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IT News Thread, Essa Academy: Bookless school where everyone has iPad in Other News; BBC News - Essa Academy: Bookless school where everyone has iPad Apparently they have reduced the printing costs dramatically, i ...
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    Essa Academy: Bookless school where everyone has iPad

    BBC News - Essa Academy: Bookless school where everyone has iPad

    Apparently they have reduced the printing costs dramatically, i wonder how much they ended up spending on the iPads, and if they factored in that they would need replacing often, maybe completely in a couple of years when all the apps only work on newer models.


    We have been trialing a few here, and they have been a nightmare to support.

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    I've mentioned his work before but have a look at the research done by Dr Don Passey (Don Passey, Educational Research, Lancaster University) as he has looked at the various ways that cost savings are achieved when using technology. You could also look at articles from EG members for Microsoft who have looked at cost savings when using Sharepoint.

    The principles are the same ... it just takes someone to sit down and plan carefully.

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    Essa Academy: Bookless school where everyone has iPad


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    What software do the kids use? I love the idea, but on ipads we can never find any apps to come close to what we would want, and with things like mymaths needing flash we would be stuck for resources. They must be having bespoke apps made or some team of content creators??

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    synaesthesia's Avatar
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    First thing that strikes me, is how many people might be watching that who would consider hanging around at school chuckout time to mug a few kids and get a couple of grand worth of kit. There's *nothing* you can do to an iPad that's not reversible, security wise.

    However, that aside, strange. As an advocate of technology, it irks me to see handwriting taking a back seat to it. No doubt it's still practiced there but as a specialist lesson then it wouldn't get the necessary time IMO.

    Also interested in what software they're doing to manage all of that/run the tests etc. Must also be a cracking wireless system.
    As mentioned in another thread on a similar topic, I wonder how repairs/replacements are handled when things go wrong - is there a bank of spares, what's the ICT support like and how busy they are, licensing costs. I am 100% adament the financial figures supplied there are very Appled. (that's "Sounds like Rollocks" or "Heavily Marketed"). I also wonder therefore what the real figures are taking everything into consideration.

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    mthomas08's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by synaesthesia View Post
    Also interested in what software they're doing to manage all of that/run the tests etc. Must also be a cracking wireless system.
    As mentioned in another thread on a similar topic, I wonder how repairs/replacements are handled when things go wrong - is there a bank of spares, what's the ICT support like and how busy they are, licensing costs. I am 100% adament the financial figures supplied there are very Appled. (that's "Sounds like Rollocks" or "Heavily Marketed"). I also wonder therefore what the real figures are taking everything into consideration.
    +1 To this, I don't mind if some one on management walked in and said "Why not get ipads for all the kids". As long as they are prepared to back it up with planning and financial backing. Fact is just another 30 ipads in any given area will require that area to have a decent wireless access, unless only few are going to be used. Not forgetting the extra requirements from IT Support, something that always gets missed and treated like we have endless amount of working hours. I guess one good thing where I work, everyone in real decision making positions are completely against giving students iPads because the Laptops for students failed.

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    Re: Essa Academy: Bookless school where everyone has iPad

    There was also a post on here about a US school that had 600+ iPads and had to block and limit traffic to the app store as just the basic check in and update check traffic from that many iPukes choked out their internet. They are not designed to play nicely in anything other than a home or small cafe.

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    tmcd35's Avatar
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    Essa are definately leading the way in this. They've been featured before in similar stories. Personally I'd like to see more schools take this approach (or similar). We are taking a more long term view here but early discussions point to this being our ultimate end goal. We've already trialed a limited number of iPads with staff and it wouldn't surprise me if we got a trolley of 30 this year to trial with pupils.


    Quote Originally Posted by synaesthesia View Post
    However, that aside, strange. As an advocate of technology, it irks me to see handwriting taking a back seat to it. No doubt it's still practiced there but as a specialist lesson then it wouldn't get the necessary time IMO.
    Actually, the assumption that handwriting has taken a back seat irks me. If I was a governor at that school I'd be very worried if it had. It looks to me, and is the way I'd like to see my school go, that the technology is taking over from the course books and hand outs rather than the pen and paper. No doubt children still need some exercise books for their work and use normal PC's for word processing, etc.

    Must also be a cracking wireless system.
    One of the things I've been looking at here and probably the first thing you'd research if you wanted to implement such a system is good managed wifi.

    As mentioned in another thread on a similar topic, I wonder how repairs/replacements are handled when things go wrong - is there a bank of spares, what's the ICT support like and how busy they are, licensing costs.
    When I costed out the scheme here I factored in a 10% spare stock for replacements and from experience with a heavily damaged iPhone I can say the devices seem to quiet durable and in many cases can be repaired at a reasonable cost (my iPhone cost £60 for a new screen). Since given iPads out to staff we've had next to no dealing with them. The same at the local junior school we support who have a trolley of heavily used iPads for students. I'm sure on a 1:1 ratio that'd be different but I'm willing to bet the nature of the technology means there'd be little real addition to our work load. In fact I think the job will be reduced to the password changing-esque manonity of saying "here's a spare" and booking/sending for repair.

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    I know it's not the same school but its an interesting article.

    School that spent £500,000 giving its pupils iPads admits that HALF are now broken | Mail Online

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    Quote Originally Posted by Quackers View Post
    What software do the kids use? I love the idea, but on ipads we can never find any apps to come close to what we would want, and with things like mymaths needing flash we would be stuck for resources. They must be having bespoke apps made or some team of content creators??
    From that video it seems "nearpod" https://itunes.apple.com/gb/app/near...523540409?mt=8 is one of them.

    Description

    Nearpod: “Best Collaboration Solution - EdTech Digest Awards 2012”, “Audience Favorite - LAUNCH Edu & Kids 2012”.
    Experience for yourself this magical educational app that has been downloaded more than 200,000 times in less than 5 months.
    Nearpod is a must have application for teachers and schools that have access to a set of iPads, iPods or iPhones for their classes.

    What's Nearpod?
    The Nearpod platform enables teachers to use their iPads to manage content on students' iPads, iPhones or iPods. It combines presentation, collaboration, and real-time assessment tools into one integrated solution.

    Before You Start
    Nearpod is a synchronous solution for the use of iPads, iPods and iPhones in the classroom. To try Nearpod, you will need one iPad and at least one other device (iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch), both running Nearpod. All devices should be connected to the Internet.

    To create an account or log in as a teacher you need to download the Nearpod app on an iPad. The Nearpod app for iPhone or iPod allows student access only.

    How It Works
    · Teachers use Nearpod to share content with their students and to manage the flow of the lecture.
    · Students use Nearpod on their iOS devices to receive multimedia content and to participate in engaging assessment and collaboration activities.

    Nearpod allows teachers to:
    1. Create Content: Teachers log in to Create, Engage and Assess through mobile devices. | Interactive Lessons | Mobile Learning | Apps for Education | iPads in the Classroom | to create multimedia presentations with interactive features such as quizzes, videos, polls, drawing tools, and more. They can also access featured presentations from certified publishers and fellow educators.
    2. Engage: In the classroom, teachers log in to the Nearpod iPad app to share content with their students and manage the flow of the lecture. Students use the Nearpod app on their iOS devices to receive curricular content, participate in activities and submit responses.
    3. Assess: Teachers can see students’ answers in real time on the Nearpod app. Additionally, teachers can log in to Create, Engage and Assess through mobile devices. | Interactive Lessons | Mobile Learning | Apps for Education | iPads in the Classroom | to access post-session data and obtain detailed activity reports.

    Download Nearpod now and sign up for a FREE account to start experiencing the magic of Nearpod!
    Seems quite cool idea if it works Guessing it's a mixture of created presentations, and downloaded

    Steve

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    I'm still not sold. It still screams "ooh, look at the shiny" to me, as does that school itself (did you see the brief glimpses of the funky video wall?).

    I recognise that what I want to see as evidence is simply not going to happen - I'm not going to be able to see a comparison between a school using all iPads and one which uses the same sort of money to hire a larger team of teachers.

    I suppose, this may be an argument I can't win - as other factors come into play. Many parents are shallow, and will choose their school by the shiny stuff they get given. So, some schools may be forced to go down this route in order to simply keep their roll numbers up and to compete with their other local schools.

    But I'm always going to be unsure about it. Especially this particular device.

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    I went round ESSA a while back (about a year) when they had ipods for every student and I thought it was a total waste of money because they were so limited in what they could achieve of them. iPads could be different if on a 1:1 basis.

    They handled breakages through insurance, but said they were thinking of dropping that and the school "insuring" them for a fee. Which in reality was the school collecting a pot of money to cover costs and hoping it didn't cost more per year but seems like a good idea to me if you have limited breakages.

    Interestingly when you are taken round the school, you were only shown where the technology was at it's best, we never saw an English, Maths or even a History or Geography lesson and there was a whole area devoted to this. We were shown all the "shared learning areas" which all visitors from our school couldn't see how it worked, it was way to noisy. In Art a pupil was copying from an iPad (as shown in the video I think), it's not really teaching Art or using a £400 device in my opinion. They don't teach in the traditional way at the school, it was quite odd to me (but I went to a traditional grammar school), I struggled to see what they were being taught in most lessons (in the shared area), I also thought teaching science through videos and interactive programs is boring, proper experiments are more engaging!

    Staff there created content for the pupils on Macbook Pros or Macbook Airs, the iPads weren't used for that and in a lot of cases couldn't be. Interestingly they use a few Windows servers to RDP into for the Admin staff, they had SIMS for example.


    The IT support at the time was outsourced but not by choice, they had been forced into signing up with Northgate when they became an Academy so it was a total waste of money, we managed to briefly speak to a Tech and he said he did nothing all day. But this was going to be moved in-house in future (and probably is now). So you can't blame the school for the money wasted here really, it sounded like the school had one idea and they were told they must get support from elsewhere.

    The video wall is about 12 TVs with a PS3 behind each screen to achieve that, expensive for what it is. They also have a 3D room, which was an even more expensive novelty, even if it was impressive to see, the limited uses of it couldn't justify the costs.


    Overall, I think I am against the idea but then maybe I have a traditional approach to schools and this modern approach may be the way forward, or may not be. My major concerns would be costs of Apps (you can't force pupils to buy them), and who replaces the iPads when they are out of date and to slow to use? The idea was also being driven heavily by 2 or 3 people and they were doing a good job promoting it, what happens if they leave?

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    hardtailstar's Avatar
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    To me from the viedo it seemed the Head had the idea and then suddenly when interviewed he had to come up with some sort of excuse other than 'I wanted the school to have the shiney things'

    that being said Id love to be able for my school to have a properly set up tablet trolley or similiar.

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    zag
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    To those who doubt the bandwidth per device, any modern wireless system should easily handle that, even on a 1:1 basis. Don't forget these are apple devices and don't need to log on like traditional windows machines.

    We have a number of iPads in our school and they use tiny amounts of wireless bandwidth compared to windows machines. Even updating apps is quick and painless.

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zag View Post
    To those who doubt the bandwidth per device, any modern wireless system should easily handle that, even on a 1:1 basis. Don't forget these are apple devices and don't need to log on like traditional windows machines.

    We have a number of iPads in our school and they use tiny amounts of wireless bandwidth compared to windows machines. Even updating apps is quick and painless.
    What about with things like iCloud and video files? Or some other way of backing up student work?

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