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IT News Thread, An iPod for each pupil in Other News; Originally Posted by siuko What happens to this stream of information if say: 1) The device breaks? 2) The internet ...
  1. #76
    Hollie1985's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by siuko View Post

    What happens to this stream of information if say:

    1) The device breaks?
    2) The internet connection drops?
    3) The network connection drops?
    4) The place they go on to work in doesnt have devices to provide them with information?

    Will these students be able to think for themselves?
    - I would say this is why it is important for a school to have a good robust wireless solution in place these questions justify the spend on wireless -The Essa Academy went for Extricom.

    Also just in case not everyone will know there is actually a Apple conference on today where 200 Governt bodies are attending CLCs to talk about the iTouch being used in schools so will be more talk in the future so we all will have to embrace it :-)

  2. #77

    broc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tmcd35 View Post
    But is that a reason to shot down a good idea. I can say for sure that my school cannot afford this. But I know have some ideas locked away in the back of my mind. Who knows something here may be a viable solution to a future problem. I think the idea is worth exploring.
    You make a fair point; as I have said earlier in the thread, I need convincing and I agree the idea is worth exploring.

    I suppose my biggest concern is that this is being used as a bit of PR to support the academies program; sending a message to other schools that says 'Look how much money you can have to play with when you become an academy......'

  3. #78
    Hollie1985's Avatar
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    I've got my own iTouch now as well as an iPhone and an iPod!!! I no longer need the iPod and can't give it away to anyone in my family as they are all male and this iPod is pink......anyone of you Apple enthusiasts want it? Don't get me wrong I've had it a while and dropped it a few times but it's still going strong and in good condition..

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    Snuffkins's Avatar
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    Itís interesting. Not sure I fully agree with some of it though. Only time will tell if it aids learning or not. Personally I think that itíll only aid those that want to use them for their education. So depending on the catchment of a particular school/area will depend on the results. But that doesn't stop us from trying and benefitting those that will want to use the technology that's available.

    It doesnít matter what you give some people it wonít help because they donít want to learn period. People say if you make it fun for them they will etc. But you canít engage those that do not wish to be engaged. Should that matter though? If you've given everyone the same opportunities and still there are the few or many that do not wish to learn then is there really anything you can do about it? Some people are just not interested in academia. However I would like to see more variety in the curriculum. I'm not a teacher, but I can see a need for more vocational studies to be available and possibly have some recognition for these subjects. Focus at the moment is obviously on Mathematics and English. Of course these subjects are very important, but are they more important than every other subject and should such a high focus be placed upon the attainment of these over other subjects as in many cases talents lie elsewhere in students. The amount of effort and pressure that has been applied to students and staff to obtain c or above in these subjects over the last few years has been almost unbelievable. I don't know what everyone else thinks about this?

    I know the thread is about the use of iPod touches in a school, but I think what it really seems to be is a debate about use of emerging technologies in the industry to enhance a studentís ability to communicate and study. Or perhaps at least that's what it should be. It can't fail to aid in communication and it should allow those that want to learn the ability to do so anywhere anytime and that's the buzz phrase that's been used for many years and only now are we getting close to being able to really provide that. As I say I still believe that there are people who will still not want to learn no matter what is given to them. I can't remember who posted it but the idea that if it's boring to students in the class then it won't make any difference how they access that material seems very valid. That should not stop other students from benefitting however.

    Some schools don't have so many of behavioural issues to combat as others, other schools are selective in their enrolment, all schools are unique and perhaps things like this aren't actually suitable everywhere.

    I really do think if the aim is to be bettering education and enhancing learning then I think a serious look has to be taken at what students are being taught, how it's being taught and then at the many ways it can be delivered to them. I don't believe for a second that this school is trying to say that iPod Touch is the answer to everyoneís results driven nightmare, but they could very well be another good tool that we didn't have and yes perhaps didn't need when we were at school. Because of changes to focus of education, delivery has been forced to change and I think the students are being impacted negatively by this. I know of many students who having left to go into further education have been surprised at how different the education system is at that level. Where they are not given all the information and constantly pushed to succeed. If you don't do it for yourself in further and higher education then you fail. That's how it used to be in schools. Now with so much downward pressure on schools it's no surprise to see the changes that have been happening for years starting to have an effect.

    Our school managed to all but double its results from last year. That was a lot of hard work from everyone to the level where it probably isn't sustainable. That's an example that to raise achievement it doesn't necessarily have to come from a different delivery method/use of technology etc. Of course students these days in theory should be far more receptive to learning using the technology that they themselves use in everyday life. Again as someone said eventually we will have to be able to cater for the use of students personal devices to access materials in any format that they would require them in. Also as someone has said here why are we buying cameras etc when every student has one in their pocket? At present the use of mobile phones in the school is prohibited and that is probably a short sighted policy that is in place, but will take some convincing to change. I imagine that this may well be quite a wide spread issue?

    There are lots of good ideas, but again as someone has said there needs to be a change in the way curriculum is delivered to match the actual changes in that curriculum. Some staff would like to have top set students create pod casts and revision materials for lower year students. That's a great idea to cement the students learning by doing and using the new technology available to deliver to lower year groups as they progress through the school. So maybe the introduction of these technologies and how they can be used in a gradual process so that the staff can acclimatise to the changes as well as the students.

    Some people are worried about the spoon feeding of information and this constant effort to try and make things as easily accessible as possible creating issues with independent learning. These issues as Iíve said before do become rather apparent at FE and HE. However, they are not created by the technology, well in my opinion, which may well be wrong it is not the technology that is at fault, but the requirement to hit sometimes silly targets forcing the hand of the educators to spoon feed information or do anything possible to attain these targets. Hence again the need for a serious look at what is being taught, how it is being taught and why certain things are prioritised when it comes to the results that schools have to strive to get to stay open.

    This is a very interesting topic that is probably split right down the middle on whether people think it's a good idea or not. But perhaps it's irrelevant what we think as we are not the students. I would actually like to do a survey in my school to find out what ways our students would like to learn. Obviously if you said we'll give you an iPod Touch if you say you'd like to use that as an alternative delivery method would result in only one outcome. But a well thought out survey that encompasses many ways of learning and delivery styles would give individual schools an insight into how their student body is largely geared when it comes to learning. Would also possibly aid in convincing SLT of the introduction of some of these ideas.

    Now the other thing I was wondering about with the iPod Touch is that it has its place. The arguments seem to be that it's a PR stunt and wouldn't a net book be better etc. Well yes and no. Surely a net book/laptop in certain situations is going to better than an iPod Touch as it can do a lot of things the iPod Touch can't. But then the same is true about a handheld mobile device like the iPod Touch. It can be used in ways and places where the conventional net book/laptop is not really appropriate. So am I saying then that we shouldnít be picking one over the other? Arguing about which is better? When what we really need is to know what it is that students of today require in order to facilitate an enhancement in their ability to learn. Do they need an iPod Touch or similar? Do they need a Net book? Do they need both? Why do they need them? How will staff be re-educated to be able to use them?Can the students be involved in this process? Lots of questions, lots of answers. Time and experimentation will provide the answers to everything.

    I'd like to carry on but apparently itís time to go home and EduTech is trying to force me out the door .

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    torledo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by webman View Post
    Who says we want them at all? As previously suggested by some, I'm of the general persuasion that it's a gimmick - for PR or other reasons.

    I'd love to hear of a story (good or bad) where this technology has been in use for a number of years already - how it was implemented, at what total cost, what real educational benefits have been realised (if any), how many devices have been replaced and so on. Like BSF, a potentially good idea conjured up with heads in clouds, but realistically it's just a huge mess that hasn't been thought through properly.
    But the touch and appstore ecosystem hasn't been around long enough to have been implemented for years...a few years ago a lot of the handheld stuff was about PDA's [!!!!] and then PSP's.....and i was never convinced about how many kids actually carried PSP's around in their jacket pockets or even owned PDA's for it to be anything other than a psp/PDA cart type setup......you can't really say the same about the touch. What i think will become more important is to have the infrastructure in place to support kids bringing their iphones/itouch into schools. If that means 130 AP's, so be it......this isn't really a big deal since such large deployments are all, or should be, sophisticated managed LWAPP systems

    it's not really a gimmick, because the iphone/ipod touch itself isn't a fad or gimmick. It really has been a game changer, and while a lot of the stuff that's being done with investigating options for handheld learning seems a bit gimmicky, it does make sense that if you are going to have a bash at this type of thing, then you build it round a device which is the real deal.

    Anyway, we discussed all this on Sunday, with another school who bought the devices for all of their 1000 odd pupils at a cost of over 100k. I said i preferred the idea of the touch to netbooks, because netbooks are basically the shrinkage of an existing way of working.......whereas working on, and tailoring apps for the iphone/touch is a very different kettle of fish, and for some educational delivery represents a more elegant solution......What's the big deal ?

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    torledo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by broc View Post
    You make a fair point; as I have said earlier in the thread, I need convincing and I agree the idea is worth exploring.

    I suppose my biggest concern is that this is being used as a bit of PR to support the academies program; sending a message to other schools that says 'Look how much money you can have to play with when you become an academy......'
    yep, there is a bit of that spend, spend, spend culture with these type of flagship ideas. And it doesn't sit particularly comfortably with me either....

    but i see initiative such as the itouch spend as potentially very good, but some of the other stuff as sheer nulabour-inspired vanity.

    A 3-D projection screen might be nothing of the sort and could well be very useful and absolutely worth the dough [i don't know!!!], but it would be nice for the decision makers to think about the minimum wage misery of many [ok, it's not that bad] everytime they roll out their 'doing it for the kids' reasoning for such largesse of spend in select areas.

    sorry, if it sounded a bit of a rant at the end.

  7. #82

    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Out of interest did anyone here go to the Handheld Learning Conference where they could see examples of such devices being used or discuss the practices with those who are at the forefront? Has anyone looked at the Handheld Learning Conference website and watched any of the video clips?

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    webman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    Out of interest did anyone here go to the Handheld Learning Conference where they could see examples of such devices being used or discuss the practices with those who are at the forefront? Has anyone looked at the Handheld Learning Conference website and watched any of the video clips?
    I doubt we'd see a well-balanced view on the use of this technology on such a biased website, but will make a point of having a look more in-depth.

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    GrumbleDook's Avatar
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    Knowing some of the people involved they are more cynical than some of us lot when it comes to technology! But they do know their education!

    I was more referring to the fact that people were asking for points of reference to see if there is any benefit for handheld devices, whether iPod or otherwise ... just thought I would point folk in the direction of people actually looking at it ...

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    Face-Man's Avatar
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    See the video of Louise Duncan at

    Handheld Learning - Handheld Learning TV

    She is an Australian teacher who has been using ipod touches with her school.

    There are also some presentations from schools using mobile technology (not just ipod) who's enthusiasm is quite compelling .

    Also these guys are using iphone with students Brentford Apple Regional Training Centre

    I guess it is hard to measure the cost v benefit but there is very little evidence that any ICT makes any difference to pupils exam results. But computing is getting more powerful and smaller so at some point it will become handheld.

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    webman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GrumbleDook View Post
    Knowing some of the people involved they are more cynical than some of us lot when it comes to technology! But they do know their education!

    I was more referring to the fact that people were asking for points of reference to see if there is any benefit for handheld devices, whether iPod or otherwise ... just thought I would point folk in the direction of people actually looking at it ...
    Yes, for those reasons I suppose it ticks boxes. But that sort of material does very little in the way of revealing how well they work a year later or in real-world scenarios when in the hands of untrustworthy pupils. Or what the total cost of ownership is year on year.

    You can have all the educationalists you want say it will be beneficial for students to visit NASA or even have a trip to Mars to learn more about space for science; but is it really practical? No.

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    Face-Man's Avatar
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    There is this school in bolton that is using them as well

    BBC News - Bolton school equips every pupil with iPod Touch

    they spend 50k on books and 120k on ipod touches including insurance to make sure they are replaced quickly

    oh and this is quite good as well http://www.handheldlearning2009.com/...primary-school
    Last edited by Face-Man; 15th December 2009 at 04:47 PM.

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    Interesting thread and plenty of views to consider...

    I can see the advantages of a small, instant on device for quick lookup of information without having to be sat on a PC the whole time (I guess Wikipedia etc is to research what pocket calculators were to maths when they first came out!)

    Thinking about it you can see the benefits of someone being able to look up say, dates for history lessons or formulas for maths without all the bulky reference books etc - definitely more efficient there.

    Since I bought my Touch Pro I feel much more "connected" and able to quickly bring up any info I need rather than before feeling a bit stranded without carrying some form of PC around the whole time. The email sync is a blessing and a curse but incredibly useful nonetheless.

    Not sure if NetSupport read these forums but if they make an app to lock \ control the iTouch like they do with PCs then you have a solution to the distraction issue sorted.

    One thing that I don't agree with however is the demolition of dedicated IT suites to make way for netbooks and iTouches in shared spaces... end of the day if I wanted to type a 2000-word essay, do D&T design work or anything remotely heavy-duty I sure wouldn't want to be doing it on a portable device with a tiny (or virtual \ touchscreen) keyboard!

    The only other thing that doesn't seem to get mentioned with the proliferation of netbooks etc is the Health & Safety element... what are the long term effects on your eyesight if kids are squinting at small screens day in, day out? Hasn't done me many favours working in IT in the past 4 years that's for sure

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    Quote Originally Posted by webman View Post
    Yes, for those reasons I suppose it ticks boxes. But that sort of material does very little in the way of revealing how well they work a year later or in real-world scenarios when in the hands of untrustworthy pupils. Or what the total cost of ownership is year on year.

    You can have all the educationalists you want say it will be beneficial for students to visit NASA or even have a trip to Mars to learn more about space for science; but is it really practical? No.
    Projects with handheld devices have been round for quite some time ... I dirst came across some about 7 years ago and they were being modelled on a similar basis to laptop programmes from the eLearning Foundation until people realised that it is really is a different technology.

    And as for visiting NASA ... not really practical, but they can go to the National Space Centre.

    The folk at the Hendheld Learning Conference and other events are not the flash in the pan manglement looking for another white elephant, but people who are working on the problems and benefits right now.

    Go and ask them questions ... they are the folk both talking the talk and walking the walk ... they won't bite ... actually, some might do but only if you ask them!

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