicker. Windows 8 on a tablet for example will support both Flash and HTML5, so no matter what happens in the next 10 years, all websites should work correctly.
indeed they are, hence the caveat at the start. There are plenty on edugeek who will provide the negatives to iPads. Today is my day for being positive :D
Originally Posted by Disease
Im so undecided on this.
I'm annoyed as i was never consulted, but im pretty sure things that connect to the Network are my problem.
They do sound like schools are liking them (at the moment) and anything that works well with the kids is obviously good!
It's the management of them i cant get my head around. When i moaned that it would end up being me she said it didnt have to be. So do i just say ok, here you go and dump them on her or do i actually think well, they're on my network, i need to deal with them and the pile of other stuff i also have to deal with cus i obviously have all the time in the world.
The only management we do in school is to get them on the wireless network and proxy server.
Originally Posted by Little-Miss
Once thats done they are just devices.
Your thinking the same way as I did when we first got them. Microsoft Windows needs to be managed and controlled. Luckily Apple iPads really don't need very much as they are very locked down. Its actually rather refreshing.
Thanks Zag. Yeah, maybe i do just need to do that then. But how are the App's managed? Do the staff just sort all that out?
Yep, we leave it to them. Don't forget there are no hard installs, drivers, errors, permissions like Microsoft ecosystem. It just works from our experience.
Originally Posted by Little-Miss
Just for info with regards to Flash not being supported on iPads, there's a apparently an app called Skyfire which is a web browser you can download in the app store that supports Flash video (though not Flash apps).
In terms of managing apps, we only have 6 ipads in my primary school - we have an iTunes account set up on a PC and then we sync (or restore etc when needed) from that PC. set up 4 iPads yesterday and it took just over 10 minutes for it to register as a device and load the Windows drivers, name it on iTunes and then sync the apps.
For larger sets of iPads / iPods, seemingly the Mac OS X based management console is now pretty useable, although I haven't had a chance to try this out yet as we're still only thinking about getting iPods. You'll need a Mac OS X machine as a server (probably a Mac Mini), but it should let you properly distribute apps out to multiple devices rather than having to sync them with iTunes on a computer.
Originally Posted by Little-Miss
If you just want people to use one app, then the Guided Access feature does seem to work well - it simply locks the machine into a kiosk mode. Sneaky users (i.e. anyone who can Google "get out of iOS guided access") can get past this, though, so a BubCap might be an idea - it prevents the user pressing the home button at all unless they have a pin handy.
Depending on what, exactly, you want to be able to do with your devices, it rather strikes me that a new app launcher might almost be an idea - lock the device on to a single app that can launch just the apps that you want to enable - sort of like RM Connect but for iPads.
Portability of the device
Anywhere / Anytime learning (within reason)
Engagement of students on task, using new technology devices (some people may not see extended engagement, but we have)
Various educational apps available, but staff need to put the time and effort into researching what works
Great as an admin tool outside of teaching, note making, diary, e-mails etc
Familiar technology to students as often an increasing number have these devices at home
Management of charging
Ideally needs a good wireless infrastructure
Management of installing apps
Booking - staff often come to collect the iPADs when booked, but aren't as keen to return them when they are finished!
Management of locking down the devices - changing background wallpapers
Gimmicky toy at first, until the students get used to using them
Purchasing a lot of apps could become expensive
Easily damaged by being dropped
We use them extensively here across a large range of subjects, they were initially used for devices to go on the internet and do a bit of internet, but we are not developing the pedagogy and staff and students are seeing the benefits. We are taking part in numerous whitepapers and action research projects with various stakeholders about our active use. I do still feel however, that the true benefit comes from a 1:1 scenario and the user keeps the device, a student creating an essay or presentation on a bookable device has no guarantee that the following lesson that the work is still going to be on the iPAD for them to complete it. We are looking strongly into providing a device for a cohort of students next year, possibly or sixth formers and will reduce our reprographics, student planner costs etc, but we need to seriously consider how students will be able to charge the devices in school, security and insurance aspects, how to lock them down sufficiently as well as how my IT Support team will have the capacity to support them.
Whilst a list of pros and cons works well to gather experiences - I think it's very much a question of what you intend to do with them. If you dissect the Apple hype then without an app written for exactly what you want to do then the iPad becomes a locked down product that cannot be efficiently managed by teachers in a classroom either.
For Primary environments I would prefer using a Windows netbook product (preferably rugged in design) connected to a classroom management software product. In this way you can run everything that the school previously used software-wise, connect them to your domain for saving/backing up work, and open URLs/share files/actually teach something with them. My personal experience of the iPad is that once the initial 'shiny' factor has worn off they just become rather expensive toys. A teacher cannot really keep control of what the kids are doing on them in class and therefore I would not be confident that they're doing what they've been asked to do.
I'm recommending a trial of the new Classmate - Classmate 2S - a rugged netbook and convertable touch tablet, Windows 7, with management software that works with the SMART Board. Hopefully the best of both worlds.